The Tekken movie has been completed for a little while now and lack of activity, including finding a distributor in the USA, has made many people think that this will be just another terrible video game adaptation. Something has finally emerged from the production in the form of its first official poster.
The film follows Jin Kazama (Jon Foo) in his attempts to rid himself of the devil which plagues his soul and confronting his father, Kazuya Mishima (Ian Anthony Dale) and his grandfather, Heihachi Mishima (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa).
In the year of 2039, after World Wars destroy much of civilization as we know it, the remaining territories are no longer run by governments, but by corporations; the mightiest of which is the Mishima Zaibatsu. In order to keep the masses down, Mishima sponsors the King of Iron Fist Tournament, or Tekken, in which fighters battle until one is left standing, who in turn will receive a lifetime of stardom and wealth. We are introduced to this violent world through the eyes of Jin Kazama who enters the tournament in order to avenge the death of his mother that he blames upon the Mishima Zaibatsu’s most powerful and controlling chairman – Heihachi Mishima. He knows that the only way to get close enough to Mishima to kill him is to win the tournament, but in doing so, he begins to uncover his own past and inner demons as well as exposing a dark underbelly to Tekken that threatens the very existence of humanity.
Although most video games (especially those based on fighting games) are usually dreadful, there are some positives about this adaptation of Tekken: it has retained its R-rating; the amazingly talented Cyril Raffaelli (District 13, District 13: Ultimatum) was the fight choreographer; some amazing martial artists are included within the cast such as John Foo in the lead role of Jin Kazama, Cung Le as Marshall Law, Gary Daniels as Bryan Fury, and Lateef Crowder as Eddy Gordo; some good casting decisions were also made in the form of Luke Goss (Blade II) as Steve Fox, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat) as Heihachi Mishima, and Nathan Jones (Fearless) as Craig Marduk (who the character was actually modeled after for the video games).
However, it should be noted that there are also reasons aplenty for fans of the series to be worried about this film. It has been directed by Dwight H. Little, who although is a prolific TV director, has a feature film resume that is not particularly impressive with efforts such as the Brandon Lee movie Rapid Fire and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, both of which were also written by Tekken’s scriptwriter Alan B. McElroy. To make matters even worse, McElroy is responsible for writting two of the worst action films ever made in The Marine and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.
Tekken is due to be released on March 6 2010 in Japan, is set for a straight-to-DVD/Blu-ray release on April 5 in the UK, but is currently not set for any type of release in the USA. That in itself is a very bad sign that the film could be as terrible as Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, which by the looks of things may not be the worst film based on a fighting game to be made once The King of Fighters movie is released.