"DOA: Dead or Alive"
Directed by Corey Yuen.
Written by J.F. Lawton, Adam Gross and Seth Gross.
Starring Devon Aoki, Jaime Pressly, Holly Valance and Sarah
Release Year: 2007
Review Date: 6/18/07
Hello there, Hard Vice...how have you been?
I have wanted to see "DOA: Dead or Alive"
for quite a while now, although when I heard the film was completed
but being bumped from fall of '06 here in the US to spring '07 to
summer '07, it didn't take a fucking genius to see that "DOA" must
be some pretty bad stuff, otherwise it would have already seen the
light of day, or even, you know, a trailer in a freakin' movie
But, no--as it is, "DOA" is some of the
worst fucking shit of the year. Based on the second-most
famous Tecmo game of all time (I'm guessing you have heard of the
first even if you don't play video games), "DOA" takes a similar
format to the games--it's fighting at the highest level, as random
fighters from around the world compete to take home a $10 million
prize and prove themselves as the greatest fighter in the world.
This year's combatants include the mysterious Kasumi (Devon Aoki,
"2 Fast 2 Furious"), who is searching for her missing brother;
tournament rookie Helena (Sarah Carter); international thief
Christie (Holly Valance), who is in the tournament for glory AND to
skip out on a diamond heist charge; Tina (Jaime Pressly), a wrestler
who has a chip on her shoulder as a pro wrestler who is trying to
show the world that her skills are legit.
There are other fighters in the movie, but
all of them are reduced to "Minor Character" status quickly, because
we are told to not care about them. That, and this script
absolutely fucking blows.
Director Corey Yuen is famous for his work
in China; here, he hasn't been as lucky, although he did direct
which was generally considered a hit even if it wasn't all that
good. In directing "DOA" he has taken such a step backwards
that you almost can't believe this was allowed to ever be shown in
theaters; the fighting mostly sucks, the acting is atrocious (of
course, casting Eric Roberts as your bad guy kind of makes this a
no-brainer), the special effects look incredibly cheap at times, the
lines aren't funny, and the tie-in between game and movie is tough
to see at times; there is no real bad guy in the game except for
whoever it is you are fighting at the time, so by only giving us
about a third of a movie that is fighting, you are left with a
fucking TON of downtime, not so smart for a film based on a fighting
Sure, there's plenty of T&A here, and this
stays true to the game, which is one of the reasons why kids loved
it the world over. (By "kids", I mean anyone over the age of
11.) But, in a PG-13 film, you know you are only gonna get a
tease, so mixing that with some bad-ass fight scenes would have been
good...except, there are no badass fight scenes. Fighting
styles are never explained, the fight scenes aren't nearly
movie-epic enough given that this is supposed to be a stage for the
best fighters in the world...even some of the game's best characters
are made out to be patsies in this movie, none more so than Ryu
Hayabusa (Kane Kosugi), who is ridiculously good in the game but a
relative pushover in the movie.
The movie even tries a romantic angle late
in the action, with Helena going after a nerdy lab tech. Fuck,
"DOA" was bad...and, the worst thing? I didn't even mind when
a group of three teens sitting in the middle of the theater started
blatantly and loudly laughing at the dialogue every few minutes.
Please don't see this movie!
Rating: Hard Vice
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard