Tekken (2010) – Review

3 Stars

Good casting and slick production values elevate this routine fight film to the level of Bloodsport and other notable pictures in the genre. Director Dwight Little is no stranger to this type of movie after having been the guiding force on the above average Brandon Lee flick Rapid Fire and the Jamaican themed Seagal starrer Marked for Death. In the future eight corporations have taken control of the world and the Tekken Corp. has seized American territories. Fascism is the rule of the day and people are forced to live in fear of illegal searches and no justice system.

Charismatic leading man Jon Foo is great as Jin, a scavenger for hire willing to cross the gang infected sectors of a waste zone know as Anvil. Jin is a loner only interested in survival, staying neutral on the global politics of the moment and uninterested in the oncoming rebellion between an underground resistance group and the executives that run Tekken. That is until the evil soldiers known as ‘JackHammers’ (an obvious nod to Stormtroopers) kill his mother. This leads to his entering of an Olympic-style tournament in which the best fighters amongst the corporate controlled territories gather to battle one another. This time the matches are being held in Tekken City.

From those meager plot points Tekken devolves into a series of nicely executed fight sequences featuring some highly talented stunt people and martial artists. The problem is that outside of these matches there is little else of interest going on. The story nods at earlier films in the genre, most notably Running Man, Star Wars and of course Enter the Dragon, arguably the most famous ‘fight’ film in cinema history. Where Tekken shines is in the flashy look and feel that Little and his collaborators are able to capture on a limited budget. I was never the biggest fan of the video game series this picture is based on. Enthusiasts may claim that certain details differ from the source material to what is presented on screen, but from an outsider’s perspective the story is told clearly to the point of ranking Tekken amongst the best of all video game to screen adaptions.

Director: Dwight Little
Stars: Jon Foo, Kelly Overton, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

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