Tekken the movies
November 14, 2020

By now I have seen all what the media could ever get out of Namco's flagship fighting series, Tekken and the whole consensus can be determined that all are hits and misses altogether. The live action movies leave a lot to be desired and the Anime does it as well, although it does try to at least have some sort of substance on its story instead of just being totally mindless like most fighting game animated ports.

The first live action movie came out in 2009, a year when Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li came out as well so it would had been a tough decision on what to watch between the two for gamers. For one, the first live action Street Fighter, while not good, it was campy enough to take it as a parody of the popular Capcom game, but then Legend of Chun Li tried to be something that could never hoped to be and fans simply chose to ignore it even existed for the most part. On the other hand, Tekken would had its first foray into the medium, trying to test the waters and see if it could live to gaming fans' expectations a lot more than others on the genre before it.
Of course it didn't.

Tekken placed the entire story around Jin Kazama who goes into a quest to confront his father Kazuya within the tournament all while fighting off others who are also within said tournament for their own reasons. Yeah, Kazuya is here despite the fact that this movie takes storyline events from Tekken 3 which Kazuya was pretty much absent from and the fact he would not even be around Heihachi at any given time of his life before then being that he tossed him into a pit when he was a child, later into a frickin' volcano by the end of the events of Tekken 2. The movie trying to cement some sort of history between Jin and Kazuya seems pretty pointless this being the case. You could have omitted Kazuya and it would not change anything at all, having Jin confronts Heihachi instead.

I also have this nitpicking about Yoshimitsu's role here, being portrayed as Kazuya's henchman when its well known he is in actuality a good guy in the game series and would not side with evil no matter how tempting the offer would had been. This comes from the same misdirected assumption that looks can surely determine the role of a character and well, Yoshimitsu doesn't exactly look like an aspiration to anyone when they first see him on his weird and wicked costumes that change with every game. I could forgive it for the fact this is a movie about fighting and not any sort of deep, compelling story being that Jin is the hero here and no one else.

Besides all that the movie is quite fair, the fights are pretty entertaining, and even when not every single character would make an appearance, at least they would not be wasted on having a cheap cameo or a single scene or two then disappear completely. Isn't that right Mortal Kombat Annihilation?

While the first Tekken movie was moderate at best, its sequel, Kazuya's Revenge is a total forgettable turd. Released in 2014 it features Kazuya Mishima as the new central hero of the movie out of nowhere, and the title baits you into thinking that this well could reflect events on the first two Tekken games being what I said on the history between him and his awful father Heihachi. However this would not be the case and we are left with a droll Kazuya wandering around wanting to get back at Heihachi with not much context given as to what the hell happens in the entire movie. Also almost none of the game's cast of characters ever appear here either, something that is quite shameful being that at least you could add them for some fight scenes that could had given this movie an excuse to be around. Sure, this movie could had done its work in explaining why Kazuya was ever around Heihachi in the first movie being a prequel and all but it simply can't bother itself to tell you a compelling story about it. Pass.

Lets take a step back into the 90s when an Anime adaptation was created. Tekken the...hm...motion picture is a two-part OAV that tells the story of Kazuya seeking revenge on Heihachi for tossing him out into his death as a child, all the while Jun Kazama tries to soothe his rage before the devil gene consumes him. Unlike the live action movies that came after it the Anime actually tried to add what it could from the games' storylines even when it would not feature all the characters to share their own, having them just posed in the background like cardboard cutouts and not even giving them fighting scenes at all. Shame.

But the story is a lot more passable and you do get some nice animation fight scenes here and there. This Anime can serve as a nice side story to the events of the first two games even when it doesn't follow such to a T. I could recommend this into your Anime collection for the sake of novelty more than anything really.

So what is the final verdict on all these? Well, you could check out the first live action movie solely for the fight scenes on it and little else, and the Anime for the sake of being an Anime adaptation of the game with not much added into it. None of these could top the feature length Street Fighter Anime film or the first Mortal Kombat live action movie, but they are not that bad in comparison to *other* movies and animation ever done about such games either.

Tekken 2 however you would make yourself a favor and only watch it to riff it the way bad movies were in MST3K. Otherwise don't waste 2 hours of your life on it.

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