For readers unacquainted with the video game series, the story is of the Mishima Zaibatsu, and how its heirs are fighting for control via a fighting tournament mostly translated as “King of the Iron Fist” (Tekken in Japanese). Supernatural elements come into play when the protagonist of the first and second story, Kazuya Mishima, is defeated by his father Heihachi, and was left for dead. Kazuya then lets a being called Devil into his soul in order to stay alive and eventually defeats Heihachi in the second installment of Tekken. He then went missing for about two decades. Enter Jin Kazama, son of Kazuya, and also an heir to the Devil Gene residing in Kazuya. Shit happens and as of Tekken 6, Jin is the CEO of Mishima Zaibatsu, in an ever-emerging apocalyptic world.
Fans of the original game series will more than notice the changes. For example, Steve Fox, who was in previous Tekken tournaments, ages ten years despite the fact that the movie deals with the introduction of Jin Kazama, and is loosely based on Tekken 3. Steve Fox was introduced in Tekken 4. And Jin’s father, Kazuya Mishima is somehow stuck between Tekken 1 and 2, never mind when Heihachi is taken from. It’s like the movie took the worst points of individual character’s developments and either ignores them, make new stuff up, and butchers them. It is the scud of the worst soup ever sipped.
There is a mildly "good" facet of the movie: some of the costumes. Jin’s gauntlets look amazing, for one. It’s probably the best thing to happen in the movie. But frankly speaking, I had a headache watching the film, and was relieved when it finally ended. The pace was weird, the acting stiff and awkward, and contained very little references to the actual game. I don’t think there were even any actually memorable moves from any of characters because there was little fighting, mostly shootings. This film shouldn’t even have “Tekken” associated with it.
As for the actors themselves…little are obviously well-known. Mortal Kombat fans might recognize Heihachi’s actor. Well, at least anyone that’s worth knowing.
Now onto the ratings:
Tekken gets a 4 out of 10 overall. I rate it 4 because while it’s lacking most of the characterizations in the video game series, the hardcore fans can see the loose parallels of the story in the film. However, those same fans can see they are loose parallels, and it just doesn’t work out. The only thing redeeming the film… is Jin’s gloves. I’m being totally serious; if there was anything they got right, it was Jin’s gloves, and some of the other costumes.
But that is about it, so save your gag reflex for another Maso Monday and skip out on the film. Unless you’re a fanatic Tekken cosplayer.