Monday, June 11, 2007

DOA: Dead or Alive (North America 2006)

DOA follows four beautiful female fighters and their quest in the martial arts tournament that is Dead or Alive. Kasumi (Devon Aoki - princess), begins a fight with Hayabusa (Kane Kosugi - resident ninja) about her brother Hayate's (ninja and the best fighter in the world) supposed death. If she leaves to find out what happened to her brother, she will become a shinobi, and her army will kill her. Worried about what could happen to her family, she leaves. When she does, she receives a DOA shuriken, inviting her to the tournament, which happens to be the last known location of her brother. Tina (Jaime Pressly - the professional wrestler), relaxes on her yacht, and is arguing with her father about the importance of taking professional wrestling seriously. At the same time, a gang of pirates shows up and as you can imagine, Tina makes short work of them. A DOA shuriken pierces the side of her boat. Christie (Holly Valance - the Thief) is being investigated along with her "partner" Maximillian Marsh (Matthew Marsden), after a theft of diamonds. After some quick moves, she evades arrest, and the authorities, just in time to receive her invite. Ayane (Natassia Malthe - resident ninja), is instructed to secretly follow Kasumi, and kill her for betraying the clan. Helena (Sarah Carter- descendent of the DOA creator) welcomes the three girls and the other participants that have entered. Helena then introduces the fighters to meet Donovan (Eric Roberts - DOA host and bad guy), the organizer of this year's DOA, who explains about the $10 million prize money, and some of the history about the tournament. However, fighters be warned. These fights can take place at anytime, and anywhere!

When adapting a popular video game, a fighting to be more specific there has to be one simple rule: make the fighting as awesome, fun and fantastic as the source material. This is a tall order for DOA (based off the Tecmo/Team Ninja popular series of fighting games), mainly due to the fact that the movie loses most of the games main story line and tailors it around the four girls. So in turn, this just becomes an "Enter the Dragon" rehash. This is too bad because there is a lot of potential here. Some of the locations are beautiful with filming locations in Bangkok, Guilin, Heng Dian and Hong Kong. The stunt and choreography are decent at times, but it's your typical wire work and CG taking over a majority of the fight scenes. This is understandable with most of the talent involved. The one thing that stood out was the use of sound effects. The sound effect of a character launching and landing a kick, while a shotgun cocks and fire is just plain cool. It worked with the way the movie was presented. I would of liked the movie to take more risks. The acting is cheesy and weak most of the time, but the performance by Eric Roberts and Matthew Marsden will hurt the most and have you questioning the casting as a whole. Overall, DOA is another example of a video game-movie blunder. Due to the overseas release, the movie is wildly available on the internet for sale ( for example), but North American audiences will finally get DOA in theaters on June 15, 2007. So bottom line, if you're a fan of the game, you might get a chuckle out of it, but that's pretty much it. (Converter)

Buy DOA: Dead or Alive on DVD or VCD at YESASIA!

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