November 26, 2011

Namco Bandai Pictures: Tekken: Blood Vengeance

Title: Tekken: Blood Vengeance
Director: Youichi Mouri
Writer: Dai Sato
Distributed By: Asmik Ace Entertainment, Bandai Entertainment
Starring: Carrie Keranen, Cristina Valenzuela, David Vincent, Kyle Herbert
Release Date: July 26th, 2011

Anna Williams (Tara Platt) sends Ling Xiaoyu (Carrie Keranen) over to a school in Kyoto on behalf of the G Corporation. Xiaoyu’s mission is to investigate a student named Shin Kamiya (David Vincent), who along with his other former alumni, had mysteriously disappeared for a while. Along the way Xiaoyu meets Alisa Bosconovitch (Cristina Valenzuela), a student with her heart set on Kamiya. And in the midst of the investigation, Nina Williams (Charlotte Bell) (working under Mishima Zaibatsu) is continuing her feud with Anna Williams. And the lineage of Jin Kazama (Patrick Seitz), Kazuya Mishima (Kyle Hebert), and Heihachi Mishima (Jamieson Price) are continuing their fight against each other, which could end in catastrophic destruction.

When it comes to fighting games, there’s three kings that reign supreme in both the arcade cabinets and the video game consoles. Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken. Mortal Kombat had one of the most awesome films of all time (not to mention some of the best soundtracks of all time). Street Fighter had a classic animated film (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie for you non-anime people). But Tekken…not so much. They had one lousy animated film and one lousy live-action film. Now, though, they’re trying once more with an all new CGI film. Tekken: Blood Vengeance is a film that goes balls to the wall and attempts to be a bit more faithful to the video game series. Whether it’s good or not is another question.

Could YOU fight in high heels? Yeah, didn't think so.

For starters, this is really a love letter to fans of the Tekken series. That’s not to say that you have to be a hardcore Tekken fan or even know anything about Tekken to enjoy it. But it sure does help.

Personally, I’m not a hardcore Tekken fan, but I have played Tekken Tag Tournament and Tekken III, so I do know just enough about the characters and setting to piece the plot together.

But even then, the plot can get pretty crazy. Pandas faster than a blue hedgehog. Chainsaw-arm wielding school girls. High heel sister fights. Which again, all relates to the video game, but even then it’s wacky when it gets translated to the film.

Only in Japan….

However, it’s not the plot that might turn off viewers. The plot can be fun if you take it for what it is (kind of like accepting the logic in a dream). However, much of the Japanese style and humor might turn off Western audiences. Not because it’s obscene or anything controversial. But it has things such as school girl crushes, fights that result in ultra destruction, and odd jokes.

But those things can also be fun if you take it for what it is. What can’t be taken for fun is the dialog. It’s not Engrish, the translation is well done. But the humor is lost at times. And also, going back to the Japanese style, the dialog is very direct. And the acting doesn’t help. Don’t get me wrong, the performances are all good and capture the characters well. But with the dialog and facial expressions, it’s very much expressive and over the top. Akin to the very early era of film where the actors would be very expressive rather than subtle. While it’s reminiscent of some of the cheesy anime stuff, it wasn’t so bad that I was overly aggravated with the film.

Lee Chaolan teaches Bishōnen 101.

With that being said, though, I’m sure many of you (including myself) aren’t going to see Tekken: Blood Vengeance for story or dialog. Much of its strength comes from the action scenes. Yes, they’re over the top, but that’s what makes it fun. No one can jump 9 feet (in high heels on top of that) or fall three stories and be OK. But the lack of realism allows them to get creative, and much of the fighting is in spirit of the Tekken games.

But the big draw here is the CGI. The CGI is beautiful, whether it be the models, lighting, or animation. Admittedly there are some flaws, like how the background can a lot of times be too plain and simple. And I know some of you are going to snide “well, it’s no Pixar animation.” But that’s what makes it impressive. The fact that it isn’t on a Pixar or Dreamworks budget yet is still impressive. Tekken: Blood Vengeance shows just how far 3-D animation has come over the years. And I can’t wait to see how far they’ll advance in technology with the next Tekken film (if they decide to make one).

Mishima Zaibatsu employs some ED-209s.

Tekken: Blood Vengeance may not be as memorable as Mortal Kombat or as deep as Street Fighter II: The Movie, but you know what? It’s zany fun if you take it for what it is. And if you’re looking for some eye candy (the CGI and action scenes, you perv), then you’re in for one hell of a treat.

Andrew Hudson

Review copy provided by Bandai Entertainment.



  1. Still haven’t seen this but I know it just HAS to be better than the live action film that recently came out.


    I saw Tekken B.V. over the weekend. The CGI action sences were awesome, but I could due without the “Twilight Dramma”.

