Kaze UK / Manga Entertainment
01 Feb 2012
Okay, let's get this out of the way - when I turned on the DVD to Tekken: Blood Vengeance I was greeted with a language select screen and a noise I can only describe as a panda pleasuring itself. Whether I think the film is any good or not, I'll certainly not forget it in a hurry.
When you escape the rather disturbing menu you're greeted with a great title menu showcasing some terrific CGI. It's a great taste of things to come. Visually, the film is stunning - explosions look incredible, and the level of detail is some of the best I've ever seen.
The film opens with a fight between the Williams sisters, setting the tone for the rest of the feature - highly stylised, aggressive and full of lovely touches. It's always a pleasure to see Anna on screen, and at least she doesn't get eaten by a dinosaur this time (as in the previous traditionally animated debacle).
The film requires a fair bit of knowledge from the games. There are two global organisations competing for domination; G Corporation and Mishima Industries. Both are attempting to locate some M Cell research, which takes the form of a young man who is the last of a group of test subjects.
Unlike Andy, who reviewed one of the film's theatrical screenings, I saw some logic in sending schoolgirl Ling Xiaoyu into the school to find the test subject - she's a proven martial artist, the right age group and is easily manipulated into falling for a handsome young man. Given that Tekken has a number of daft characters (like a fighting panda, cyborgs and a wooden robot) getting a coherent plot together is nothing short of a miracle, frankly.
It is very daft though. Having Ling's panda pal help them escape (powered by Alisa's rockets no less) was a piece of comedic genius, but certainly wasn't implausible given the setting.
The final fight scene is worth the wait too, with three generations of badasses going at it. It's an enjoyable watch if you can take some of the ridiculous dialogue and the hefty amounts of cheese. The feature culminates into a decent self-contained ending which opens up the scenario for the Tekken 6 video game, which is really the main reason the film exists.
While Tekken: Blood Vengeance won't win any Oscars, it is pretty entertaining. Of course it helps to be a Tekken fan, and as far as films for the franchise go, this is undeniably the best.