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King of Fighters, The 
Written by: on August 4th, 2011


Theatrical Release Date: USA / Canda, 2010
Director: Gordon Chan
Writers: Rita Augustine, Matthew Ryan Fischer
Cast: Maggie Q, Sean Faris, Will Yun Lee, Ray Park, David Leitch, Françoise Yip, Hiro Kanagawa, Bernice Liu, Monique Ganderton

DVD released: July 26th, 2011
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: R
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release:
Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price:
$24.98

Synopsis: The descendants of rival clans are transported to another dimension, where they complete against each other in a martial arts tournament.
 
The King of Fighters was directed by Gordon Chan, who’s other notable film’s include Fight Back to School, Fight Back to School II and Fist of the Legend. The screenplay for The King of Fighters was adapted from a series of video games that were created by SNK Playmore. The cinematographer on The King of Fighters was Arthur Wong, who’s other notable film’s a cinematographer include Eastern Condors, Dragon Inn and Iron Monkey.

Though The King of Fighters is not the first and most certainly will not be the last film to be adapted from a video game. It does continue the trend that countless other video game inspired films have traversed before it. Once again it is yet another film that fails to capture the essence of the game that it is adapting.
 
First off, this film adaptation spends way too much time trying to explain everything who everyone is and the origins of the fighting tournament at the center of this film. And while in most instances such back-story enhances the story at hand, in this film’s case it actually hinders the film from ever building any real momentum.
 
Furthermore it often feels like that the plot is nothing more than window dressing for what is the meat of this production, it’s action sequences. Unfortunately these aforementioned action sequences are not without their flaws and anyone who is even remotely a fan of martial arts or actions films in generally, are sure to come away from these sequences feeling underwhelmed.
 
As if this production did not have enough strikes against it, another area in which it often comes up short are the performances from its cast. Headlining this mediocre cast is Maggie Q, who recent years became a household name because of the T.V. series ‘Nikita’. My first exposure to her was via the film Naked Weapon. The character which she portrays in this film is not to far removed from the bad ass female fighter roles that she is far too often cast in. If any performance that left any lasting impression, that would be this film’s main bad guy, who is deliriously portrayed by Ray Park (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra).

The DVD:

Well Go USA presents The King of Fighters in an anamorphic widescreen. There are no problems with compression and details look crisp throughout. Black and contrast levels look consistently good throughout.

This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout. Range wise outside of more action orientated moments, both audio mixes are rather limited at times.

Extras for this release are limited to a trailer for the film (1 minute 28 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and trailers for other Well Go USA titles soon to be released or available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Overall The King of Fighters gets a good audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
 
Note: Well Go USA are also releasing The King of Fighters on DVD.
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