Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

"The Revolution Will Not be Televised!". Seriously Kazuya? Seriously, quoting Gil-Scott Heron when you’re the one who’s in charge of the multinational oppressive conglomerate? What is up with that? Kazuya (Ian Anthony Dale), Vice President of Tekken Corp. is a bad guy. Not because he’s a raping, murdering, patricidal homicidal maniac, but because of his gross misuse of the words of Gil-Scott Heron. I thought KRS-One and his ‘The Revolutions is about Sprite’ commercial was reprehensible. Well actually that is worse since that was real and this is pretty much fake. Nonetheless what we have here is a videogame fighting movie patterned loosely after the videogame ‘Tekken’. Videogame fight movies… yeah. Videogame movies in general… yeah.

We are now in a future where the world has collapsed and is run by a few mega corporations, Tekken Corp. being the largest of these. Not everybody is happy about this and this is where we meet Jun Kazama as played by John Foo who is dodging bullets doing his parkour thing, which shouldn’t be all that surprising since John Foo is a stuntman by trade used to doing this kind of thing and the action in this movie was choreographed by Cyril Raffaelli who is also an expert in this kind of thing. Regardless Jun is transporting some illegal valuable tech to the ‘resistance’, not because he's down for the cause but because he’s down for getting paid. After getting this loot Jun goes to meet and greet his mom (Tamlyn Tomita) who chastises him for wasting his valuable skills that she has trained him in. Say goodbye to mom because soon she will be vaporized by the evil Kazuya’s resistance murdering gang, who happen to be looking for Jun.

Now Jun has an Uncle Ben moment swearing to use his powers to crush Tekken Corp by getting in Tekken Corps Iron Fist battle royale. I wish I could explain some of this to you, and old man Mishima (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) did his best to explain why his oppressive mega corp. holds an annual fighting contest but damn if I did not understand one single thing about what he was talking about.

First Jun has to get into the contest, and he proves his worth to his future manager Steve Fox (Luke Goss) who gets him behind the gates. Now he has to actually win these fights against an eclectic crew of superbad dudes and inappropriately dressed honeys. One honey in particular, Christie Montiero (Kelly Overton) seems to take a liking to the boy, I think because he complimented her on her toes. As it turns out Jun is going to need that friend because it’s all going straight to hell.

Kazuya wants to take over Tekken from his old man but his old man won’t die, worse still he finds out who Jun’s mom was and this knowledge makes a dude that was pretty unhappy from the get go supremely unhappy. Now Kuzuya is trying to kill Jun in all kinds of terrible ways. Assassins, shootouts, bombs, tanks, murder party’s and finally in the Tekken ring. Fortunately for Jun, no matter how bad it gets, he can always flashback to his mother physically and mentally abusing him as a child who was actually prepping the boy for just this one moment in time. Thanks mom!

So people, I had a double feature all ret ta go and I had it setup on the big screen at the crib in glorious hi-def on the projector. Might as well watch this movie ‘Tekken’ and follow that up with another videogame brawler flick ‘King of Fighters’ to watch these movies larger than life and in gloriously obnoxiously loud surround sound. You might have heard me say this before so please stop me, but watching a movie on a bigger screen with a loud sound system only makes a suck-ass movie suck larger and louder. But seriously, in all fairness to ‘Tekken’, it really wasn’t all that bad, it was just spectacularly mediocre is all. I should’ve watched KOF first because then ‘Tekken’ would’ve played like the freaking Godfather. I’ve played the videogames and we’re not going to compare this movie to the videogames because the stories that usually support fight games are notoriously weak so outside of just not making this particular genre into a movie something has to be done to beef up the narrative.

The story that director Dwight H. Little and crew settled to support this movie probably would’ve been better if they spent a little more time developing it. The movie looked great and sounded even better and there were some fine actors in this movie in Tomita, Tagawa, Luke Goss, and Darren Dewitt Henson who was almost completely wasted as Raven. Plus the movie had some solid fighting studs in Lateef Crowder who was pretty much designed from birth to play Eddy Gordo, Cun Le as Marshall Law – though he was different kind of Martial Law - and Gary Daniels as Bryan Fury. Not a bad lineup. But the problem is they spent all of about five minutes on an actual story making this story, amazingly, even more sketchy the than the videogame and soon the movie just fell into a rut. Jun gets mad, Jun gets beat up, Jun has mom flashback, Jun rises up and kicks ass. Then do it all over one more time again. Then show Kelly Overton in motion. Plus considering the actors doing the fighting and Cyril Raffaelli choreographing the action, I just expected the fight sequences to be better. They weren’t horrible by any means, but just not as good as I thought they would be in a movie calling itself ‘Tekken’.

I don’t know exactly what I was expecting from ‘Tekken’ because I certainly didn’t have very high expectations considering the videogame fighting movies we’ve seen in the past, but this one felt like with a little more work it could’ve actually have been good. Or at the very least better than the mediocre fractured tale we got to see.

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