Runtime: 88 Mins
What To Expect: Something much, much worse than that trailer
Imagine that your production company one day wins the rights to Tekken, a gargantuan gaming franchise that everybody knows, with famous characters such as Paul Phoenix, Marshall Law, King and others. Then someone somewhere in the food chain decides that virtually none of those characters are going to appear in the movie and that instead, some absolutely putrid screenplay about one man’s psychedelic journey will instead be what the feature is about. This is an execrable movie, and I say it without exaggeration. If you’re just looking for a martial arts movie, you’ll hate it. If you’re a fan of Tekken you will absolutely and passionately despise it.
The movie follows Kazuya Mishima (Kane Kosugi), who has suffered a bout of amnesia. He’s a highly trained fighter and is used and forced to be an assassin to take out various shady figures. In the end there’s a twist, not that anybody is going to care. I can tell you that this garbage is some of the longest 88 minutes I’ve endured in recent memory. It’s not one tenth as cool as it thinks it is and not one hundredth as clever as it thinks it is. Ever see those garbage movies where a director slows down stuff like a man walking up some steps, in the belief that he’s elevating the movie above its station in terms of coolness and depth? That’s all over this movie, it induces severe cringe. The ‘plot’ is barely coherent gibberish that plagiarizes everything from Bourne to 300. Badly.
As stated above, this is a Tekken movie, but there are few Tekken characters. There’s Kazuya, who doesn’t look, act or fight like Kazuya or have the backstory of Kazuya from Tekken lore. There’s Heihachi, (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa)… same problem, it’s just some guy talking inane pseudo intellectual nonsense in a three minute cameo. Actually, he isn’t even referred to as Heihachi. Tagawa just shows up in a “deep” scene that looks like a bender scene from Trainspotting. I just assume that he’s Heihachi. The third Tekken character is someone I’ll also assume is Bryan Fury, played by Gary Daniels. Again, looks nothing like him, acts nothing like the game character or even the Bryan Fury from the previous movie. He just shows up, in another cameo and brief fight scene, and talks waffle about finding one’s inner self.
It’s like the producers and writers have no idea who these characters are, and had no intention of giving a shit, but were advised that certain actors were free for a cameo – use them.
In the fight sequences, I’m pleased to report that there is no shaking camera ‘technique’. But there is an editing problem. Now and again, but not throughout every fight, the editing is harsh. Moves are pulled where each cut is so short that you can’t really appreciate them. This is unintuitive and poor craftsmanship. Not that it matters anyway because the fights are underwhelming, they’re too repetitive and seemed rushed. Only Kazuya Mishima Vs. Bryan Fury in a back alley is moderately engaging, but it lasts mere seconds and just serves as a teaser for something that doesn’t materialize.
It’s almost hard to describe how awful this movie is. It’s bush league stuff with ideas way, way above its station and in trying to execute them it fails, utterly miserably. From the director showing slow-mo shots of the main actor staring into space, from the director showing slow-mo shots of the main actor walking up an alley. Why am I supposed to be impressed with two people in a room preparing a meal being shot in slow motion? Jesus Christ! Why couldn’t you just give us Paul Phoenix VS. Kayuza? Or King Vs Law? It wouldn’t have cost a thing. In the original, they were going to cast Geoff Meed as Paul. They canned that, this time, they canned the rest of the roster too.
After a while, I’m sure the footage of Gary Daniels will appear on YouTube. Wait for that and otherwise avoid this dog vomit.