Furthering my conclusion that there is no such thing as a good movie based on a video game, “King of Fighters” is yet another grasp at a movie franchise involving a low level company like Aja Tan, grasping on to a fifth tier barely iconic fighting game franchise from company SNK and turning it in to a low budget and absolutely forgettable piece of action drivel. Having to sit through the likes of “Tekken” this year and an attempted “Street Fighter” reboot last year, “King of Fighters” filled me with very little hope for entertainment. Sure, it sports the likes of the delicious Maggie Q, and the fantastic Ray Park, but that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when your movie is pig saliva.
The original “King of Fighters” was an anthology of characters from SNK games “Fatal Fury” and “Art of Fighting” that became an uber-franchise stemming from two other franchises and is barely known beyond the gaming world, so Gordon Chan has the ability to do whatever he wants without backlash. Admittedly I’ve only played the actual game when I had my PS1 and bought a used copy from a local game store, but from what I remember of it there was a blond hero named Terry Bogard, and an Asian woman with humongous breasts, and that’s about all that comes to mind. 2010’s “The King of Fighters” is a different animal, a basically schlocky piece of action cinema that relies on its biggest star Maggie Q to carry the film. And heaven knows, I send Maggie Q, but even she can’t save a basically lackluster action entry.
“King of Fighters” opts for Mortal Kombat nonsense where the entire basis for this tournament is convoluted and ultimately utterly confusing.
In order to fight one has to enter an alternate dimension and acquire three relics that will grant them limitless power. What does limitless power even mean? Who knows? Nevertheless when the movie should be about a tournament and breakneck fight scenes, it instead veers in to endless exposition with no action or forward progression to be seen for a majority of the film. It’s “King of Fighters,” and yet we’re stuck watching characters discuss mysticism, and warlords, and family destinies, and prophecies, all the while Ray Park is immensely over the top as character Rugal who has seized the alternate dimension and is inviting players in to his realm to fight them and… kill them or… take their souls, I was never actually clear.
When Terry Bogard does appear finally, he’s instead a nuisance.
“King of Fighters” tries to take the original SNK source material and add some sophistication, and in the process becomes so mired in its unnecessarily complicated story, all pacing and sense of excitement are lost. “King of Fighters” barely works as action camp, and is merely just an inept and poorly conceived bit of quasi-science fiction action fare. Yet another semi-classic video game from the nineties is butchered in to yet another half assed lazily made film. For a movie called “King of Fighters” there’s very little fighting and tons of aimless dialogue and under developed characters, all of whom can never sell the convoluted story and terrible script. To repeat my past declarations, video games simply can not be made in to a good movie, so stop trying to shove them down our throats.