I love Tekken. If there is one arcade-style fighting series I actually like and have even a small percentage of knowledge about how to win (I boast a 35% win record on Tekken 7 online, that’s right, bow down to the king), it’s Tekken. It was my introduction to fighting games and to this day it is the only series of its ilk I actually go out of my way to keep up with. I can’t get into Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter doesn’t excite me and I’ve not played any of the other big names in this genre. For me it starts and ends with Tekken. I was a Playstation kid, my friends had Tekken 2 and 3, one of the first PS2 games I got was Tekken Tag Tournament which remains one of my favourite games in the series. I’m not good at these games but get a pal or two round with some beverages and pizza, stick Tekken on and you’re gonna have a good night.

For me though one thing that always stuck with me are the characters and the increasingly convoluted plot of the game. Every character has their own motives, alliances, enemies and subplots – even the damn bear has a motive for entering a martial arts tournament. Tekken has a huge cast of characters and so many of them are memorable to me, more so than Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. So the reason I tackled those movies and left Tekken to the end of this fighting game block (three months later) was a mixture of excitement to see what they did with the crazy characters and peculier plot – and my apprehension on how they would use those personable people and stupefying story. I got into a weird alliterative well there, so let’s just move on and talk about the movie now. WARNING: I SPOIL THE WHOLE FILM WHOOPS

 

The movie focuses on Jin Kazama and his journey from being a poor boy in the slums of a city run by a corporation called Tekken, run by Heihachi Mishima and his son Kazuya. The world is now run by these corporations and they get together every year to run a martial arts tournament called The King of Iron Fist. Jin is trained by his mother, Jun, who is killed by Tekken forces looking for Jin after he stole some contraband for the rebels. Enraged he decides to try and enter the Iron Fist tournament for a chance to confront Heihachi and get revenge for his mother.

Jin fights Marshall Law for a chance to qualify for the tournament and knocks him out, becoming The People’s Choice. Steve Fox, a former fighter, takes him under his wing as his manager and Jin prepares for the tournament and falls for the first attractive female he see’s, Christie. The tournament features some classic characters along with some newer ones introduced in the most recent Tekken at that time which would have been *Lou Bega Voice* Tekken Number 5. There’s

A little bit of Yoshimitsu with his knife
A little bit of Eddy by his side
A little bit of Nina’s all I need
A little bit of Anna is what I see
A little bit of Miguel in the sun
A little bit of Bryan all night long
A little bit of Dragunov, here I am
A little bit of you makes me your man

TRUMPET!

GET OUT OF HERE, BEGA

We see a couple of first round fights, Eddy gets destroyed by Bryan Fury and we see Jin beat Miguel. Him and Christie go out dancing, and romancing but when they go their separate ways two assassins try to kill Jin on orders from Kazuya who has found out that Jin is his son. Oh no!

During Jin’s next round match against Yoshimitsu, Heihachi and Kazuya have a wee tiff which leads to Kazuya arresting his father and TEKKEN control of the company and thus the tournament. Yoshimitsu looks set to kill Jin – which honestly should be expected when they let a big samurai fight with a sword – but Jin powers through and almost kills Yoshimitsu after Heihachi sets off a security alert. All fighters are arrested and told by Kazuya that the following rounds will be fought TO THE DEATH. Everyone is like “what do we do?” and Jin is like “WHAT IF WE JUST…DON’T FIGHT? Let’s get out of here, guys!” and they escape, taking Heihachi with them and they all live happily ever after.

Except they don’t, they get caught, Steve Fox is shot and Heihachi is exploded to death. Jin is dragged back to fight his final match against Bryan who Jin manages to kill. Kazuya is angry again so he decides to fight Jin, he loses but Jin refuses to kill Kazuya because they clearly wanted to make a sequel and we get left with a sequel hook in the form of a post-credit scene and that’s the end.

SPOILERS AND LOU BEGA STOPS HERE

So the film isn’t great and it honestly feels super rushed – that whole bit with them escaping Tekken and getting caught is literally about three minutes apart. They were either super committed to making an 80 minute movie or they just didn’t have the time or budget and so the pacing is a little off but honestly I’d rather the film rush to the finale than to Dragunov too long.

Still, the parts where they fight are actually pretty good – they clearly wanted to present a fairly grounded and realistic take on Tekken so there is no fighting bears, there is no demon gene and there is no Paul Phoenix’s haircut. The closest they get to presenting anything remotely fantastical is keeping Bryan Fury as a cyborg which is not entirely too much for a film set in the fairly distant future of 2039. The fights are pretty well choreographed and a lot of them look pretty brutal.

I won’t even complain too much about the story – again they clearly wanted to make their own version of the Tekken universe so they have Tekken some liberties with it but storywise it becomes a fairly inoffensive action movie plot. When Tekken goes full action movie though it’s a little boring and bog standard but the fighting is good, the acting isn’t terrible and at worst everything else is boring rather than bad.

They clearly wanted a sequel and I guess that might be why we didn’t some of the more classic Tekken characters like King, Paul Phoenix or Roger the Kangaroo, but they clearly wanted to strike a balance between classic and new characters so it gets a pass. At least some of the characters looked very similar to their video game counterparts – Raven and Dragunov in particular.

Is this film enjoyable to watch? In parts, yes. In other parts, not so much. Tekken is a franchise that I always feel would have multimedia appeal but I can’t imagine someone who has not played the game before watching this and being like “yes, I am a fan now”. The movie needed to either do more to distance itself from the games or do more to mirror the games, the way they did it ended up feeling like they were being pulled too much from both sides and Tekken struggles to find an identity to call its own as a result.

Still it did get a sequel – which from the looks of things did not get a theatrical release so I’m not gonna cover it until much later in this project. Also the sequel was a prequel so they wasted the sequel hook they dangled in the end. Tekken isn’t really worth watching outside of the fight scenes but I really do not think it is anything offensively bad either. It’s mediocre and it should have has Ogre in the film so I could have called it mediOGRE but it didn’t so I will ever get to use that pun and that makes me Bryan Furious. But, Jin the end it doesn’t even matter.

SCORE: XTA Logo/ScoreXTA Logo/Score

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s