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.