The premise of The King of Fighters shows a secret tournament that is held in some alternate dimension in which fighters from around the world “log in” to via special earpieces. Based off the hit video game, I am sure fans of the video game will be let down by the fact that this film is a total chore to sit through. Sean Faris who is the lead, is a terrible actor. How laughable is it that his character’s name is Kyo Kusanagi and he is a white boy? The story follows him and tells the tale of the tournament. The characters for this series are not only unrealistic but entirely wrong, for example anyone who’s ever seen any of the Fatal Fury series knows that Terry Bogard is not portrayed in the game like he is in this movie.
If you are a King of Fighter fan and you follow its story then it is best not to watch it. It is really a shame the beautiful Maggie Q wasted her time on this project. Unlike Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, they’re not just doing one-dude-against-the-masses, no, it’s teams of three. People with distinct personalities clashing with others and lifestyles. The fighting is all a big mess involving out-of-nowhere superpowers that these fighters seem to pick up more as the film progresses. Oh, and if you are reading this and thinking you can handle all of this, there is a lot more. I mean, after all, the script the final boss will be there to meet you.
It seems everything that could have gone wrong with The King of Fighters did go wrong. This film is only inspired by the popular characters from the video game. Everything else got left on the cutting room floor apparantely. Any time you try to apply a story to something that is devoid of one in the first place it is doomed to failure. Seriously, I don’t understand how someone can make a movie about something they have no idea about, do some research people, you are playing with fans of this game that go watch your movie expecting the minimum from you. The overall filming quality suggests that the film-makers had a low budget to work with. CG becomes present mainly towards the end and looks low-key but nonetheless workable. What really needed to happen was the fleshing out of the characters and the overall narrative to create a more cohesive product.
The fight sequences happened to be a mixed bag, though Hong Kong influences are very heavy. I’m usually very forgiving of movies and understanding of their flaws, but this movie was an epic fail. The whole reason being, is The King of Fighter’s actually takes itself seriously. I am sure that the director had the best of intentions at heart, but there is no need to make a movie out of a fighting game that has long gone out of date. Honestly, you are better off watching something like Tekken or Mortal Kombat instead. One of the worst movies I have had to sit through.