Scroll Top

Movie Review: Tekken Blood Vengeance

I was never good at fighting games, in fact, I get thrashed regularly in Marvel VS Capcom 3, but my favorite fighting series has always been Tekken. The first game was released back in 1994,  and,  since then, it has been a major competitor in the fighting-game world. Ten games have been released so far, with five more planned for the next few years, including two massive crossover games with Street Fighter. Add to that 3 feature length movies, which have left quite a lot to be desired, and a comic book  series, and you can see Tekken has achieved quite a lot. The first film was an animated movie, and, although it suffered huge flaws, including attack dinosaurs, it is leaps-and-bounds better than the live action debacle that was released last year. In fact, most video game moves have been terrible, with most people looking at Mortal Kombat as the best live action video game movie to be released. The sequel to Mortal Kombat, however, was a travesty to cinema. There have been numerous other fighting game movies: two Street Fighter films, with Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li being one of the worst things I have seen, King of Fighters and DOA. All have been bad, and it just seems like these games cannot translate well to live action. Now steps in CGI. CGI films have been able to set fire to video game movies.  Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is one of the finest video-game-inspired movies to ever have been released. Resident Evil Degeneration was another amazing movie that captured the heart of the game and framed it in a dramatic, cinematic light. Now comes Namco’s time to step up their movie presence with Tekken: Blood Vengeance. For one night only, theaters across the country were showing this film in glorious 3D, and I, of course, was not going to miss it!

The movie opens up very promisingly with Anna Williams, a runner for the G corp (ran by Kazuya Mishima),  confronting her sister who now works for the Mishima Zaibatsu (ran by Jin Kazama). They have a nice, lengthy fight and Nina escapes with intel from Anna, which turns out to be a trick. We then meet Ling Xiaoyu, as she rides her lovable panda to school, who gets kicked out of school for being destructive. Anna recruits Ling Xiaoyu to be a spy and track down Shin Kamiya, a troubled student who seems to have a death wish. Shin gets the drop on Xiaoyu and then takes off. Xiaoyu then meets Alisa Bosconovitch, and the two become friends, and then enemies, and then friends again. (I admit – this plot line was confusing and heavy-handed) They both fall for Shin, until he is kidnapped. Then Alisa starts talking to herself and is revealed to be an android working for Nina. After what felt like 20 minutes, we get another pretty intense fight between Xiaoyu and Alisa. Alisa taps into her robotic side and turns her arms into chainsaws and reveals a built-in jet pack. Anna arrives and scolds Xiaoyu, and then has her forces attack both of them. Alisa and Xiaoyu escape and hide out at their teacher’s house, and then are attacked again, causing severe property damage. They learn where Shin is being held and head there. They find out that he was being experimented on by Heihachi Mishima, and go back to where the experiments took place. From there, we finally get to see Jin and Kazuya in action. They have a lengthy fight scene with Heihachi .I must say, seeing a triple threat, kung fu fight is intense! With three generations of Mishima fighting, it gets insane. Then, Jin and Kazuya become devil-men and Heihachi, not to be outdone, summons an army of Mokujin, and the plot finally loses all cohesion.

My first complaint is about the voice-acting. I saw it in English, and the voice acting was over-the-top and cheesy. None of the actors seemed to be playing it straight, and went cartoonish with the whole approach. Along those lines, the dialogue was some of the worst I have seen in a movie in a long time, especially an animated film. As convoluted as the plot gets, you’ll never get lost in it because the characters make sure to continuously talk about every single detail. Another point about the movie that I did not like was the fact that Xiaoyu is the main character. Alisa’s naive school girl act just irritated me further. She is an okay character in the game, but there are so many more characters they could have chose from. My favorite character, Howarang, has gotten no love from any of the films released so far. Jin is one of the most popular characters in the series, and he gets limited screen time! They also take characters from the game and give them roles that involve no fighting at all! They made Lee a flamboyant teacher! The 3D effects were underwhelming. I really don’t care for 3D that much unless it’s IMAX. The only saving grace to this movie is the fight scenes. Unfortunately, they are far and few between. Instead, the filmmakers opted to show us the daily, trivial life of the average high school romance. I went into this film with very high expectations, but came out thoroughly disappointed. Is it better than the live action movie? Sure, but that’s like asking if any movie is better than the recent Chun Li-centered Street Fighter Film – the answer is always a resounding “yes.” There was so much potential, yet it was squandered, and instead they pandered to the average anime fan.

The Blu-Ray disc does sound promising, with some interesting features. If played in a PS3, you will have access to an HD quality version of Tekken Tag Tournament. There will also be multi language tracks as well. I am excited to see it in Japanese, although I can’t imagine it will be that much better. The Blu-Ray release is set for November.

Despite having some great fight scenes, this movie is, at best, a 4/10.

Related Posts

Comments (7)

I love movies how did I miss this!?

Thanks for the article. Good read, I agree with you about the cheesy voice over. Overall it was a disappointed movie.

James Victor Von Hal

It didn't get to much press Nick.

James Victor Von Hal

I'm glad you liked the review Jake! Yeah the trailer painted a totally different picture than what the movie was, still it is better than the live action film.

I always like the animated movies off of video games…the live action, not so much!

The Tekken game has lot of characters and play area. People who love to play action games should definitely try this game because it is an excellent action entertainment to children and also some adult players.

Comments are closed.