Tekken: Blood Vegeance – It’s all about kicking people in the face

Xiaoyu and Alisa

Title: Tekken: Blood Vengeance
Rating: 12

Tekken: Blood Vengeance DVD

So, the main point of Tekken it always seemed to me, was that you mashed a lot of buttons and in doing so, kicked other people in the face a lot (hopefully). There may have been a wider and more in-depth plot, but this has evidently escaped me as I’ve gone through life. As such, I couldn’t help but find myself wondering how Tekken could be made interesting without the button mashing element. However, the press release promised a script by Dai Sato, whose previous scripting credits include Cowboy Bebop and Eden of the East.

I think he was having an off day when he wrote Tekken: Blood Vengeance. At best, it is complete nonsense. At worst, it’s a punishment for thinking that a game about kicking people in the head could make a coherent film without the campy goodness of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kylie Minogue that makes Street Fighter a bit of a kick to watch.

I would give a rough summary of the plot, but I still am not totally sure what the plot actually is. The film opens with two women – sisters with a major case of sibling rivalry – crashing a giant truck into a motorcycle, then kicking each other about a bit, before the opening credits roll. Shortly after this, one of the women – Anna Williams – recruits Ling Xiaoyu to spy for her on Shin Kamiya, who may carry a gene that makes him immortal. Two corporations are fighting over this ‘M’ gene, and Xiaoyu finds herself pitted against a pink-haired robot called Alisa sent by the other company. Except then Shin gets kidnapped and they kick each other a bit. And then they team up to fight against both companies, and by the end of it I had totally lost track of who was kicking who, and why.

The script is clunky, and awful, and I think it is trying to be clever but with all the added characters and backstory that we never find out about, it becomes impenetrable. And then people start turning into demons, and frankly I gave up trying to work out quite what was going on because it was getting stupid.

The animation would be lovely if it were in a cut scene of a game, but for a whole film it feels cheap and and a bit nasty. Equally, the problem with CGI is that it makes the dub look really bad – it’s harder to match speech to mouths that are animated to move like real lips, so someone is clearly saying ‘Senpai’ and not ‘Wait!’

It’s almost a shame – some of the character design is really cute, and at moments the CG looks stunning, but overall it is let down by a terrible script, and plot that is all at once overcomplicated and strangely lacking. The CG isn’t consistent in its quality, so it can sometimes become more distracting than anything else. You have to be really invested in Tekken to understand or follow the plot, I suspect, and I honestly wasn’t. If you are, then maybe it’ll be an enjoyable watch, but frankly I suspect that it really is actually nonsense.

Xiaoyu and Alisa

Xiaoyu and Alisa

Score: 1/5 – I liked Alisa’s costume, and was continually distracted by how much she looked like Dianna Agron


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