Wednesday, 19 September 2012



Well, hurrah: it's another martial arts movie based on a martial arts video game. It's a formula that's never really worked: Tekken was obviously twaddle but just about got by, the two Mortal Kombats weren't even that good. And I'm one of the few people who actually 1) went to see, and 2) didn't loathe the once-in-a-lifetime teaming of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kylie Minogue in Streetfighter back in the nineties. (I didn't even mind the sort of sequel.) But they don't really work dramatically: when the plots are based exclusively around a series of one-on-one fights there's no room to try and inject real human character into what are basically little pixelated blobs that leap up in the air when you punch a button.

Maybe to make up for the ultra-simplicity of "Stanley Loses", "Game Over" and "Insert Coins Now", The King Of Fighters has an absolute avalanche of incomprehensibly daft back story than could scarcely have been more baffling if it had featured talking spoons. The world's elite martial artists periodically compete in a tournament in an alternative dimension to become The King Of Fighters; also in this dimension is the Orochi: an evil floating ball of CGI snakes which if released could mean the end of the world or something. Demented Rugal (Ray Park) steals the Sword, Necklace and Mirror created generations ago by the Three Clans, in order to free the Orochi and rule the universe forever, and summons the other fighters through the interdimensional gateway to crush them in blatantly unfair combat. Only undercover agent Maggie Q and disgruntled Sean Faris, last descendant of one of the Three Clans, can stop him, though Faris and Maggie's frankly charmless boyfriend are destined to be enemies....

While it's certainly colourful and it's always nice to see Maggie Q, the plot is little more than babbling gibberish and even though some of the one-on-ones are competently handled, it's impossible to care very much since none of it makes a blind bit of sense. And the 12 certificate means you don't get much in the way of crunchy violence, which to be honest it desperately needs. Barely worth the effort.



No comments: