A Memorable Experience in Hollywood: The Unfortunate Hollywood Adaptation of the Tekken Series


A Memorable Experience in Hollywood

The Tekken series became well-known not only for its 3D graphics and accessibility but also for its captivating story and lore. With each new installment, the storyline became more intricate. This popularity even led to the creation of an animated film in 1998, which followed the narrative of Kazuya during the iconic Tekken tournament.

A Noteworthy Hollywood Adaptation, but Not for the Right Reasons

Unfortunately, when it came to Hollywood adaptations of the franchise, things didn’t go as planned. However, in 2010, there was an attempt to rectify this with “Tekken,” a live-action film directed by Dwight H. Little (known for his work on Halloween 4 and The Phantom of the Opera). Yet, this adaptation proved to be less than successful.

The issues stemmed from the fact that Tekken’s story wasn’t originally designed for live-action. Despite efforts to make the universe believable, the end result was a kitschy and tasteless dystopian science fiction fighting film, full of exaggerated interpretations and disrespect for the source material.

An Unexpected “Horror Movie” Experience

In this adaptation, John Foo, known for his role in the Rush Hour series, portrayed a tormented Jin, while the esteemed Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, famous for Mortal Kombat and The Man in the High Castle, played a tired version of Heihachi. Suffice it to say, the film didn’t receive favorable reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it scored a mere 0% average rating, indicating its poor quality.

Even the creator of the original Tekken games, Katsuhiro Harada, expressed his disappointment with the Hollywood film on social media. In response to a user’s question about good horror movies, Harada jokingly remarked that “the Hollywood version of the live-action film TEKKEN is also a horror film.” With this statement, he made his opinion abundantly clear.

In 2014, an indifferent audience witnessed the release of Tekken 2, further adding to the disappointment surrounding the Hollywood adaptations.

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