Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Here we are with a CGI animated film from a Japanese game company, this time around it’s ‘Tekken: Blood Vengeance’ from Namco.  In the past when we’ve sat down to watch some of these game company animated films, and we’ve been blessed with graphical touches so fine, so pristine, so cutting edge that it almost makes us want to cry.  Usually these fine graphical accouterments are mated to stories so wacky, incomprehensible, and so nonsensical that … well… it almost makes us want to cry.  Guess what?  Nothing’s changed!  Yay!

Our film opens with a spectacular explosion followed by a brutal kung fu showdown between the Williams Sisters, Anna and Nina.  Anna and her 36C’s wrapped in a cheongsam and Nina and her immobile 38D’s sporting low cut black leather.  Gotta love videogame designers.  What are these two voluptuous but completely evil chicks fighting over?  Well… when the movie is over and you think about it… they are fighting over absolutely nothing.  But nonetheless, we will continue on.

It’s a Tekken movie so you know that the Mishima clan is fighting over something.  Young Jin Mishima, whom Nina works for, and his dad Kazuya, whom Anna works for are searching for some high school kid named Shin who has some kind of genetic molecule they need.  Old man Heihachi Mishima is supposed to be dead, though we’re pretty sure he’s not. 

Seems Shin is away at some exclusive boarding school so Kazuya dispatches Anna to recruit the panda riding, Kung Fu Kicking high schooler Xaioyu Ling to enroll in the school and find out where the hell Shin is.  Normally Xaioyu wouldn’t be down with this but she was good friends with Jin and she thinks this might somehow reunite them.  At the school Xaioyu makes the acquaintance of another high school chick trying to woo this Shin in Alisa.  Alisa is really weird, but there are reasons for this. 

Both these animated chicks track down Shin who’s all suicidal and weird and stuff, but then he disappears.  Now both Xaioyu and Alisa’s true intentions are revealed as they have become mortal enemies fighting for something or another having to do with Shin.  Or something.  I’m not completely sure, but I do know that animated underage chicks in short plaid skirts and thigh high fishnets are doing battle and it looks sweet.

Then as it works out, these high school girls are no longer enemies but BFF’s and have joined together in a common cause, this to save Shin.  Just so you know Shin is in possession of something called the Devil Molecule which all the Mishima’s covet, but which has made Shin all depressed and now he wants to kill the Mishima’s.  This shouldn’t be all that hard since he’s immortal and all.  Or not.  Who knows?  Watch and observe as the three Mishima men…yup, Heihachi ain’t really dead… destroy Kyoto Japan… while looking like flying demons with pointed tails and laser beams shooting from them like the monster Gaos... and don’t forget interlocking robot monsters.  And it’s wackier than it even sounds.

What a beautiful looking movie ‘Tekken: Blood Vengeance’ turned out to be.  The motion capture and the way the characters move are flawless, the character models are amazing, the physics used to calculate the way the clothes on these characters bodies and how they handle each strand of hair is something to behold.  This is truly a breathtaking movie… to look at.  Now for complete disclosure I’m no Tekken expert, though I have played a Tekken game or two.  Notably 'Tekken I' way back in the PSX days, and the more recent Tekken 6 for the XBOX360, which is just to say my knowledge is sketchy at best.  One thing that almost all fighting video games do have in common is they are notorious for having nonsensical story lines squeezed in between the mad button mashing… but here’s the thing with ‘Tekken: Blood Vengeance’… the story supporting these wonderful graphics is more sloppy than nonsensical.

What is the plot of this movie?  We believe it’s for all our particulars to find Shin because Shin has the ‘Devil Molecule’ which the various iterations of Tekken Corp. desperately wants.  But as it turns out… they don’t need it.  At least I don’t think they do.  But then somebody already has Shin in their possession, which is why he’s in the shower with that soldier guy… don’t ask… I don’t know.  Then we have Shin who is whining incessantly about being immortal.  Not being able to die which is kind of what I thought ‘immortal’ meant.  Uh… not really.  Again I have to ask what was up with that?  There’s very little logic or reason for anything that’s going on in this little movie, outside of the basics that the Williams sister hate other and the Mishima’s want to burn each others souls, but that is Tekken 101, we knew that going in.

Ultimately it seems the movie is about the bubbly, girly friendship between Xaioyu and Alisa since we spent most of our time in this movie watching these girls talk about boys, or watching TV or loving each other platonically or observing the artist placing their virtual cameras in positions allowing us to look under their skirts.  I know this is Japan and all… but come on guys.  For real?  Aren’t the fishnets and ultra mini plaid skirts enough?

Still, ‘Tekken: Blood Vengeance’ is something to see.  Just imagine those videogame cut scenes, amped up to the power ten in awesome, albeit with the same severely lacking story.  Unfortunately there’s give and take in everything I guess.

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