Thursday, August 05, 2010

TEKKEN - Fix For Adrenaline Addicts

TEKKEN (action thriller)
Cast: Jon Foo, Luke Goss, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Chiaki Kuriyama, Mircea Monroe, Gary Daniels, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Cung Le, Ian Anthony Dale and Lateef Crowder
Director: Dwight H. Little
Screenplay: Michael Colleary, Alan B. McElroy and Mike Werb (based on videogame series)
Time: 92 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

PREAMBLE: In the tradition of Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and other fighting video-game series comes Tekken to the big screen. If you expect a cinematic treat the likes of The Dark Knight or Iron Man, you are on the wrong planet. However, if Tekken conjures for you visions of some handsome underdog hero fighting against grizzled hunks, and scantily-clad women attempting motions of kick-boxing and kicking-ass, you are on the right track.

And you may even be Tekken up by the action, at least in the first half of the movie.

THE SKINNY: Mainly, it deals with a handsome and rebellious Jin Kazama (Jon Foo) who gets reluctantly drawn into the Iron Fist tournament organised by the mighty Tekken Corp. Jin learnt to fight from his mother Jun (Tamlyn Tomita) who also warns him to stay away from Tekken and the Iron Fist tourney!

Of course, one thing leads to another and Jin finds himself in the highly-publicised tournament where he must fight contestants twice his size and having triple his experience. These are heavies like the 'bionic' Bryan Fury (Gary Daniels) and Russian contender Sergei Dragonov (Anton Kasabov). No prizes for guessing if Jin would tip the odds.

And oh yes, he also meets curvy femmes like Christie Monteiro (Kelly Overton, pictured right with Jon Foo) and Nina Williams (Candice Hillebrand) who provide the requisite teaser and eye candy. In the course of his battles, he learns the truth about himself!

HITS & MISSES: With fast-paced action, brief dialogues and some dazzling fight sequences, one can easily get taken away by the Tekken action, even if they are ludicrous and downright incredulous. The plot is predictable, even with its twist involving Jin and chief villain Kazuya Mishima (Ian Anthony Dale) and his father Heihachi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). Indeed, the plot barely helps to sustain the action sequences - and the fighting scenes get repetitive and stale in the second half of the film.

But then with a second-rate cast of relative unknowns, it is unrealistic to expect anything more than the visual delights of DOA. What we can be thankful for is that director Dwight Little has kept the flick within 90 minutes and does not show too many bloody and gory scenes (yes, some vid-game enthusiasts may find Tekken tame).

THE LOWDOWN: For fighting game fans and adrenaline addicts.


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