By Hailinel 2 Comments
Oh, man, video game movies.
I haven't seen the live-action Tekken movie yet, but from everything I've heard, it sounds like it's about on par with Street Fighter both in terms of divergence from the source material and general quality. In short, it sucks. Specifically how or why, I can't say for myself because I haven't seen it. But when a movie is so bad that it prompts the game's developer to produce a movie of their own in response, well, that's pretty special, and such is the case with Tekken: Blood Vengeance, the CG animated movie from Namco Pictures. (Wait, Namco Pictures? Did Namco seriously form a film division for this?!)
Well, all talk of the live-action movie aside, Blood Vengeance is, all in all, not bad when viewed in the proper context. The movie, which focuses on Xiaoyu and Alisa, is a story about how the Mishima Zaibatsu (led by Jin Kazama) and the G Corporation (led by Kazuya Mishima) want to get their hands on what's known as the M-Cell in order to gain full control over the Devil Gene; the only living M-Cell sample being a former classmate of Jin's and...well, the plot is rather convoluted, but what it boils down to is what Tekken always boils down to; the Mishima Family Circle of Hatred.
The general story and writing are about on par for what I would expect of a Tekken movie, in that the story plays out much like the end cinematics in the games. Lots of melodrama, physical comedy and a complete disregard of human body durability and pain tolerance. Also, I can safely say that a Mishima does get thrown over a cliff at one point. And while the movie does not include most of the characters (Paul, Law, and numerous others are noticeably absent), the roles that are randomly filled by series regulars like Lee are absurd in the best possible way; it's ridiculous, but the filmmakers are completely aware it's ridiculous, so just roll with it.
This should of course not be confused with the idea that it is a good movie in general, but as a Tekken movie for Tekken fans, it's great. The animation isn't the best; it lies somewhere between the poorer Resident Evil: Degeneration and the much better animation of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, but the characters and environments are nicely detailed. I also found the fight scenes pretty fun, but your mileage may vary on how enjoyable they really are, particularly as the climactic battle at the end escalates. And then escalates again. And again after that. And then there's a plot twist and it escalates yet again.
So, yeah. Dumb fun is what it is. There's a straight DVD version of the movie, but it's also part of Tekken Hybrid and Tekken 3D Prime Edition, so if you have either of those, you might as well give it a watch. You might be entertained.