I watch bad videogame films so that you don’t have to (Pt. 3)

I went through Tekken two weeks ago so that you could avoid its shittyness. Then I indulged in DOA: Dead or Alive and found myself enamoured with the genius that was its low-rent crapness. Now I come to King of Fighters the film.

King of Fighters, its predecessor Fatal Fury and compatriot Samurai Shodown were arcade perennials for me. They always lived in the shadows of Street Fighter and (disgustingly) Mortal Kombat; later, when everything started shifting to 3D, these SNK fighters were left behind.

Not to be outdone by the recent glut of films based on other fighting game franchises – they are even doing another Mortal Kombat film – the me-too King of Fighters offers its own celluloid take on keeping up with the Joneses.

King of Fighters has a real problem. I’m guessing it must have been due to budgetary or other restrictions, but basically they couldn’t get a decent tripod for the camera used throughout the shoot. I say this because it is the only explanation I can up with for why almost every scene in this film is shot at a really shitty ‘artistic’ angle. It can only have been because one of the tripod legs wouldn’t extend properly. There is no way that the director thought that it was cool. I refuse to believe that.

The film starts off with protagonist Maggie Q getting out of a shower (my attention immediately perked up) [Your attention? So that’s what you call it… -Ed] before she digitises herself into a refrigerator from the 70s (circa Bruce Lee’s Big Boss) in order to fight a guy in a coat.

What the fuck is Maggie Q doing in this film? She is way above this shit.

(Clearly the people involved in the film’s production had never actually played or knew anything about King of Fighters as they managed to cock-up every single person cast. Iori at least looks Asian (although there are some moments late in the film where the make-up guys made him look so yellow it was kind of creepy) but every other character’s ethnicity was up for grabs.)

So, Maggie goes to some event and Iori explains some incredibly long-winded nonsense about swords and pendants going to other dimensions. Then Darth Maul shows up and shoots some people.

Maggie fights Maul for a bit before he escapes with some stuff. Iori follows him and exchanges pleasantries. A guy called Terry Bogard shows up with no real explanation as to why he is there in the first place. Darth Maul disappears in front of their eyes and Terry exclaims that this is “fucked up”.

Then Maggie has to find some guy called Saishu, sent there by the woman who runs the KOF tournament. Unfazed, she goes to a hospital and finds a dude in a coma and then some young guy called Kyo shows up and is all “I don’t know anything about a sword what are you talking about, I can’t act to save my life, etc.”

"Hi, I will be your douchebag for this film"

I was practically in a coma myself at this point and then: lesbians. Unfortunately they are boring made-for-TV lesbians who agree to go into the alternate dimension and fight Darth Maul.

This may be the only straight angle in the entire film, oh the irony

I don’t know what it is about Canadian-set films but for some reason they seem to like incorporating hockey into them, even if it makes no sense. I mention this because Darth starts beating the crap out of the lesbians while dressed as a goal tender. Wowed by his awesomeness, or possibly because he possesses their souls or something they join him.

This entire scene was so painful that I almost set my X360 and then my apartment on fire before walking away from the blaze while wearing sunglasses so that the inferno reflects in my lenses, like they do in all good film posters. In this fantasy I am either Martin Lawrence or David Caruso and it is better than anything which transpires in King of Fighters.

Maggie goes back to Kyo at the hospital and there is a random flash back. For no reason and no explanation as to how, Iori shows up at the same hospital. Kyo asks “who are you?”, Iori tells him and then the coma guy wakes up to attack him and then dies. There is a weird sound effect of the coma guy flat-lining even though he isn’t rigged up to a machine.

"I can't believe we just killed the guy who was in the film War with Jason Statham and Jet Li"

It turns out that Maggie is an agent for Terry Bogard’s corporation that was investigating the underground fighting of KOF. The woman who sent Maggie to find Coma Guy knew all of this and still sent Maggie to run that errand. This is all despite the fact that Maggie was supposed to be cracking down on the woman’s underground fighting ring in the alternate universe.

The above was tiring to both write and watch.

Immediately afterwards Kyo admits that he knows all about the history between Iori’s family and his, even though he claimed to have no idea who Iori was. Maggie says that the fighting is in another dimension and Darth Maul is controlling it. Even though Terry watched Darth Maul de-materialise before his eyes and Kyo knows about Iori’s past, they both take the piss as if she is talking crazy.

See, this shot is almost even, but not quite

By this point I was amazed that I’d managed to stay focused on this cluster-fuck of a film.

Well, Iori goes and fights Darth Maul’s lesbians and gets these angry eyes that are the power of the Orochi. He comes back to warn everyone that he is now evil.

At some point Maggie dislocates Kyo’s arm. I can’t remember the context.

Then Kyo goes into the alternate dimension that he thinks is bullshit and starts fighting Darth Maul. He gets messed up but comes back to the real world. Then, apropos of nothing, he goes “I have this sword you need to defeat Darth Maul, you know the one I said I didn’t know anything about, you know the one that is supposed to be used to break through to the other dimension that I don’t believe in.” It’s as if the writer got so bored they decided “fuck it, no one cares what happens in this film so why should I?”

Anyway, the whole group get together and go after Darth Maul. Maggie and Terry fight the lesbians in a surprisingly okay fight scene. Terry takes the time to punch a homeless guy and steal his hat.

Iori, Kyo and Darth Maul duke it out and then shit goes down, by that I mean some enthusiastic stunt men muck around and I try not to kill myself.

Some apocalyptic stuff happens and the team then vaporise Darth Maul.

There is some kind of happy ending involving a balding nerd and then, presumably because the director was experiencing a delusion that there will be a sequel, you see Iori being moody and dressed in white.

I have no fucking idea what that was all about.

Any of it.