TEKKEN: A MAN CALLED X
TEKKEN 2: KAZUYAS REVENGE
Despite the 2010 live-action film being one that nobody seemed to care about it went directly to dvd in most areas of the world this is a sequel to it. Producer Steven Paul reunites actors Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Gary Daniels from the first film but gives us a different character line-up elsewhere. (Although this makes more sense when we come to the ending and realise that what we are watching is intended as a prequel to the first film). The originals director Dwight H. Little has been replaced by Thai director Wych Kaos aka Kaos (and to his mother Wych Kaosayanada). Kaos had previously made the English-language Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever (2002), which proved to be an expensive flop. Outside of these, Kaos has only made Thai action films with Fah (1998), Angels (2012) and Zero Tolerance (2015).
Unfortunately in dispensing with much in the way of attachment to its predecessor or almost any of the characters from it, Tekken: A Man Called X barely resembles the first film (let alone the videogame). The original had a hero who lived in the shantytowns beyond the walls of Tekken City winning a place to compete in a televised bloodsports tournament. There is no tournament or any type of fighting competition here; we dont even get to travel inside the walls of Tekken City. The film does take place in the shantytowns where we have another story altogether where Kane Kosugi is the cliche figure of man with great fighting skills but no memory who is trained as an assassin before rebelling against his masters.
Kaos is not a very good director. He does have the virtue of being able to set up and direct kinetic action sequences no doubt the reason he was selected here. On the other hand, these are dull and unmemorable. It should be some indication about the film when it is given two titles and neither seem to refer to anything in the film the most well known was Tekken: A Man Called X, which seems oblivious to the fact that the lead character in the film is called K and there is no character in the cast list with a name that starts with X, and in respect to Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge, while the central character K eventually finds his name is Kazuya, there is no point anywhere throughout where he could be said to be taking revenge,
The plot lacks much conviction. A perfect example is how Kane Kosugi is introduced with having no memory. A set-up like this surely mandates that he finds out who he is throughout and that this is crucial to the plot. However, while he does find out who he is, we are never told out how or why his memory was wiped in the first place. We never find out why Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa is manipulating events or Rade Sherbedgia is assassinating people. The most ridiculous plot hole is when Kane Kosugas love interest Paige Lindquist is abducted and he must go on a quest to get her back, only for it to be revealed that she was working for the other side all along. She is killed but there is no explanation of why she was a plant in the first place. I also have a problem in action films with the ridiculous inefficiency of a system that put heroes into brutal training regimens where they must eliminate everyone else surely this only ends up with is not a well-trained army but a lone individual who can fight well and a lot of dead soldiers who can fight very well but maybe 0.05 percent less than the hero who beat them with some advantage, This is an idea that is perfectly suited for tournament fighting but proves utterly useless for anything resembling real world combat.