This is the sequel to the 2009 live action Tekken movie (which I haven’t seen), but my understanding is that it’s actually a prequel. So, chronologically, it’s the first movie and I’d be totally fine watching it with no prior knowledge…right?
Before now, my only experience with the Tekken franchise was when I played the game on an arcade cabinet at Fuddruckers while in high school. I know there was a tiger character and a lizard person, but obviously they’re not in this movie because that would cost way too much to show onscreen.
The movie is set in a Judge Dredd-esque dystopian world and follows an amnesiac man named Kazuya (or “K”), played by Kane Kosugi – notable for playing Jiraiya in Kakuranger and being the son of Sho Kosugi. He’s captured by a group of assassins led by an eccentric man named “The Minister” and is forced to do his bidding.
Towards the end of the film, Kazuya and a friend kill the Minister to set themselves free from his thrall, but we then meet the true villain of the piece: Heihachi Mishima, a super important military guy and Kazuya’s father. We end on a cliffhanger with Kazuya going after him to get revenge, but we never see it. The movie should have been titled Prelude to Kazuya’s Revenge.
I’ve heard a lot of bad things about this film, so I was expecting it to be totally awful. Surprisingly it wasn’t. Though, remember, I’m a stranger to the Tekken franchise and I’m not sure it was an accurate portrayal of the universe and characters (I assume it’s not). It’s definitely low budget with an unremarkable story that’s slow as hell and stretched thin, featuring many scenes of nothingness and repeated flashbacks. But it had a decent atmosphere and Kane Kosugi was good. Or good enough, at least.
What really bugged me was that for a martial arts action movie, there weren’t enough fight scenes. In fact, at some points it felt like the film went out of its way to avoid them, with characters getting taken out in one hit. But the fight scenes we did see were good (though they still could have gone a bit longer and been more elaborate).
My favorite parts of the film were actually the quiet ones of Kazuya with his neighbor/love interest, like the one where she makes him spaghetti; it helped break up the dull, brooding scenes. I also dug some of the strange characters, like the Minister and his associates, and I wish the film was able to harness more of their energy.
This movie was $1, all right? I got my money’s worth and that’s really all anyone can ask for. If you find this at a dollar store (or on Tubi) and like low budget martial arts films, Tekken, or Kane Kosugi, then go for it.
Not as bad as I expected but still not a good film. There was a lot of potential, and a few minor changes would have elevated this to a 3-egg film.