    As far as the Tekken live action movie, if it was CGI it would have been a GREAT movie!! (But I did like it)

    So if it’s a rainy day and you have all your chores done, Tekken B.V. is worth wasting 90 minutes of your to watch.

    • I think my problem with the Tekken live action movie was how many of the characters came off. The biggest upsets to me were Heihachi, Jin, Christie, Nina, & Anna. Since it’s a fighting game I wasn’t expecting anything steller in terms of story but I did expect better fight scenes. Lateef Crowder as Eddie was perfect because he’s an actual Capoeistra but most of the other characters used generic movie fight choreography styles that we’ve seen many times before. With only a brief glance at their signature moves from the game. The brief Parkour scenes were cool but other than that I was very much let down and that was after watching it about 3 or 4 times.

  3. Kristin

    Have you read/seen Twilight? Because in comparison, Tekken’s got like .05% drama.


    @ Kristin , yes I have seen the Twilight movies, (for the sake of my daughter and girlfriend) and after my eyes and ears bled of all that teen dramma I thought the pain would be over.

    Then I saw Tekken B.V. and those feelings of (a 1000 cats screaming at one time) started to come back. The only thing that saved me from jumping out the window was the hardcore god-like fight scences in Tekken B.V.

    With the live action movie, I loved how most of the charcters looked. I just wish the story could have been better, and I loved how they had the actor who played the main bad guy in Mortal Kombat was playing as Heihachi in Tekken. You gotta love Hollywood.

    • You said –
      “With the live action movie, I loved how most of the charcters looked. I just wish the story could have been better, and I loved how they had the actor who played the main bad guy in Mortal Kombat was playing as Heihachi in Tekken. You gotta love Hollywood.”

      I hated how everyone looked.
      And Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa is perfect for Shang-Tsung. But not Heihachi Mishima.

      I hate that movie almost as much as I hate Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

      • THE SMOKE


        That’s alot of HATE Aaron.

        Since I was around and played when the very 1st Tekken game came out, and to see some of the characters come to life was a good first run to see them on the movie screen.

        You see to have someone making an effort to put a live Tekken on the screen is not a small task. That’s not to say a better live action Tekken film is not far around the corner.

        Look at Mortal Kombat we had to wait well over 15 years before Mortal Kombat Legacy.

        So when it comes down to it , these video game movies are not going to please everyone but at least they are being put out, so stop crying about how much you HATE this movie and take it for what it is.

        A poor man’s Mortal Kombat movie and just watch it!! 🙂

      • Cary was a great Shang Tsung when it came to acting but the fighting sucked. He was definitely NOT a good choice to play Heihachi Mishima just in terms of how the character looks. Heihachi is up there in age but he is still a very physically imposing man who looks like he’ll punch through you. Cary doesn’t have that physical build to even begin to impose that type of fear and doninance. So what we get is a very watered down and generic version of the character who pales in comparison to the character in the games. I didn’t believe for one minute that this was the man capable of tossing his kid off of a cliff with a smile on his face.

        I know it’s hard to cast actors who can act and perform the fight choreography well and in the end it’s the acting that counts. But in a movie that’s based off of a fighting game it blows when the fight scenes are about as weak as the acting. After being a Tekken fan since the first game came out and watching how far they have come along with what we’re capable of doing in film it still amazes me when some basic elements can’t be pulled off successfully. Sisters Nina and Anna having a threesome with Kazuya was just silly and seemed like one of those forced plot points.

        I know it didn’t have a HUGE budget but there were plenty of characters to pull from whose martial arts styles didn’t require expensive flashy effects just men/women who could pull off the fights effectively.

  5. I actually have a weird soft spot in my heart for the old Tekken anime.
    Also, it had a kick-ass soundtrack much like the MK movies.
    But still I know it’s not so good, but I love it.

    I HATE HATE HAAATE the live-action movie.

    But this review gives me hope for the Tekken CGI flick. I’ll check it out.

    I know that the old anime was loosely modeled after Tekken 1 and 2.
    Is this one based on any particular game? Or a story set after the games?

    Like Street Fighter: The Ties that Bind was based on SF IV.
    But Alpha and Alpha Generations, were just weird new stories not based on any game.

    At any rate…
    Great write-up.

  6. SpidermanGeek

    I’m a huge Tekken fan, I’ll be checking this flick out soon. Saw the original Motion Picture (anime) and the live-action flick. The live-action definitely sucked balls, I was only mildly entertained by the fact that I was seeing my favorite characters in Live-Action. Eddie Gordo and Bryan Fury pulled off the best looking characters, but they were the worst actors in the movie, lol.

  7. I THINK Tekken Blood Vengeance is the best 3D movie that i’ve watched ^_^

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