Director: Dwight H. Little
Writer: Alan B. McElroy
Film adaptations for video games have a bad rep, especially those of fighting games. First attempts to capitalize the success of those video games were from the nineties when they made the film adaptations to Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. They were both terrible and Street Fighter is one of the funniest crappy movies ever made. Almost a decade later movie studios tried again by giving the audiences film adaptations to several fighting games like Dead Or Alive, Tekken and Street Fighter (a shitty yet hilarious film remade to be just shitty). Today I want to take another look at one of them, namely Tekken.
Based on a PlayStation fighting game from Namco / Bandai Entertainment, Tekken is set in a dystopian future, where the world is totally owned by megacorporations (surprisingly not by Apple, though). The United States is owned by the biggest corporation of all, Tekken, which is owned by Heihachi Michima (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). The country is divided by class differences which separates the rich from the poor and the segregation is enforced by Heihachi’s power-hungry son Kazuya Mishima (Ian Anthony Dale).
The hero of the film is Jin Kazama (Jon Foo), a street rat who uses his agility and speed to scrounge up food for survival. When Kazuya’s troops kill Jin’s mom, he vows to avenge his mother, mistaking the killer as Heihachi. In order to get close to him he enters into a fighting to tournament arranged by Heihachi. He is successful in the tournament and is getting closer to his goals, but is interrupted when Kazuya stages a coup against his father. Jin is forced to fight back with his new friends and also evaluate the price of revenge.
Clocking at approximately 87 minutes, the film has very little time to build a coherent history of the world and add details to story and characters. The film mostly races from one fight to the next. And while it’s nice that the film doesn’t try to exceed its welcome the brisk pace of the film leaves the viewer feel underwhelmed. The fights in the film thankfully have little to no wire work in them so they feel grounded and gritty, if also a bit ‘meh’.
The acting ranges from clichéd to really clichéd. The actors look the part but they’re as invested in the film as actors in a car commercial. Well, both jobs pay the bills equally, so no wonder.
Alan B. McElroy’s script is atrocious and the backstory of the future dystopia feels flimsy at best. The editing, music, cinematography and production design all feel rushed and by the numbers. Veteran action director Dwight Little (Rapid Fire, Marked for Death) brings his professional eye along and directs competently. But that’s not the reason I write about this film. No, the film does something spectacular that I haven’t seen in any film before and after Tekken. This films greatness lies somewhere else, in something so simple yet effective. Are you ready? I’m talking about ass cleavage.
Namely Kelly Overton’s ass cleavage. Costume designers Shawn Holly Cookson and Nicole Schott came up with something so unique and ridiculous as ass cleavage and should be commended for doing so. This is why the Academy invented the best costume design category at the Oscars. The film isn’t very subtle in its depiction of the female gender, considering that women are mostly eye candy and every single lady in the film is treated as such. Actress Kelly Overton is very easy on the eyes and the makers of the film try to enhance this aspect to the max. So the ass cleavage is like dialing the sexiness-overdrive up to eleven.
Hey, I’m all for equality and giving more attention to the rights for women. But I’m also someone who appreciate the fine form and beauty of the opposite sex. I’m not made of stone, after all. And ass cleavage goes so much off the charts that I have to appreciate the ludicrousness of even the idea of such a thing. Tekken as a film is unremarkable, but the efforts of the costume department are something that should be seen and discussed.
Ass cleavage rating: Eleven
Best Scene: The fights are good, but so are Kelly Overton’s moves at the dance floor. So it’s a tie.
Most Memorable Bit: The spirited conversation about the nature of revenge between Jin Kazama and Raven. Oh wait, I meant the ass cleavage.