Whenever Video Games get the special Movie adaptations, one of three things happen. 1) The Planets align and the people from Hollywood and a game studio actually produce a watchable movie. 2) A movie is made by someone that wrote the script by listing to a child’s rant of a game. 3) “Double Dragon syndrome”*
*Note: “Double Dragon syndrome” is a movie based on a child’s rant, whose own rant is based on another child’s lying rant about the game’s box art.
Many have tried to conquer the Video Game movie adaption. Gamers will argue about which movies are acceptable video game adaptations, and very few have passed without rebuttal from the gaming community. One passable movie is Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. There are some great anime adaption’s that are pretty accurate to the games; these animations are usually produced by the same company as the game studios, and made in the same country. If anything, it’s a zoo for American movie studio’s to visit to watch what an adaption should be like. But instead, they choose to go to strip clubs and Denny’s. Hence, the video game movie market is covered in pile. Buttery, salty pile.
Tekken is an upcoming movie that might be a movie that can be considered a decent martial arts film, but I have been disappointed before.The plot of the Tekken’s video game series is cross between the worst budgeted 70’s Kung-Fu movies and the left over chunks of a Power Ranger’s episode that didn’t get edited in America. For those who are not familiar with the Tekken series, it’s about a group of the weirdest martial arts to ever throw punches at each other to be the King of the Iron Fist. This involves the timeless roaster of a couple of dysfunctional families, furries, exotic pet animals, robots, underage & over developed teenagers, parodies of movie stars, and of course one or two fighters who brought weapons to a mix martial arts fight. For confusing reasons, every Tekken game revolved around people trying to win the King of Iron Fist to…like say they did it! There never is a clear reason what or why they these people fight in the Tekken Tournament expect for revenge or money. But most endings in the games are cannon since every new game made follows the Mishima/Kazama family and their endings are usually the most comprehensible; even if it involves family abuse and a technical raping.
Tekken was a 3D fighting game that you can win if you have skills. However, sometimes if you gamble away at the buttons, hoping your sequences of button mashing will input the correct move to perform the cheapest hits possible. You can brag that you mastered the rare 6 hit, 70+ damage attacks, but all of that could burn when a new player defeats you with a 3 punch combo. An automatic 3 punch combo that is performed by pressing 1 button 3 times. And God help you if they figured out the throw buttons. This is a common problem with fighting games, but it is a skid mark on a well paved road of game designs. To its credit, the year was 1994, and Tekken’s best rivals were the classic 2D sprites of Street Fighter, the bloody Mortal Kombat, and the no-none sense fighting game Virtual Fighter (a game that eradicated all the crazy game gimmicks and actual took skill to play. Look at the title; you knew exactly what you were playing). Video games could be made about a fast moving hedgehog that messed with technology, a female space bounty hunter who was chasing a purple alien dinosaur, and an earth worm named Jim. Just watching the trailer, I can predict the entire cliché plot, but I can as see bits of the game series poking through the Hollywood written glory hole. The first smart movie was to get a cast that resembles the video game characters, and they don’t have to actually talk or create character development. The beauty of movies based on fighting games is that there shouldn’t be lengthy dialogue. In fact, it should be a damn rule. Street Fighter failed on two parts because they hired the runner ups of an amateur cosplay event, and almost every character had pointless dialogue. Tekken’s is close to this problem, but there is no muck up of character history. (You remember when Ken and Ryu became con artists and faked being lords of war?) At least I assume so far.
The second smart move was to modify the movie towards the American market. Every modest gamer knows that anything based off a Japanese product usually have chunks that are lost in translation. So instead of movies like Ju-On, Ringu, Kario, and Dark Water; we get The Grudge, Pulse, and Dark Water (But Jennifer Connelly is in it!). So the culture is stripped and processed, the American way! You can first notice this when the fast pace trailer begins with random fight scenes, the sexual tension, generic rock music playing, the overplayed one sentence lines, and how much hope the other characters have riding on Jin Kazama like they already knew they had secondary roles.
The third smart move the production team has done was to hire Cary-Hiroyuki mother fucking-Shang Tsung Tagawa. Mr. Tagawa has experience in martial arts, Disney movies, and being in a video game based movie. Hopefully he has read the script and mention things that should be improved, such as more fight scenes and less talking. His role as Shang Tsung did have a bit of Bond-like villain traits like ranting about his plans and employing crappy warriors. In hindsight, Tekken isn’t going to be the best video game adaption or re-invent the martial arts genre. It certainly does not look like it will bring anything new to the martial arts table either. If anything it might just appear at the table, violently shake it while swiping a few objects , and then quickly leave as once it came.
Also, Japan is not fairing too well in the adaption’s either. Take a look at the trailer for Dead Rising The Movie. A movie that is based on a video game that is inspired by a movie(s).