Once Hollywood gets their hands on a popular video game franchise, not only does it distance away from what the game franchises presents, but makes what was great about the game, to be put into shame. These films do not satisfy movie viewers and mainly the fans of the game franchise. The new entry to the craptastic movie films is "The King of Fighters." Not only does this film fails as an adaptation toward a game franchise, but fails as a film itself.
Explaining the film's storyline to a good friend of mine who actually knows and played the game before, he explained that the film doesn't even come close to show any resemblance toward the game. The first thing that can be said about the film is the great amount of loopholes that the film presents. As simple as the game storyline may be, the director ignored to borrow the story and tried to make a smart, intelligent film by adding another dimension without taking the liberty to explain anything. Based on how the film presents the story, the director tried to make something great by creating something original, but instead, this film ended up being complicated and complicated in a bad way. You won't have an exact clue of what is occurring in certain scenes as you see all of these weird things occurring in this dimensional world that will never be explained. Information about this dimension, why it was made and why the antagonist is obsessed with the world is left blank.
Another flaw with the story was the pacing and how long it took to explain everything. This film fails as an action flick as 75% of the film wastes your valuable time as it takes too long to progress and present scenes that are filled with dialogue. I will not lie when I say this, but the progress time of this film is as slow as a slug trying to cross a road. There are a few action scenes in between the dialogue that only last for a minute and fails to bring the excitement of an action film. When it came to what 75% of the film presented, the great amount of footage that you will see are scenes of characters interacting with one another or the film revealing information about the character whom you just do not care for.
If you are Japanese or can speak the language, then you may notice that recent Hollywood films, tend to make non-Japanese actors/actresses speak the language and simply failing as they pronounce or say something that is wrong. That is not the issue in this film, since there isn't a single Japanese word that was pronounced in this film, which is the only praise I will give toward the film. The film does use the ratio type that all Asians look alike, so non-Japanese people once again take roles of Japanese characters.
You will not care for the actors/actresses and for the characters that they portray. Everyone or at least the main casts were fair when it came to their acting. None of them were great and none of them gave out performances that will lead you to care for the characters. As said earlier, the film doesn't even show any resemblance or homage to the original game series. Every character is the exact opposite of what they depicted in the game, having different characteristics, and every actor/actress were miscasts. You can watch the main character being killed in one of those torture machines that you see in "Saw" and would not even have the slightest sympathy toward them. That is how much care you will give toward any of the characters.
The action is possibly one of the worst I have seen in quite a while. "Tekken," another video game film adaptation, had better fighting and action than this film, which isn't saying much. As most of the film are filled with ridiculous, dramatic scenes, the last percentage of the film were used for a lame final climax that really does not make up for the tedious scenes that you had to endure. Each of the fighting scenes felt stiff, out of place and simply uninteresting to watch. Unnecessary humor would be added during one of the fights and you will not care for the characters as they all show off their moves. Their skills are absolute garbage as none of these characters have any special skill to show off to. Steven Segal and Chuck Norris present more skill than any of these characters try to show. I barely complain about the special effects, but if there is one thing that I hate, it's the usage of flashy CGI to make everything look impressive. These scenes presented horrendous, flashy effects that were out of date. As you see fire flow among he attacks by the characters, you'll see that it wasn't impressive as you've seen these types of graphics and CGI used in a PS2 game.
This film is yet another victim of a video game franchise being turned into a bad movie. The worst part is that nothing in this film is worth watching. A complicated storyline with plenty of loopholes, fair acting but characters that are not worth caring, and stiff action that can cause viewers to question themselves about watching this movie.