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May 2011

Tekken

cast: Jon Foo, Kelly Overton, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Ian Anthony Dale, and Luke Goss

director: Dwight H. Little

92 minutes (15) 2010
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Optimum DVD Region 2
[released 2 May]

RATING: 4/10
review by Ian Hunter

Tekken

Pop quiz... Has there ever been a decent movie made out of a computer game? And for your bonus point, has there ever been a decent movie made out of a beat 'em up game? I can only think of Mortal Kombat and DOA: Dead Or Alive in the latter category, so I would suggest in both cases the answer would be 'no', and Tekken certainly isn't going to break the mould, or even be a first. If you are a Tekken fan - of the games and the anime series - I would also think that you are going to be disappointed by the lack of kangaroos, giant robots and a certain 'devil gene'.

Also, there are key characters missing, or some that have had a movie makeover, looking nothing like their gaming or animation counterparts, although Raven (Darren Dewitt Henson), Eddy Gordo (Lateef Crowder), and Anna Williams (Marian Zapico) do look almost as expected, while Kelly Overton as Christie Monteiro looks nothing like the Brazilian fighter she is supposedly playing. As for the story, the supernatural and fantastic subplots have been discarded, and we are reduced to a fairly standard, if repetitive, fighting revenge flick set in the world after the 'terror wars' when countries have collapsed and the world is now run, or ruled, by six mega-corporations, collectively known as Iron Fist.

The most powerful of these corporations being Tekken which controls the part of the world that includes what used to be the United States, and is under the control of Chief Executive Officer Heihachi Mishima (played by Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa, arguably the most recognisably member of the cast, if it weren't for all that makeup which gives him an alien/ devil look). Tekken itself is subdivided into zones, and our hero, Jin Kazama (played by Jon Foo) courts danger and has a pretty carefree life of excitement in the zone called 'The Anvil' by stealing tech to pass to the rebels to finance buying things like super-scarce chocolate and oranges. But Mishima's son, Kazuya (played by Ian Anthony Dale), is on the case with his secret police called the Jackhammers.

The bugged tech leads him to the rebels and Jin's home where his mother, and martial art teacher, Jun (played by Tamlyn Tomita) dies in an explosion, which adds up to revenge time as Jin enters Tekken's martial arts tournament in his quest to get even. When the action is set in the Anvil it is dark and grim, with a sub-Blade Runner feel to it, and when we get to the fighting stages everything looks glossy and grim. The fighting scenes are okay, but go on and a bit more - no surprises how this is all going to end. The acting is passable. Luke Goss turns up at one point, and most of the cast have been in the odd movie or loads of TV shows. Ironically, Ian Anthony Dale has been in a Mortal Kombat mini-series. Careful, he might get typecast, but not in a sequel to this film, which I doubt will ever be made.



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