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Weskalia's Tekken Tv Review

Tekken Tekken Screenshot Xiaoyu, Alisa and Panda. Tekken Screenshot The Williams sisters sure know how to make an opening dynamic. Tekken Screenshot Will the next Tekken game have a boss like this? Tekken Screenshot So many Tekken characters so little time to appear.

Tekken tv Review

Story & Characters

Some time after the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5 and the death of Mishima Heihachi, Kazama Jin takes control of the Mishima Zaibatsu, and continue his endless conflict against his father, head of G Corporation Mishima Kazuya. Their rivalry is again ignited violently when they receive information about a student named Kamiya Shin, who appears to have some connections with the Devil Gene, so both party send a spy of their own. From Kazuya's side, he recruits high school student Ling Xiaoyu to transfer to Kamiya's school in Kyoto. It will not be easy, however. Even if she can get the helps from her new friend Alisa Bosconovitch, Kamiya himself seems reluctant to cooperate. Then Kamiya is soon captured by an unknown assailant, putting Xiaoyu and Alisa unite to complete the task in their own ways while the indestructible forces of both father and son pointing their fists at each other faces. (Indestructible, so was Jinpachi though, and look where that got him.)

The outrageous fighting and knowing camp that made Tekken a successful franchise are still in force in its second anime adaptation, but there are differences here - and not small ones. Like its cousins Devil May Cry or Sengoku Basara, their anime were simple and elemental: action for action's sake, fast and furious. Like Tekken: Blood Vengeance, it is more careful, less headlong - divided between its need to rock the house and a desire to say something. Uh-oh.

I know that a show needs something to distinguish it from the pack, all the more so if the show is a big conglomeration of anime action cliches. But really? The plot will also sound like something you've seen before: two big tyrants ready to bring the whole world down to capture a human, then Xiaoyu meets a girl, Alisa, befriends her, then learns her true motives, there's a bigger plot than just some random kidnapping, then the tyrants throw the conflict into chaos, only to keep it a long, persistently outrageous fight with less personal traits and more annoying cliche gimmicks. The rest of the movie supplies some of the connective tissue that the prologue lacked, but still not a whole lot in the way of self-awareness.

The approach has its advantages. However shallow they remain, the characters are expanded. They gain emotional and intellectual dimensions they didn't have previously, even going so far as to elicit sympathy. The Mishima, namely Heihachi and Kazuya, was a force of pure evil, much the way a tornado is a force of nature. They were less a person than an embodiment of all that is ruthless and ugly and destructive in the world. Their goal weren't noble or even comprehensible on human terms; it was death and destruction, not for what they could gain him. Jin is a human. Make no mistake, he's nearly as indomitable a foe as Heihachi and Kazuya; but his goals are concrete and understandable and his motivations complex and personal. He is strong, but also fundamentally flawed, given to acts of inhumanity for human reasons. He is also, curiously enough, a lot less interesting than his predecessors. No matter what happened, what stress they were put under, what the movie threw at them, the Mishima remained an evil cipher. Jin, on the other hand, is eventually laid bare as yet another tyrant ruled by the conviction that might is right.

The Mishima isn't alone the movie's mad energy. The protagonists are complicit in it too. Too many of the second-tier protagonists are made to wait on the sidelines - the Williams sisters continue their deadly rivalry while enjoy humiliate each other (in Anna's case, her sadism shines more as Xiaoyu's supervisor), Lee becomes a dandy teacher though he only promotes comic relief. Third-tier characters, like Kamiya Shin, have token influence at best. (And just to spoil things a little, he's probably one of the most underwritten characters in history). And the main protagonists spend more time wrestling with personal problems than kicking ass.

The movie takes precious time out from the clashing of heroes and blowing up of things to focus on Xiaoyu's adventure, address the events that led to its formation, and detail the clash of her version of feisty personality with that of naive Alisa. The grinding of her development is also a lot less dynamic, but far more colorful than most of her almost annoying Tekken game versions, steered as it was by her monomaniacal devotion to Jin - whether it served her strategic purposes or not - while much time is also spend on Alisa's fight to reconcile her violent path with her kind nature and forge a philosophy of her own, independent of her master. That has its own drawbacks - the strategies within strategies require an awful lot of dull exposition - but it's still nice to see characters developed more instead of big blasts of chi.

Rating: 4

Art

The show can go too far in pursuit of awesomeness - most notably in its characters' attire. The characters themselves are handsome, and their outfits are borrowed from the latest main game. Anna's Chinese dress getup is probably the sexiest, with Nina's tight assassin suit not far behind, and the various new monstrous designs of the devils making first place a preparation for battle.

