For DVD #11 we're reviewing a Prequel nobody asked for.
A young man wakes up in a strange room with no memory. Luckily there isn't a tiger in the next room or a traffic cone on top of the wardrobe but he does get armed goons kicking in his door. After a bit of a fracas, our amnesiac hero's day continues to get worse when he's captured by a mysterious old bloke called The Minister. His life choices now boil down to "Kill people" or "Get your head blown off"
Since the Man With No Past is really good at martial arts and stuff, option 1 is easy enough.
Problem is, he doesn't actually want to kill people...
Can I just point out that the Amnesia angle would work better if the DVD title didn't give away Mr X's frigging name.
The viewer now knows who he is and if the viewer has played the games, which is quite likely, then they also know who the mysterious old bloke is that keeps popping up in flashbacks.
Let me just take a minute to clap sarcastically.
Oh well done, marketing people. Give yourself a cookie.
The original title was Tekken: A Man Called X. Maybe you should have stuck with it.
Maybe you should also have had a bit more fighting. This movie is based on a fighting game after all.
There's entirely too much footage of Kazuya wandering about the city looking fed up, as well as too many overlong flashbacks and this just slows things down way too much.
I have a few other issues as well. A certain character is introduced and given a backstory then gets forgotten about. A subplot takes up time but goes nowhere. What was the point of that?
Getting back to the fights, they are disappointing. The choreography is old-school martial arts, without wirework, SFX or much flashy editing and that can work if it's done well. Some of my favourite cinematic punchups are like this, in fact. It's just that for some reason, I wasn't impressed. Tekken 2 needed some quality violence to make up for the lack of quantity and in that, it fails.
Then we get to the climax which actually annoyed me.
Kazuya and his new ally bust into the bad guys HQ and we all know how that's supposed to work.
First you take out the mooks, then you take out one or more henchmen - a great chance to have two different fights go on simultaneously - then you face the Big Bad in a final showdown, kick his face in and walk proudly away clutching manly injuries, while Bad Guy HQ may or may not burst into flames for no apparent reason.
A vital part of this is that the henchmen should have been established earlier on as a genuine threat. Would the end of Return of the Jedi have been so good if Darth Vader had thrown a sickie and Luke had faced some random geezer instead? Search your feelings. You know the answer.
Tekken 2 drops the ball on this big time. Two characters we know are badass are brushed aside in seconds while Kazuya ends up fighting a couple of blokes we've never seen before, that have no history whatsoever.
That's just sloppy and it bugs me.
To cap it all, the Big Bad just casually wanders off. It makes more sense once you discover that Tekken 2 is actually a prequel but personally I don't think you should have to visit Wikipedia to find out what the ending is all about.
To sum up: Tekken 2 is too slow, not particularly interesting and has a rubbish payoff.
How much did I pay for this: £3.50
Was it worth it: Not really. If you're not a fan of the games then there's no real reason to watch it. If you are a fan of the games then Tekken 2 might just annoy you.
Maybe they should have done a prequel about the Williams sisters instead.