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Friday, November 7, 2014

Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge aka A Man Called X (2014) directo to video review



Overall verdict: 3.5/10

The Good: Kane Kosugi in a starring role, realistic fight scenes with good camerawork

The Bad: overall cheap feel, confusing story, tedious pacing, boring, generally muddled direction, bad editing, has nothing to do with the Tekken franchise

3D Readiness: none
IMax-ability: none

******************************Review*****************************

TEKKEN 2: Kazuya's Revenge aka A Man Called X is a movie with an identity crisis. Ironic that the movie itself features a main character with a similar identity crisis. TEKKEN 2 is not a sequel, and has little to do with the beloved video game franchise it claims to be based on. The "man" in question is called "K", not "X" and "Kazuya's Revenge" is possibly the worst case of spoiler in the title, especially since the main plot is about K rediscovering his identity as Kane Kosugi, oops sorry, I mean, the titular Kazuya, after an unexplained bout of amnesia.

Waking up In a dystopian corporation run future which looks an awful lot like a present day south East Asian slum, K (who is obviously Kane Kosugi) is haunted by an obnoxious voice in his head, hunted by rent-a-cops in old army wear, and discovers he knows kung fu. Still he gets knocked out and recruited by a criminal Organisation run by "the minister". This Organization (consisting of mostly homeless Asians and stunt people) pits its members against one another in fights to the death. The victors are sent on assassination missions, something about cleansing the world or some dope like that. So when K gets tasked to take out Gary Daniels (who everyone mistakes for a Tekken character called Bryan Fury) he finds out that the Minister is not the holy man his followers think he is.

There's a bit more to the story about K discovering he is really Kazuya and a showdown with Tsang Tsung.....erm, wrong franchise....Cary Hiroyuki (although he claims to be one Heihachi Mishima) and a couple of thugs but one's patience would be truly tested by then. The story is just THAT badly paced that it actually comes across as tiresome. For example you have this whole 10 minute sequence of K taking a walk through Slum Town.......doing nothing. For 10 whole minutes while the voice-over from the Minister goes on and on about how his army of homeless beggars, sorry looking ruffians and old ladies are going to rid the world of evil. It is laughable, really.

Laughable too his how this movie is obviously not related to the Tekken franchise at all. The first TEKKEN movie starring John Foo and Ian Anthony Daniel at least looked like Tekken. Despite the mixed up story, Characters looked like how they do in the games, they wore familiar costumes and hairdos, and many familiar set pieces are showcased. In TEKKEN 2, it is a completely unrelated movie which had some characters names changed to names from Tekken.

Martial artist actor Kane Kosugi is wasted on this misbegotten prequel. Having had nothing but supporting roles so far, Mr Kosugi deserves a good movie as a main character to really showcase his skills. He does his own stunts, he is a trained martial artist with a flair for movie fighting. He could have been Hollywood's Donny Yen or at least followed in his father's footsteps (Sho Kosugi) in becoming a cult classic Kung fu star. Instead, he gets shoehorned into a production directed by "Wych Kaos".

Instead of looking like a Hollywood movie, The whole film has that "shot in my backyard" feel and visual nature akin to those cheapskate Malaysian or Singaporean TV productions. Some good camera-work does show up in the fight scenes, eschewing the usual close ups and jitter cam for wide sweeping angles that gives you full view of the fight. Unfortunately many of these scenes are edited like some amateurs on YouTube. You have a scene where K lifts his leg to kick but when the blow connects, the next cut shows K punching the guy.

Boring for the most part, tediously paced, and obviously done on the cheap, TEKKEN 2 would not have been judged any less harshly had it discarded the video game's moniker and presented itself as a martial arts movie. Kane Kosugi's fights and stunts are impressive no doubt, but their impressiveness is undermined by amateurish directing and editing. Take this sorry excuse for a movie, splice together all the Kane Kosugi fights, then trash the rest. You'd get a far more entertaining short film than TEKKEN 2.

*****************************Review End***************************


Entertainment: C+
Story: C-
Acting: C
Characters: C
Music: D-
Replay value: C-
"Brains": F

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