I was reading an article that director James Wan (original Saw, Conjuring 1&2 and Furious 7) had been linked to a reboot of Mortal Kombat, the film series based on the popular bloody fighting game franchise.
Video game movies have a history of being awful and the last Mortal Kombat film Annihilation, which came out way back in 1997, was so spectacularly awful that we are yet to see a new one. Co-creator Ed Boon described it as the “worst moment” in the history of the almost 25 year-old franchise.
Now the article about Wan is an old one and there has been nothing official about the new movie, but it got me thinking about movies based on tournament fighter games. That is a very dark rabbit hole with films that make Annihilation look like Citizen Kane.
So out of sheer morbid curiosity I decided to rank eight of the live action tournament fighter films. I will be doing this over the course of three posts, Rounds One to Three, over the next three days as all of them together may cause some form of brain damage.
So with a big SPOILER ALERT, mind you there is not a whole lot to spoil, here are the bottom of the barrel, the crap de la crap, of tournament fighting game films:
#8 Tekken 2: Kazuya’s Revenge (2014)
To be at the bottom of this list you have to be pretty bad. This movie was the absolute worst and would leave fans of the game blue in the face with vexation.
The story follows an amnesiac Kazuya in a village run by a cultish leader and forced to be an assassin as some weird test by his father Heihachi Mishima.
Does it make sense? No. Is there a tournament? No. How’s the fight scenes? Lame. What about characters from the game? There’s Bryan Fury but a weak version. And Heihachi does not even do any fighting.
This is a prequel to the first film and a highly unnecessary one at that. It feels like this was supposed to be a generic martial arts film and they just used the Tekken name as watch bait. Avoid this one at all costs.
#7 The King of Fighters (2010)
This film, based on the moderately popular SNK series, is better than Tekken 2, but in the way regular diarrhea is better than explosive diarrhea. It barely gets the edge for actually featuring some characters from the game in the movie.
But the film was obviously on a budget because instead of mixing up the fights the protagonists battle lesbian fighters Mature and Vice over and over and over again. Ray Park aka Darth Maul is dumb as villain Rugal and the plot about a mystical sword is stupid. For a martial arts action film you will be bored to tears. At least Maggie Q is pretty.
I first watched this film when a friend of my wife suggested it to her and said it was “so good”. It was the exact opposite of that.
#6 Tekken (2009)
This movie had the potential to be a decent popcorn flick but just wasted it. The premise is cool – following a Great War the world has been taken over by corporations with the titular Tekken ruling over North America. Tekken is controlled by Heihachi Mishima played by Cary Higoyuki-Tagawa, who also played Shang Tsung in the first Mortal Kombat film, and he looks ridiculous with the game character’s hair and eyebrows. Mishima and his evil son Kazuya host a fighting tournament called “Iron Fist” which our hero Jin joins to avenge his murdered mother.
Now Jon Foo as Jin is okay though he nor any of the other cast are in danger of being nominated for any acting awards. Ian Anthony Dale does a half decent job of being a menacing Kazuya. And you do see popular characters like Marshal Law, Yoshimitsu, Eddy Gordo and the Williams sisters.
Where the movie really falls down is the action. It’s just so blah and unimpressive and it is more MMA than beat-em-up. Also too much time is spent on shoot-em up scenes and rebel versus corporation stuff that we barely get much time in the ring. The climactic final battle between Jin and Kazuya is most anticlimactic.
But the worst is a scene where the actress playing Christie Monteiro walks around with her butt crack showing. No one told her that crack is whack? You know what else is whack? This movie.
So have you subjected yourself to these movies? What did you think of them? Feel free to comment below.
For Round 2 tomorrow, where we look at movies from Dead or Alive, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, and more film posts you can follow me on Twitter @suprememango012. And for my post on the characters I would like to see cameo in Wreck-it-Ralph 2 you can click here.
Julien is outie like a navel. L8rs.