Movie: Tekken – Review
Jin Kazama – Jon Foo (John/Jonathan Foo)
Heihachi Mishima – Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Kazuya – Ian Anthony Dale
Steve Fox – Luke Goss
Christie Monteiro – Kelly Overton
Bryan Fury – Gary Daniels
Nina Williams – Candice Hillebrand
Anna Williams – Marian Zapico
Raven – Darrin Dewitt Henson
Marchall Law – Cung Le
Jun Kazama – Tamlyn Tomita
Hwoarang – Hyun Kyoon Lee
Eddy Gordo – Lateef Crowder
Miguel Rojo – Roger Huerta
Director : Dwight H. Little
Tekken was probably one of the most popular if not THE most popular console and arcade game of the 1990s and even today. It currently has 6 game series with each series focusing on one story related but completely different from the previous one. Another great point for this game series is the presence of a very elaborate but well-defined player history and background. Tekken was one of the first 3D fighting games to come out and it had created a great fan base….myself included. And now it has reached the peak of its popularity…it has been turned into a Hollywood movie! Hahaha!
The film was actually quite good compared with all the other game turned film out there. I mean as far game-turned-movie goes this one was actually pretty decent.
Probably one of the major reasons for that is because unlike its predecessors the film though modified has followed many of the major plots and sub-plots from the game itself. In this way the viewers, who I am sure are Tekken players like myself feels satisfied with the history and yet were entertained by the action and glamour of the film. Some hardcore people would probably shun the idea of putting a bit of emotional attachment in the film but I personally think it’s actually a nice touch and gave the movie a little extra something to offer. Honestly I would have welcome seeing the main characters continue their intimacy but then again that’s way out of context already and would probably cause Tekken fanatics to rally on the streets. So, I guess the film makers foresaw that and saved themselves the problem. I loved that in the end Jin remained unattached and not committed.
Oh and one negative comment about the movie the use of the word “TEKKEN” here Tekken was made out to be a place or an civilized area – one of the only 8 remaining strong group/corporations that survived during the war. It was like a country unto itself. It is a US-based group, the strongest among the 8 corporations and the host of the Iron Fist Tournament. WRONG! I mean any Tekken fan would immediately see the fault in that! Tekken literary translated means “Iron Fist” and the tournament was actually the prize that the winner would get as he emerged the champion. The control and management of the next Tekken tournament was the prize of whoever wins the present contest. That was one big deviation a fan would automatically see in the film. And finding that glaring mistake at the beginning of the film kindda gives you the impression that the movie would suck but be patient because it doesn’t really.
A plus point in the movie was that they are able to put in all the most recognizable characters. I mean Tekken has so many fighters in there but they were able to choose the ones that the fans would automatically recognize and would almost instantaneously up the bio of the characters in their heads. I mean, the first time I saw Jin in the movie my first thoughts were who his father, grandfather and great grandfather were; same goes with Nina Williams when I saw her I immediately upped who her sister and son from that chamber in my head which houses Tekken facts. That’s a wonderful touch really.
Another great point for the film is that they were able to maintain the elaborate backgrounds of the characters such as who Jin was. Who his mother was, and his father and grandfather; also why his father wanted to kill him and they were even able to show the same underlying partnership (though not compounded) between Jin and Hiehachi. I don’t know why but even in the game I get this feeling that Hiehachi liked Jin better than Kazuya; and with good reason too! Too bad they didn’t show the background about Nina and Anna or who Nina’s son was but I guess that would do for another movie.
The action scenes in the movie were superb! Kudos to the directors, casting crew and producers on that score. I read one article where the director was saying that one of the major considerations they had when choosing the actors was that they should know how to fight in real life, this is in order to make the fight scenes more realistic and natural. It wouldn’t look too contrived and there will be a more believable aspect to the fight scenes. Great thinking on that one! Actor Jon Foo was perfect for the role of Jin Kazama; I checked on his profile and both his parents were involved in martial arts – one was into karate and the other into judo. Please don’t ask me which one, I forgot. But anyways, Jon himself was a trained Wu Shu fighter and he was also well adept in Muay Thai, Aikido and some other form of martial and it showed in his action scenes. This guy was the real deal! And might I add that he looks better as Jin Kazama than Ryu of Streetfighter.
IMHO, all the casts were chosen perfectly and what the movie lacked in emotional aspects it sure made up for in angst and high-charged fights. Goodness I miss playing this game!
Oh and let us not forgot all the wonderful quotes his mother, Jun Kazama, kept giving him all throughout the film…honestly, I found myself jotting them down for future reference.
If you find a light hearted tone to this review, it’s because the movie required and delivered this sort of emotion. I do not believe that I would do the film any justice if I try to go down into deeper aspects of emotional stress and trauma where there is none. Like the game, the movie was made for entertainment and not to give the viewers a meaningful and deeper perspective of life. This film was for viewing pleasure and that it delivered completely. And one last comment – this movie was wayyyyy better than the previous one!
Gorgeous Jon Foo as Jin Kazama