The fighting video game series gets its live action film adaptation but is it as good as Mortal Kombat? In the world of movies based on video games, there aren’t many good examples. I can’t say that Tekken shines above the rest but its better than Super Mario Bros.
I’ve only played bits and pieces of the Tekken series so I have no idea what the game’s story is. The gist in the film is that it’s the year 2039 and corporations have taken over the world. There’s this tournament hosted by Tekken in which tons of people watch and somehow it brings peace to the world and keeps people in order. The movie never explains exactly why a fighting program is able to do this but whatever. Anyway this guy Jin joins the tournament and fights other random fighters.
That is partially the other problem with this film is that there are lots of characters, but the only one in which you know anything about is Jin and the villains. The rest of the characters feel like filler. But it is a fighting movie so I’m sure the creators wanted to cram in as many action sequences as possible, thus they needed as many characters as possible.
The action feels like a hit and miss. A lot of the times the camera feels too close to the action and you’re never able to see the full movement that is going on. The action also feels repetitive because of the tournament setting. The majority of the fights take place in the same arena. Sometimes that arena introduces new scenery elements, which is a creative idea but the fighters don’t entirely interact with the new environment to make it feel any different from the last.
The one thing that shocked me is that this film is rated R. After watching it, I have no idea why. It could have easily been PG-13. For an R-rated film it felt really tame. The fighters do have lots of blood on them and there’s a sex scene. I simply wish that they had gone more hardcore and made it feel like an R-rated film even if that wasn’t their initial intention.
The special feature Stunt Stars: Tekken is a hour-length TV show that went on location with the stunt actors of Tekken. It doesn’t have many interviews with the main stars and crew, but it gets the job done of showing you lots of behind the scenes stuff that you would not have seen otherwise.
Tekken the film is for the hardcore Tekken fans and people who like fighting movies. I don’t think that many people beyond that will find the film all that entertaining. For me it didn’t have the charm and entertainment value of Mortal Kombat, but at least it’s slightly better than Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.