Blood Vengeance succeeds where its live-action counterpart failed and while this stunning CGI movie isn’t without some problems, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better film based on Namco’s flagship franchise.
A Tekken movie should try its best to capture the qualities of the video game: it should have over-the-top action sequences and quirky characters, at the same time it tries to tell a convincing story that both fans and newcomers can enjoy. Blood Vengeance succeeds where its live-action counterpart failed and while this stunning CGI movie isn’t without some problems, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better film based on Namco’s flagship franchise.
So what makes Blood Vengeance better than its predecessors? Like the series it’s based on, it’s absolutely bonkers and I strongly believe that if you’re going to make a Tekken movie, you have to be ridiculous. How absurd does this movie get? Well, one of the characters rides a panda to school, Nina Williams hits a truck head on with her motorcycle and she leaves the accident without a scratch and there are anime ladies turning into robots and characters transforming into devils. I like the fact that Blood Vengeance embraces Tekken’s ridiculous nature, though it can be too much and the story rarely makes any sense.
Before describing the plot, it’s worth pointing out that all the events in the movie take place between Tekken 5 and Tekken 6, but this is still considered an alternate storyline. Anna Williams of G corporation is seeking information about a student named Shin Kamiya, so she sends Ling Xiaoyu to a private university to act as a spy. During her investigation, Xiaoyu befriends a pink-haired girl called Alisa Bosconovitch and they soon realize that they are interested in the same boy. During a live recording for a school talent show, an unknown assailant kidnaps Shin Kamiya and both girls go after him. This search leads to some fights between some recognizable characters from the Tekken series while techno music plays in the background.
Unfortunately, the story soon becomes confusing: there are numerous corporations, characters insist on double-crossing their allies and there are references from past events not everyone might be familiar with. Some pacing issues and the fact that characters have vague motivations for fighting each other also mar the experience.
But not everything about Blood Vengeance is bad. The final fight between three of the most powerful characters of the Tekken universe is ridiculously over-the-top in the best ways possible and I can assure you that at one point in the movie, at least one character throws another one from a cliff which is what Tekken is all about. I strongly believe that Blood Vengeance is at its best when it’s plain stupid and any attempt at doing something emotional or serious feels forced and contrived.
There have been two films before Blood Vengeance, so comparisons are inevitable. I think Blood Vengeance represents a significant improvement over the live-action version and this new movie benefits from the 3D visuals because they help bring the characters to life. Tekken: The Motion Picture was a competent anime movie, but the stunning CGI makes this one is easier to watch. In the end, Tekken: Blood Vengeance is a pleasant and inoffensive movie that’s filled with ridiculous moments and fan service.