Saturday, February 3, 2007

Film Review: DOA: Dead or Alive

I watched DOA: Dead or Alive DVD last night. Do not worry, I got it through my 3 month trial of LoveFilm, so no money went to the film-makers, at least I hope not. Anyway, I would stop short of naming this the worst film I have ever seen in recent times (that honour goes to Casino Royale, Fearless and Borat).

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball makes a cameo appearance

I knew it was going to be an awful film so I lowered my expectations to that of crapfest like Jason X. I even rented it specifically so I could see how bad it was and blog about how bad it was (I am that sad, but just so you know I am also renting the fantastic Little Miss Sunshine). It's also an excellent excuse not to blog about a Christian mate of mine whose embarrassing performance of trying to proof how 'holy' and 'innocent' his religion is and how literal the bible is, while trying to discredit my (lack-of) beliefs and other religions (e.g. Muslims are terrorists); deserves cyber lynching (but I am nice and he is a friend after all).

Ayane and Kasumi squares off. With the purple hair the film-makers almost had us believing she is actually Ayane until you realised that Ayane is supposed to be Japanese.

Sorry I digress. Truth is Holly Valance is in this, and despite her fake British accent, she is still the hot babe she was when she left Neighbors and released that music video. DOA: Dead or Alive, however, is so crappy it has a knack of making film adaptations of other video-games franchise, such as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Resident Evil: Apocalypse, worthy of Oscar recognition.

Sadly with clever editing you don't really get to see much.

Seriously though unlike most other crappy films (like the one I mentioned in the first paragraph), at least DOA: Dead or Alive does not even come close to pretending or trying to be good/clever. It is as if the film-makers set out to deliver an extremely corny and cheesy film (which director Corey Yuen seems capable of, as evident of his other chick martial art flick So Close indicates), and they succeeded brilliantly. I give this film two years for it to achieve legendary cult status on par of Showgirls. DOA: Dead or Alive is the ultimate switch off your brain and enjoy the fight scenes (which are pretty good). It's like plugging an actual Dead or Alive 2 game onto your Dreamcast and enjoying kicking your friend's arse. It may lack a Tolkien-like plot, but it is equally as fun.

Hollywood should release more films with exploding Buddha heads. Really.

The plot is simple enough. A number of hotties are invited to an island to join a tournament called DOA. They are required to fight each other in matches, with the winner progressing to the next round. Sadly not Battle Royale 'to the death' style. Eric Roberts, you know Julia Roberts brother (whose okay performance in ABC's comedy Less Than Perfect dampens the whole evil guy persona) stars as DOA's creator, whose motives is questioned by the stellar cast of sexy fighters.

A miscasted Devon Aoki as an expression-less Kasumi.

They (the film-makers) did mess up by deviating wildly from the games, so anybody who treats this film as canonical material is a moron. I will discuss some of said deviation here. For example, one obvious and frankly stupid flaw was the miscasting of Natassia Malthe as Ayane (who is supposed to be Japanese), half-sister to Hayate in the game series. In the film Hayate is the love interest of Ayane, which would make DOA: Dead or Alive one of the very few mainstream films to condone inter-family sex.

Insert bad-taste butt-related joke here.

Another flaw (although feminists may disagree) is the film auteurs decision to, how can I say it politely, disregard the 'breasts physics' as laid down by series creator Tomonobu Itagaki since Dead or Alive 2, and more recently in Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. A live action film, based on a series which (partly) gained notoriety for its boob engines, with less 'realistic' bounces; surely not? The expression-less and flat chested Devon Aoki looks awfully out of place as Kasumi, especially in the volleyball scene. This is probably a critique on the game series anyway as Itagaki (good luck with the sexual harassment lawsuit) should spend more time worrying about the actual fighting mechanism than whether boobs are meant to bounce independently! But I digress again. While opponents in the film are still scantily clad, the filmmakers seems to prefer focusing on their female hero peachy bums more than anything else, which is fine by me. ;)

DOA: Dead or Alive is filled with martial art cliches, such as this.

Anyway I thought I would let you guys suffer/enjoy by uploading tons of screengrabs from the DVD, you know, to kill your 56k modems. At any rate, the DVD transfer seems to be of a good quality. It may be a bad movie, but DOA: Dead or Alive is actually a fun and entertaining film for Friday night switch-offs.

Urr...What!?? WTF???!

Itagaki's Dead or Alive 10, coming soon on Xbox 720.

Technorati tags:


Anonymous said...

You actually bothered to watch this show?

(asking in an incredulous manner)

RichardAM said...

With my interest in the videogames (and the fact there's girls, lots of girls) I was genuinely interested in buying this, even if it meant ignoring the fact that film videogames adaptations=bad.

I still might of course, but after this review, I think it would just be better to secretly download it and not tell anyone.

Jon Choo said...

Like Richard, I do try to watch as many video games adaptations, even the ones that are critically panned.

Richard, I believe the whole film was once available on google video.

HardiJ said...

I actually almost puke watching this film. It's just incredibly horrible and decided to fall asleep about half an hour of watching it. Am surprised I can hang on that long!

Anonymous said...

Yeah... that's what I'm talking about! :)

Anonymous said...

Hahaha. Fab. Best film Ev