I think some movie makers nowadays are just trying to outdo each other when it comes to poorly-executed fighting game adaptations. One has to look no further than the last two additions to the genre, Tekken and King of Fighters, to find proof.
I don’t care what fond memories you have of playing the popular SNK video game during your childhood, Axis Entertainment and Double Edge Entertainment are fully prepared to stomp on them while making their $12 million film. The sad thing is they were able to get some great action stars and the fantastic Asian action director Gordon Chan (Hard Boiled) to attach themselves to King of Fighters.
However, a solid cast and director didn’t stop the film from looking like a poor attempt at a lame action film. Check the official King of Fighters synopsis:
A stylish, high-octane, live action feature based on the highly successful video game franchise, in which the last surviving descendants of three legendary clans are continuously transported to other dimensions to test their martial arts skills against an evil force that seeks to invade and infect the real world. As the fighters enter each new world they battle that universe’s native defenders in pursuit of three artifacts that will grant their owner unlimited power over reality.
Yeah OK - as long as the story makes sense *eyeroll*. You can watch the trailer for this soon-to-be NetFlix rental below and be sure to check out the featurette for the film as well. The featurette is basically the trailer with cut-ins of various actors and the director trying to justify their participation in this guaranteed debacle.
King of Fighters stars Ray Park (Star Wars: Episode I), Sean Faris (Never Back Down), Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible III), Will Yun Lee (Elektra), Francoise Yip (Romeo Must Die), Monique Ganderton, Bernice Liu, David Leitch, Hiro Kanagawa and Sam Hargrave. The screenplay was written by first timers Rita Augustine and Matthew Fisher.
I have no problem with Hollywood trying to adapt certain video games into full length feature films. I am eagerly waiting to see what Sam Raimi can do with World of Warcraft, and this summer’s tentpole film Prince of Persia looks like it could be the first true video game movie to make a major splash.
However, it has been proven time and again that fighting games do not lend themselves well to big screen adaptations because their back-stories are weak.
What works for a video game story arc doesn’t hold up for a movie - not when the characters' motivations have to be explained in detail. Maybe I’m wrong and King of Fighters will turn out to be the film that knocks the genre on its ear; but somehow I doubt that will be the case.
What are your thoughts on the King of Fighters trailer and what are the chances it has the moves to make it to the Boss Level?
King of Fighters opens in 2010.
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