When it comes to movies based on video games it’s always good to have low expectations. You’re going to be very disappointed if you try to take them seriously. I dropped my guard with Tekken: Blood Vengeance, the new CG film based on the series. The trailers made it look awesome and Namco did a great job hyping it up. It certainly couldn’t be worse than the live action atrocity, that’s for sure.
On July 26th, there was a special showing of the movie in select theaters for one night only. This was going to be my only chance to see the Blood Vengeance before it’s released on Blu-ray later this year. As a huge fan of the Tekken series there’s no way I was going to miss this opportunity.
The opening scene for Blood Vengeance starts off promisingly. It just gets straight to the action with Nina and Anna going at it. It was awesome… until they started talking. The voice acting was passable at that point but you could already tell that it was off. The entire movie falls apart shortly after the intro.
Instead of dealing with the actual King of Iron Fist Tournament, Blood Vengeance features an original story centered around Xaioyu and Alisa. The only other characters in the movie are Panda, Lee, Ganryu, Jin, Kazuya, Mokujin, Anna, Nina, and Heihachi. That’s it. Nearly the entire roster from the Tekken series is mysteriously absent for some reason. What’s even crazier is that a new character is introduced just so the movie even serves a purpose.
Basically, without getting into too many spoilers, Xiaoyu is sent to a school in Kyoto to get information on a student named Shin Kamiya. She ends up meeting Alisa along the way and they somehow form a friendship in the span of two seconds. The pacing of the film makes little to no sense. They just become best friends forever and that’s all that matters apparently.
What really caught me off guard was how awkward everything was. When Xiaoyu first meets Alisa the camera slowly pans up her body as this romantic music plays in the background. “What the hell, did she fall in love?” is the immediate response from the crowd. And then you see Alisa running in slow motion moments later for some reason. It really made no sense.
There’s nothing but unintentional sexual tension between the two characters from that moment on. Nearly everything they said to each other could be completely misconstrued. It doesn’t help that there’s a scene where Xiaoyu just randomly cuddles up to Alisa after mentioning how warm she feels. Oh, and Xiaoyu is wearing nothing but a towel. She’s been wearing nothing but a towel for quite some time actually. And she also called Alisa a refrigerator.
The awkwardness doesn’t stop there. Sometimes the camera would creep up on Xiaoyu’s and Alisa’s legs whenever they spoke. It’s as if the person behind the camera (who doesn’t exist) was a pervert trying to get upskirt shots the entire time. At one point both characters are spying on Shin taking a shower. It is later revealed that he was watching them watch him through a hidden camera in the bathroom. “WTF, that’s creepy as hell” one person in the audience proclaimed. It gets even creepier when we learn that Shin wasn’t by himself in the shower. Some random person in uniform was just standing there watching him. This entire movie seemed like some sort of a sick fantasy.
And don’t get me started on the dialogue. Every sentence was pretty much directly translated from Japanese. This possibly explains why the voice acting sounded so bad in the first place. At one point, the entire theater couldn’t stop laughing during a scene that was supposed to be taken seriously. It’s the moment the entire movie was building up to and it was completely ruined because every sentence had sexual undertones to them. It starts off with Shin telling the Mishima bloodline “You’re after my body” and it just goes downhill from there. I’m starting to think that this was deliberate. It had to be.
For what it’s worth the fight scenes are awesome. The characters actually use their techniques from the game and that’s always cool to see. One of the last fights in particular was ridiculously epic and clearly inspired by the intro sequence from Tekken 5. It was easily the best fight scene I’ve seen in quite some time, which makes me wonder why the entire movie wasn’t like that.
What really broke my heart was how everything was completely butchered and full of cliches. Why do tears bring a robot back to life? Why does Kazuya’s voice sound so awful? Seriously, people in the theater laughed the moment he opened his mouth for the first time. I’ll never look at him the same way again. And for some reason the ending turns into some weird mixture of Dragon Ball Z and every other anime you’ve ever seen. Of course, two BFFs saving the world is not exactly what I was expecting from Tekken either.
At the end of the film there was an interview with Katsuhiro Harada and screenplay writer Dai Sato. It seemed like Harada-san was actually making fun of Blood Vengeance indirectly. Everyone was laughing at his reactions to there not being a tournament and how almost none of the characters in the game were used at all.
Tekken: Blood Vengeance will be included in the special Tekken Hybrid Blu-ray which is due to release later this year. While the movie itself might not be worth it, the inclusion of Tekken Tag Tournament HD and Tekken Tag 2 Prologue makes it a must buy for any Tekken fan. Hopefully that hilarious interview with Harada makes it in as well.
Man, this sounds hilarious :oD
Was it completely dubbed in English. Why didn’t they make it that the the Japanese people like Jin, Kazuya and so on spoke Japanese and the other characters spoke their own languages or why wasn’t it completely in Japanese their voice acting is usually a lot better sure you have to read if you don’t understand Japanese but i think all of the people who see this movie know how to read
I’m willing to bet people will buy it, or rent it to see just how bad it is.
The Street Fighter Alpha movie was kinda like this, close-ups of various feminine areas.
Ohh wow, this just seems unreal, apart from the sexual tension and creepy parts, which in my mind are just the product of Japanese culture (I received Tetsuo 2 for christmas, oooooh boy…).
upskirt eh?… must’ve been talking through their asses…. their cute, pert….oops, better stop there.. :-)
I’ve only ever enjoyed one game-movie adaption which was Silent Hill, I’ve come to accept that, that one movie seems to be the exception to the general rule that these adaptions are rubbish.
Oh yeah, I totally forgot about that one. It WAS good!
I’m a huge fan of CG movies. I really like Advent Children, even imported AC Complete on Blu-ray from Japan. I thought Resident Evil Degeneration was decent enough to watch. This is actually made by the same team.
The best animated movie based on a game is Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. That one just did it right.
The Lone Steven
I suppose we can be glad that he who shall not be named under of punishment of i could’t think up of a new punishment so err kittens didn’t have anything to do with this. I thought Tekken was about a fighting tourment and each character using the prize money if they won to solve their personal problems. Prehaps, i’m being a bit harsh on this as i have seen several games get treated like dirt by hollywood. I think i may rent it to see how good/bad it is.