Monday 2 May 2011


Out now on DVD and Blu-Ray is this movie adaptation of the popular game franchise. Watch the trailer and read my review, next...

In a world where everything is ruled by corporations, Jin (Jon Foo) finds his mother murdered by agents of Tekken so decides to use his martial arts skills in the tournament of Iron Fist in an effort to avenge her. Taking guidance from ex-boxer Steve Fox (Luke Goss), Jin soon makes his way into the contest, but when his fighting style is recognised by the evil Kazuya (Ian Anthony Dale), Jin must deal with some unexpected revelations about his mothers past.

In the lead role of Jin we have the English stuntman John Foo, a fighter of some skill and an actor of notsomuch skill. I suppose we should be thankful that for once a film has managed to avoid the Hollywood de-Asianing that's been happening of late (see The Last Airbender, Dragonball, etc), even if he's quite European looking. As the head of the Iron Fist contest we have Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, bizarrely fright-wigged to resemble a cross between Ken Livingstone and Keith Flint from the Prodigy. At least Ian Anthony Dale does a good evil, even if he's a bit too pantomime villain at times.

Once again we have an appearance from my old friend Luke Goss, and although he's not the worst thing in the film (even if he feels the need to assert his Britishness by calling everyone a wanker), he's terribly wasted. In a film that based on the principle that people will fight a lot, Goss is never given the opportunity to showcase any of the martial arts athleticism I know he has. There's a few punches thrown here and there, but nothing you wouldn't see on a typical friday night after pub closing time.

Most of the other characters are completely unimportant, and once they've served their minimal purpose are hastily forgotten about. As for what passes for a script, it's dull, run-of-the-mill family revelations hokum with a painfully obvious conclusion from the first frame of the film. Apparently this film had a budget of $35 million, which if that's true, I'd think about investigating the off-shore holdings of the films producers. The sets are standard Running Man knock-offs, none of the actors are bankable names and the fights owe more to fast editing than martial arts skills. It looks cheap, it sounds cheap, it is cheap.

Not even fans of the game franchise will find much to enjoy here. Horrible acting, terrible direction and only mediocre fight scenes. Add this one to the ever increasing list of poor video game adaptations; in fact, place it high up on that list.


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