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Tekken (Blu-ray Review)

It is now time for a little video game to live-action-film adaptation…in high definition, of course.  We are here to review Tekken on Blu-ray.   I still remember playing Tekken all those many years ago (1994) when it was at the forefront of the one-on-one fighting game platform during the whole Street Fighter II craze.  The characters were different and so were their moves.  Geez, fast forward it, at this point, to almost TWENTY YEARS later and here we are with Tekken, the live action film!  Will it do what many others have tried in vain to not do: Suck?  Keep reading and find out!  

Film 

In the year 2039, the world as we know it ends and out of the rubble rise the corporations.  What few remaining territories are left are also governed by these corporations.  Wars no longer exist, but have been replaced with gladiatorial combat.  Tekken is the is the most powerful of these corporations and rules with an iron fist.

Jin (Jon Foo) is a street rat (not really) who is involved in the underground espionage movement to bring the Tekken corporation down.  He remains neutral, but does sell items belonging to Tekken on the black market.  This, of course, brings him into the spotlight of the ever watchful corporation as they end up trying to kill him, but destroy his home and slum.  With zero alternatives left he enters an open casting call hosted by Steve Fox (Luke Goss), who ends up being his manager.

On the surface, Tekken does look really good in terms of production.  It better, because the film cost 35 million dollars to make, and there is absolutely no reason why certain cgi shots look like they came out of a SYFY film.  The actual physical architecture looks great, though.

The major reason why Tekken suffers is that the story is actually pretty lame.  I will say that all of the fights are EXCELLENT, and that’s due to my favorite martial artist-choreographer in the business, Cyril Raffaelli’s doing.  Another reason to not dismiss the film completely is due to the exquisite Kelly Overton who plays the character of Christie Monteiro.  She is ridiculously HOT.  You’ll notice that we used two photos of her for this review.  That was intentional.  Her motto should be “crack kills,” because it certainly does!  😉

As I made mention earlier, the fights in Tekken is all we really care about and the production has assembled a great list of actual martial artists.  Under Cyril’s tutelage they pull out all the stops, and the punches and kicks all land with great ferocity.  Even Kelly, who I know, is no martial artist fights in a very believable fashion.  I bought it.

I will say that Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa’s make-up as the CEO of Tekken corporation is incredibly lame and very distracting.  I’m all for character authenticity, but if you’re not able to do it properly for live action, then change it up a bit.  It’s laughably bad.

Again, the fights are great, the story sucks, but if you’re a fan of the franchise or the game then it’s all on you to check it out.  I only work here.   Oh, and two words for ya. KELLY OVERTON.  Have mercy.

Video 

Tekken is presented in 1080p 2.35:1 widescreen.  Tekken has an extremely bold and colorful palette.  Skin tones, for the most part, are natural and healthy looking.  Black levels are quite strong, but do crush just a bit in certain areas.  Contrast runs hot just a bit here and there.  Tekken is a very slick looking film.  There is a very thin layer of grain throughout the film that gives it that film like quality even though it was most likely shot digitally.  Sharpness levels are consistent and DNR is kept in check, but also used here and there, as well.  Tekken is not a bad looking Blu-ray at all. 

Audio 

Tekken is presented in TrueHD 5.1.  Tekken is mainly a fight film, but sprinkled throughout the feature are many moments through the slums where military forces shoot and bomb civilians and destroy property.  Explosions sound great as does the gunfire.  Dialogue is clean and audible, and so is the music.  The surrounds work double shifts in handling the densely inhabited neighborhoods of the Tekken-verse.  The LFE aids in that during the hits and explosions with relative ease.  Once in the arena the audio really steps it up a notch and it becomes extremely dynamic.  You will feel every super kick and/or punch with the greatest of ease.   Tekken is a winner in the audio department. 

Special Features

I’m actually going to be really  generous in my rating for the special features.  We have one special feature and it’s a one hour featurette that focuses on the stunts.  This is no ordinary stuntwork featurette.  The fight choreographer is none other than Cyril Raffaelli.  I’ve been a fan of his work for the past ten years.  He co-starred in both District B13 and District B13: Ultimatum a couple of years ago.  The dude is amazing and this featurette showcases his work on Tekken and on many other projects that he’s worked on throughout he years.  It’s really cool.

  • Stunt Stars: Tekken

Final Thoughts 

As usual with these video game to film adaptations the stories always seem to suck and carry only one or two redeeming qualities.  In Tekken’s case it’s the fights that carry it.  Whenever there isn’t a fight then that’s when I don’t care.  In Tekken’s case whenever Kelley Overton and the fights weren’t onscreen then I didn’t care.  Tekken is for true fans only.  All others are warned that you should rent it first.  Strong tech-specs and special features give this Blu-ray release a slight edge.  The featurette with Cyril Raffaelli may be worth the price of admission, though.

 

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “Tekken (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Big BOys Oven

    this such looks good, must check it out!