Sunday, September 12, 2010

The King of Fighters (2010)

Yes, someone actually went ahead and made a live-action The King of Fighters movie.  Yes, I've seen it.  Yes, it's awful.

The Good (or just okay):
  • Being such a fan of fighting games, I've occasionally daydreamed about how I personally would faithfully adapt them to film.  The biggest hurdle has always been how to handle the tournament itself.  How are the characters even supposed to survive taking on these brutal fights one after another?  Without weeks of rest and medical attention between bouts stretching the tournament into a yearlong affair, what shape could the finalists even be in to present an exciting match?  The King of Fighters actually provides a somewhat clever solution, having the fights take place on some sort of astral plane.  That is where the characters don their wacky video game costumes and attain superhuman abilities for clashes that may take only an instant in the real world, which they then return to uninjured.  (Of course, it's never explained why the tournament exists in the first place, but the movie is no more ridiculous than the games in that regard.)
  • (SPOILER) Rugal, played by Ray Park of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation fame, making his entrance by walking up to a security guard and, without warning or explanation, exploding the man with seemingly just his raw aura.

The Bad:
  • Rugal resorting to machine guns in the very next scene.
  • Everything else.

The Ugly:
  • Forty-year-old stuntman David Leitch as CIA tool Terry Bogard, who becomes, in the fight dimension, a buffoonish yet preposterously mighty Dan Hibiki-esque comic relief character.


Czardoz said...

The best moment is when Terry Bogard, suddenly sporting the signature red vest, even though he had been in a suit the whole movie, runs into some random homeless guy wearing the red Fatal Fury cap, grabs the cap, and punches him in the face, all without any preamble or motivation.

You know, they've been doing fight tournaments in movies since Bruce Lee, maybe even before. Those guys all seem to be fine fighting several matches in a row. It's single elimination, though, and these guys don't hurl fireballs.

Henry said...

Yeah, but most of those movies have the heroes completely dominating scrubs in the early rounds. In a fighting game movie, all rounds should involve name characters, and nobody should have to see their favorite go out like a chump just because they're up against Ryu.

I suppose it's best to suspend disbelief in this case and just say that these guys heal very quickly.