Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!
High Desert Daily
(Victorville) Most of the movie reviews here at High Desert Daily are done on films that just opened, and are released on a wide scale. This time is a little different: from time to time, Cinemark Theaters takes part in Fathom Events screenings: these screenings have included foreign films, musicals, and animations in the past. The films are only shown once or twice at a theater, usually at night, and then the film is moved. Tekken: Blood Vengeance is one of these films that I had the chance to screen, as it played in Victorville and Apple Valley’s Cinemarks for one Tuesday night. Was it worth the admission?
First, if you are a stranger to Tekken, I will give you some background on it. Tekken is one of the major fighting game franchises, launching way back in 1994. Tekken, literally meaning “Iron Fist”, is about a tournament that brings together fighters from over the globe, including bears and kangaroos. The franchise has been in the spotlight as of late due to next years crossover title “Street Fighter X Tekken”. So, seems like a great idea to go see a CGI film based off of such an iconic franchise, right?
Wrong. Oh, so wrong. First off, the title was only showing in 3D, which for a Fathom Event runs around $15. $15 dollars to see a bench in 3D, oh, and the title. The actual film animation minus the 3D looks fantastic. The CGI is breathtaking, looking better than any cut scene in the previous Tekken games. Unfortunately, that is where the good in Tekken ends. The plot is surprisingly bad; I say surprisingly as Dai Sato, who worked on Japanese animation classics Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell, wrote it. The story, or lack of, plays out like a buddy flick you never wanted to see: A schoolgirl and a robot go undercover-yes, it sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, and for all intents and purposes that is exactly what it was.
The story never made sense, as characters are built up to no real climax. The fight at the end was very well done, but it made me question where the heck these fighters were for the better part of the film. Then there is the English language dub, or English vocals if you are not familiar with dubs. The voices were all a little off, with some being way unbelievable (a young adult fighter sounds more like a bad James Earl Jones impression.) With that in mind, the loss in translation from Japanese to English shows, as many lines were met with a roaring laughter due to potty humor being big on many young moviegoers minds these days.
All in all, I was disappointed in the film, in the 3D, and in giving this boring flick the Tekken name. If you want your Tekken fix, go dig out Tekken 6 and play that some more until another game hits stores. If you would like more information on Fathom Events, check them out at http://fathomevents.com/.