Monday, 21 November 2016

Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge (2014)

Yes that's right.  Like "Mortal Kombat", the "Tekken" series of games have somehow managed to spawn two feature film adaptations.  How this can happen when the wondrously goofy DOA: Dead or Alive movie never got a follow-up, I don't know.

Also like "Mortal Kombat", the first of the "Tekken" films was a tolerable bit of schlock, while the sequel (which in this case is actually a prequel) is a hot mess.

We start out with a young man with amnesia, which may be the least imaginative premise they could have used for this film, short of basing it around a martial arts tournament again.

The world's worst SWAT team attacks amnesia-boy in his hotel room.  He fights them off and escapes, but it is hit by a car.  When he awakes, he finds himself the unwilling recruit of a gang warlord named 'The Minister'.  The Minister gives him two pieces of information: an explosive device has been implanted in his chest, and will be detonated if he does not obey orders, and since he doesn't know his own name, he's now called 'K'.

K is initially not real keen on being the Minister's hitman, and on several occasions refuses an order to kill other recruits, on the basis that he's "not a murderer".  But when he's given his first assassination order, his resistance to killing vanishes.  Sure, he executes the guy (via chopstick to the cranium) only after being told the target is a child molester ... but given the source of this accusation is The Minister, it's pretty dubious justification.

Anyway, K kills some guys, meets and beds a woman, and finds a way out from under the Minister's thumb.  And you're probably expecting that he then has a big showdown with his former master, but nope, the movie commits its entire third act to resolving the whole amnesia angle, and introduces a new antagonist for the climax, instead.  Not that K gets to fight him, either, just some of his flunkies.

Structure: not the film's strong point.  But then nor is anything else, really.

So are there any upsides to Kazuya's Revenge?  Well, the subtitles are unintentionally entertaining.  Never did I expect to read the text "Pulls out chopstick: squish" in the course of watching a movie, of instance,  And there were several occasions where the subtitles contain information not in the audio or video.  In particular, they include a reference to Sparta that's actually quite significant to the amnesia plot-line.

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