To say I was excited about the Tekken movie would be an understatement as I have been waiting eagerly for years to witness the characters I spent my childhood playing with for hours brought to life. Unfortunatly, the reality was that I was left rather underwhelmed by the whole experience.
To begin with, the plot of how Tekken came to be and the back stories of the characters had been completely changed. This was quite a blow for me, as an avid fan, as the story was one of the serie's strongest points, and one which most fans enjoy too. The Tekken franchise centres around Jin Kazama, Kazuya Mishima and Heihachi Mishima, and although all are present here too, their characters are altered greatly to that of the game. There is no real prescence around Jin, while Kazuya seems afraid of his father and is not the ruthless character to fear he appears to be in the games. Heihachi is portraited a little better, but ultimately he is too 'good' in the story too. There was not one mention of the Devil Gene throughout the film either, such a massive part of the original story, and something which both Jin and Kazuya have. Put simply, it was a different story in a different set up (Tekken is the name of an area of North America post World War III?) and i did not enjoy this. Far too many key characters were left out too, and some new ones were opted for instead, characters such as Dragonov and Miguel. There will most likely be a second outing at least though, so hopefully more memorable characters (Lei Wulong anyone?) will be introduced.
However, once I got over the fact that this was a new version of Tekken with the same characters and situations, only different, I grew to enjoy this movie, well, kind of. Yes Jin has a rather sudden rise to fame and this movie moves at lightening pace, but the story in itself is explained decently and the plot is ok. I was a little let down by the lack of fighting, this is after all a series about fighting and fighting only, but what is there is very good. The idea of a romantic link between Jin and Christie Montiero was crazy though, and was just put in for the sake of a romanting interest for Jin. Oh and the male viewers of course, as the actress who plays Christie, Kelly Overton, is a very attractive young woman indeed.
This is a decent film, however a few fundamental flaws hold it back from being truely great. It gets a seven from me simply because I really enjoyed seeing the characters I loved being brought to life, if you are not a fan of this series take that review as a five. To most this will be a basic, not very thought out fighting film with good looking fight scenes and even better looking women. To me it was meant to be so much more than that. At times it is too, but the changing of the plot so drastically found me falling out of love and touch with some of the characters I have known about since I was six years old. My only hope is that the sequel can build on this average, but at times quite enjoyable and exciting, movie, which promised so much to a fan like me and yet when delivered having been in that oven so long, came out somewhat half baked.