Telaphone / Member

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DOA - Doesn't mean Dead or Alive (more like Dead on Arrival)

I didn't have high expectations going into this movie and after seeing it, it's not as bad as I thought it would be, but it wasn't good either. What DOA amounts to is going through a fast paced buzzsaw full of over the top flair and flash. As a video game movie they pretty much mess up a lot of things about the DOA universe but even if it weren't related to a video game this film would still be pretty lackluster.

The movie begins by introducing Kasumi played by Devon Aoki. We quickly find why she didn't say anything when she played Miho in Sin City. Her acting is laughably bad. To top off this awkward introduction she leaps out of a castle and deploys a mini hang glider in a very WTF moment. She then receives a DOA invite and it recaps who she is. This trend continues for Tina, and Christie to the point it becomes monotonous So after all is said and done they take a plane to an island which they need to parachute into to participate in the DOA tournament to win ten million dollars. But all is not what it seems as a conspiracy unravels. The story is pretty sub par, and the action is over the top, not to mention there's probably a fight every two seconds.

However, I will say that the film did become slightly interesting in the second half. The story, shifts focus from a DOA tournament to a rescue mission, though it might as well have been the same because they're just fighting like they always do. Mainly the characters actions and relationships that form make the film more interesting towards the end than it was at the beginning.

Since this is a movie based on a video game I thought I'd compare how some of the characters in the movie compare to the game. The characters in the movie are adequately likable, but my favorite characters from the game weren't my favorite in this movie and my least favorite characters from the game became likable in the movie. I thought Kasumi wasn't anything to write home about, and even though she seemingly seems to be the main character there isn't a lot of her incorporated into the movie. Tina is ok, she's neither here nor there. Holly Valance doesn't seem right as Christie (she doesn't look good as a blonde or whatever they did with her hair) but she seems to be the main focus of the movie.

Leon looks more like Bryan Fury from the Tekken series more than he does Leon from DOA. Bayman acts like a total idiot. Characters like Lei-Fang (my favorite) have a minimal role in the movie (which is ok because the actress they chose for her looks like Tengu). Also Gen-Fu and Brad Wong are in the movie for a flash second and although the credits say Hitomi is in the movie I don't recall seeing her. Hayabusa seems to fear women, but is somewhat likable. Hayate is a master of acupuncture but I never liked him in the game anyway. Bass I had no beef with but had to be in it I suppose. The film also needed to create roles for characters who aren't actually in the game like Max (lame), Weatherby (kind of liked him), and Donovan (the ultimate badass villain).

I'm not a big fan of Zack in the game but he is kind of cool in this movie. He is a little humorous plus I thought he had some cool hair. The character who stole the show for me was Helena. I was never a fan of her character in the games but though she was the best in this movie. They did screw up her character by not making her French but she has enough good looks and charisma to make the film watchable. The accuracy of how the characters related to their game counterparts wasn't an issue for me. I didn't anticipate they would get something like it correct so I let the film makers have a pass on that issue.

Another thing that caught my eye is the way the movie looked. The environments and sets were interesting and beautiful. The camera work and shots selection was pretty interesting. The movie is shot pretty well even if everything else in the movie is sub par It has Ultraviolet syndrome, but DOA is more enjoyable than that film. If the cinematography wasn't interesting this film would probably be a complete loss.

All in all DOA is pretty ridiculous, it's not the best movie, its not the worst movie, but it is watchable... somewhat. If you're curious, don't expect much and you might be pleasantly surprised.