Detailed with Namco's resource and Digital Frontier's muscle, a studio that known for their 3D computer-animated forte, the fights are enriched by the additional intellectual and emotional context to be sure, but make no mistake: spectacle is still their raison d'etre. This is a movie whose action sequences are so ludicrously pumped-up that mountain split, skies are rent, and buildings are pummeled into non-existence. Through it all Digital Frontier's animation remains vital and vibrant, following characters over chasms, through explosions, and into battle after battle. Sometimes the action is rendered cleanly, sometime in exaggerated smears of motion, but always it is big and bombastic and cool, cool, cool. Cool moves, cool shouts, cool chi-splosions that rip through buildings and hordes of soldiers to cool effect.

Rating: 9

Sound

Tekken: Blood Vengeance delivers a predictably solid dub: fun and kind of hammy. In short, everything it should be. It suffers in comparison to the original only because the Japanese cast is crammed with insane amounts of talent. Jin loses the compassionate voice that Chiba Isshin brings, the Williams sisters have some of cold intensity whereas in the original, they sound carefree. None of the losses is as major as the passing of Gori Daisuke's inimitable insane Heihachi, but his new seiyuu is still felt. On the plus side, Lee's funny English "Excellent" remarks are blessed in comic relief. Still, the movie's raw visual impact isn't its greatest strength. That, and its musical impact, which consists a variety of blasts of anachronistic rock and demonic chanting are as good as any punch or explosion at getting one's blood up.

Rating: 6

Presentation

Contrasting Tekken's main games and the movie is instructive, but one shouldn't let it obscure their similarities. Both are thoroughly preposterous re-interpretations of your favorite fighting game characters as a DBZ-styled free-for-all, best enjoyed by turning your brain off and letting their big, spectacular action sequences carry you along. They differ only in the density of fighting and the context they provide for it. If you're looking for context, this movie will scratch that itch better than the games and probably seem less like a blur of fighting game characters beating each other up in the bargain. And yet still only rarely are these minutes as fulfilling as any successful movie before it. It's nothing qualitative; just a simple matter of magnitude. Not that it isn't still loads of fun.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Story: 4
Characters: 4
Art: 9
Animation: 10
Voice: 6 (sub)/6 (dub)
Music: 7
Overall: 6.25

Good:
+Greater focus more on strategy and characterization.
+Lots of eye-popping action.
Bad:
+Isn't as good at strategy or characterization as it is at kicking butt, making for a net loss of appeal.

Rating: 6

Final Verdict

5.83 (average)

Reviewed by Weskalia, Jul 18, 2012

Comments

  1. Dancerinthedark Jul 18, 2012

    I remember watching this movie two months ago or more, I did not like it a lot, not so much admiration for the game play
    There are some non-logical moments in the film and the main character (the boy), calculated that it would be a strong and important role in the story but it turns out the opposite! He died in one fell swoop! lol
    And also there is no diversity in the film Characters, so I agree to give this movie 6.17 degrees
    thanks for the review Weskalia-san!

  2. CyanideBlizzard Retired Moderator Jul 18, 2012

    KYUN KYUN PAWNCH!

    I'm probably one of the few that actually enjoyed the Hollywood release of Tekken. It really focused on what mattered the most, and that was the great battles. They gave some nice nods to characters in the games and personally, I found the story enjoyable enough. Certainly not a masterpiece, but there have been plenty worse live action video game based flicks.

    This however, was a train wreck in the fullest sense of the word. The best thing it had going for it, was that it looks stunning. That's pretty much where the positives stop and the negatives begin.

    This gentleman pretty much sums up my thoughts on the entire movie. (Warning, Video in Link has strong language)

    As in terms of your review, I think you captured it perfectly. Like always, you find a nice way to balance out between being honest, yet fair. I'd have a hard time writing a review on this without being completely biased, just because it was so blah for me.

    Go you, Wes! The Review Queen is back.

  3. SnickerdoodleNinja Moderator Jul 19, 2012

    Oooh, I remember the Tekken games. Haven't played them in years though. *rush of childhood memories*

    Wow, to be honest I never they had made movies of the games. Guess it shouldn't surprise me, though. I'll admit, I'm usually not a fan of action films unless my purpose is to make fun of them, but I'm kind of tempted by the visuals and VERY tempted by the giant panda, so who knows. I might actually watch this one.

    As for your review, I think this is a great example of a review that I would recommend to people writing on something that falls into average scores: writing about something average is harder for me to make interesting than anything else, yet you were extremely fair and still made it a lot of fun, highlighting its appeal despite not it not being a masterpiece. :) Lovely job!

    P.S. I really mean that, so don't think I'm just trying to flatter you. ;)

  4. Drakill Oct 10, 2012

    Wow thats a bad score for Tekken. I didn't think the story line was that bad. Yes they could've done a lot more but anyway.
    Nice review overall. I'm a Tekken fan ;)

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