Have you seen the first Tekken film? Yeah, it was ok…
The film was entertaining, they followed through with decent visual recreations of your favorite characters, decent fight scenes and good production values set in a gritty futuristic world.
This time, the film makers are going for a prequel. They’ve chased down an arguably better onscreen martial artist in Kane Kosugi – playing Kazuya, brought back Gary Daniels as Bryan Fury and even Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Heihachi Mishima.
The good names, the good characters and a lot of potential walk alongside this second live action Tekken film.
But I seriously wouldn’t bother, this film is shite.
We follow Kazuya as he wakes up, not remembering who he is and he is stuck in this organization where he must learn to kill and eventually go on to become an assassin. He can’t escape and must do what they big baddies say or they’ll blow him up with a bomb implanted into his chest.
At no point does this film even feel like Tekken. All of the characters are very plain and look nothing like they should – they don’t resemble the video game or the first film at all. I find it funny that Kazuya was evil in the first film but is good to the core in this film – and it’s a prequel?! There’s no Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker ‘turn to the dark side’ moment, so there appears to be no connection between his former self (in this film) and the update bastard in the first film.
But I can look past that! After all, this is Kane Kosugi in the lead role, and he was awesome in Ninja 2 so let’s see what he has to offer.
Kane can act reasonably but his fighting abilities are what make him awesome. He pulls off some great movement and lifts this film ever so slightly out of the mud – but not enough to save it.
Unfortunately the shitty story (that left me holding my eyelids open, it was so boring) is backed up with really horrible fight choreography. I can just imagine some fat guy in a chair yelling out to Kane “Swing more! No, harder!” to the point where his punches look like a child throwing his arms around to spin in a circle. But every now and then Kane gets to do a cool jumping kick or something to not look entirely useless.’
There’s some decent energy in the fights but the bad camera angles and wild swings don’t help it. The lack of originality in the fights make them look like just a lot of movement, nothing serious.
It’s a mess, and a total misuse of Kane Kosugi’s abilities.
I don’t have much else to say because this movie was sooo bad. My main regret is that Kane Kosugi didn’t get to advance his career in this film, as he has potential to star in some good films.
As an adaption there is little evidence, aside from a couple of names, to support that this movie is related to the Namco game franchise. It seems more like a cheap action film about a guy who has lost his memory. The cool visual style of the first film (which wasn’t that good to start with) is lost to cheapness in this mess of a movie. So if you see it on the shelf at a local video store, just keep walking! This film is not worth the bother.