Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Tekken (2011)

There are Street Fighter fans, there are Mortal Kombat fans, there are probably still some Virtua Fighter fans and there are Tekken fans. When I was growing up I mastered Mortal Kombat. I loved it, there were some great characters, I'd enabled the D,U,L,L,A,R,D cheat to get the blood and gore switched on and I'd mastered all of the fatalities. The fancy button combinations required for the Street Fighter games had never been to my liking. Then, during those exciting Playstations years, I discovered Tekken 2. A perfect combination, it had all the fun of Mortal Kombat and a similiar, but slightly easier, button-combo system to Street Fighter.

With so many great characters and so many different fighting styles, a movie should have been easy to get right. Well, this is here to prove us all wrong.

Tekken isn't awful - it's slick and polished and at least keeps things lively enough throughout - but it's just lacking in almost every way. The characters aren't as memorable as they should be, the fights aren't very exciting (any featuring the main character tend to follow the same pattern - he gets a beating, remembers a lesson from his mother and then is able to turn the tables and win) and it's not even as pleasing as the movie versions of Mortal Kombat (hey, I liked it) or Street Fighter (which some fans enjoyed).

Jon Foo plays the main character, Jin, who enters a fighting competition as a way to embarrass the Tekken Corporation and strike a mighty blow for the common people. He has no personality, or charisma, but viewers are stuck with him. Thankfully, Kelly Overton plays Christie Monteiro and looks lovely doing so, even if the camera shows the crack of her backside too many times, while Candice Hillebrand and Marian Zapico play the gorgeous Nina and Anna Williams, respectively. Luke Goss turns up as Steve Fox, the man who opts to guide Jin through the tournament, and Gary Daniels looks the part as big bad Bryan Fury. The main villain of the piece is Kazuya Mishima (Ian Anthony Dale), son of Heihachi Mishima (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and the man who becomes obsessed with destroying Jin at all costs.

Director Dwight H. Little, working from a screenplay by Alan B. McElroy, just fumbles what should have been an easy piece of lowbrow entertainment. Limited screen-time for the likes of Yoshimitsu and Eddy Gordo (Lateef Crowder) give a small taste of how good this could have been, with the RIGHT characters all given screen-time and one or two special moves given their due.

As it is, undemanding viewers will be able to stick this on and enjoy some fun with a couple of beers and some unhealthy snacks. It's that kind of movie, not that there's anything wrong with that (TM - Seinfeld). It just could have been that kind of movie while also being much more enjoyable. A missed opportunity.


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