The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture

Title: Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture aka Garou Densetsu: The Motion Picture
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Shochiku
Format: Movie, 95 minutes.
Dates: 16 Jul 1994

Synopsis: Laocorn Gaudeamus is a wealthy young man who is bent on possessing the six pieces of armor that belonged to the ancient God of War, Mars. His twin sister Sulia, fearing that her brother is becoming more deranged and posing a danger to mankind, seeks the help of Terry Bogart and his comrades to help prevent disaster.

The Highlights
Cinematography: Surprisingly good with a climatic ending.
Animation: Beyond words… in a negative way.
Plot: As predictable as it can possibly get.
Cheese factor: Immeasurable.

Fatal Fury has established its name predominantly in the gaming world and has since been the pinnacle of 2D fighting games. When it was announced that the popular game would make it onto the big screen, gaming fans rejoiced… but I did not. History has shown that anime titles adapted from video games tend to mostly end up atrocious and bland. Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture turns out to be just one of those movies that deserves to be forgotten – alongside other similar titles such as Tekken and Samurai Showdown.

The first attribute that can be said to be remotely positive about this movie is its cinematography. The movie begins and ends on an epic scale, which was what initially made me stay on and watch it the entire way through. I am also fan of the original game, though in retrospect this may not have been sufficient reason to sit through an anime of this poor quality.

What starts off as a decent enough movie slowly descends into mediocrity with its shoddy animation and artwork. We are then treated to nothing more than still backgrounds and exaggerated fighting sequences. It is times like these that any viewer will be crying out for some serious plot, which incidentally is paper-thin throughout the entire 95 minutes. Furthermore, one does not need to be a fortune-teller to see where the story is going. A plot this predictable is doomed for failure from the very beginning.

The cast is – putting it as mildly as possible – extremely shallow. Rather than venturing into each character’s past and background to create some camaraderie between them, the movie focuses more on how each of them is able to put up a mean face and pummel their opponents to a pulp. However, all this fighting mayhem does come to a climax eventually, where it escalates into a bout of biblical proportions… an aspect of the show that I can actually commend.

Despite having good cinematography and a climatic closure, it still does not change the fact that Fatal Fury is utter rubbish. Even if you are a fan of the game, you will need nerves of steel to actually make it through the entire film. I managed to do so, and while the little gaming kid inside was jumping for joy, I was thoroughly disappointed nonetheless.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: AC

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