Reviewed by: Bob Rossiter
VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Dead or Alive 3
VIDEO GAME REVIEW: DOA Extreme Beach Volley Ball
NUDITY—Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer
VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect the family? Answer
LESBIANISM—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?
|Featuring:||Natassia Malthe, Devon Aoki, Matthew Marsden, Kevin Nash, Jaime Pressly, Silvio Simac, Sarah Carter, Steve Howey, Holly Valance, Eric Roberts|
|Producer:||Andreas Schmid, Robert Kulzer, Daniel Kletzky|
|Distributor:||MGM Distribution Company|
“Alone they are unbeatable… Together they are invincible”
How do you make a hit movie based on a video game? After watching “DOA: Dead or Alive,” I’m starting to think it isn’t possible. It takes enormous amount of writing skill, hard work, and a lot of poetic license to achieve this.
The movie actually has a pretty good plot. Princess Kasumi (Devon Aoki) learns that her brother has been killed at a DOA martial arts tournament. In spite of the fact that it’s against the law for her to leave the compound (under penalty of death), she escapes to go find him. Along the way she receives an invitation to attend the tournament for a chance to receive its $10 million prize. Two ninjas follow her. Ryu (Kane Kosugi) is her brother’s best friend and goes with her for protection and assistance, but Ayane’s (Natassia Malthe) job is to bring her back to the compound or kill her.
We are also introduced to several other invitees to DOA. Both Tina (Jaime Pressly) and her father, Bass (Kevin Nash—a title-winning wrestler in both the WCW and WWF, also known as Diesel), are pro-wrestlers, while Christie (Holly Valance) is a thief.
These and others were invited to the tournament because they are the best in their own styles of fighting. That is, with the exception of Max (Matthew Marsden), Christie’s partner in crime and sometimes bed buddy. No one is sure just how he received his invitation. But he has his own reasons for wanting to be at DOA. Another invitee, Helena (Sarah Carter), is the founder’s daughter, and is being allowed to participate in memory of her deceased father, since she is now 21 years old. And what video game based movie would be complete without the gamer being represented? I think we see this in Weatherby (Steve Howey), the computer nerd for DOA that couldn’t look any geekier if he tried. He’s the one who checks out the girls (in more ways than one) to figure out in advance which one has the best qualities to be the winner.
The plot is introduced at the beginning and brought to a close at the end, but seems to be forgotten throughout most of the movie. The majority of screentime is spent showing fight scenes and zooming in on women’s bikinis, cleavage and underwear. At the first, especially, there are scenes of complete female nudity, but camera angles, lighting and other computer tricks are used to cover up the most essential parts of their bodies, barely keeping DOA from getting an R-rating. There is also a scene of full frontal male nudity in the middle of the movie, but again, lighting and camera tricks are used to hide his most essential parts and not much more.
There are half a dozen cases of light foul language and a couple more times when God’s name is used in vain. There are also quite a few sexual comments and innuendo. At one point, Bass busts into his daughter’s room to fight her and sees both Tina and Christie in bed together (nothing inappropriate going on). Several sexual and homosexual comments are made before he leaves the room.
Violence is prevalent throughout the movie, but without gore. For all the sword slashing, punches and kicks, there is no blood and only a couple bruises. The only deaths that occur are when ninjas put acupuncture-style needles into the back of their enemy’s necks.
I wasn’t impressed by “DOA: Dead or Alive.” It seems to me that someone took the worst parts of the old Japanese, karate movies and combined them with the even worse parts of “Charlie’s Angels”. I’m sure the actors are very good, but you wouldn’t see it in this film, because there isn’t much time devoted to allowing the actors to do their job. DOA is more about camera and computer operators and how well they can do fight moves in slow motion or do a close-up sweep of a woman’s barely clothed body. Some of the diehard DOA fans will want to see it, but I would recommend that if parents are going to allow their boys to view it, that they go along as well. It would likely be a better investment of your time, however, if the whole family watched something else.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Heavy