Plot (so called)
Dead or Alive – The Movie adapts its story of the same titled game from Team Ninja. Several fighters from all over the world, each one the best of the best in their martial arts, are invited by the D:O:A Organisation to fight for honor and 10 Million US Dollars ($$$kaching$$$) in a tournament named DOA – Dead or Alive. Christie, Tina, Helena and Princess Kasumi (our 4 heroines) enter the contest for money and glory with several other characters from the game. Everyone has its own reason to challenge the elite fighters of the world. Tina wants to show everyone that she is more than a Wrestler. Christie wants the money… just not by fighting. And Helena Douglas is the daughter of the deceased founder of the D:O:A. But the main story builds around the Princess of a Ninja Clan. Kasumi is on a quest to find her older brother who attended the tournament the year before but never returned. In order to find him she throws away everything, leaves the clan and becomes an outcast, impelled to fight every ninja or die. She is followed by Ayane (heroine number 5), assassin of the clan and in love with Kasumis brother Hayate. The oi-shinobi follows Kasumi to the tournament and so the “story” begins.
The contestants are brought together and the successor of Helenas father, Donovan (played by Eric Roberts) explains the rules: Every one fights in One-to-One battles. The pairs are randomly selected and send to each contestant on their arm wrists. A fight can be at every time and everywhere. The first one K.O. loses. The DOA begins… the fighting begins. Whilst the tournament Kasumi tries to find out more about what happened to her brother and as soon as her appendage Ryu disappears the heroine rivals group together to find out what dark background the DOA really has…
The movie is directed by Corey Yuen. Yuen was the action choreographer for movies like The Transporter, So Close (also director) or Lethal Weapon 4. He also had some minor acting roles in movies like Fong Sai Yuk or Thunderbolt and lots of second director jobs. Everyone who knows The Transporter or other action movies by Yuen must expect nothing less but good solid action. Maybe you are right but what about the actresses? Not really a HK-Action cast, is it?
Devon Aoki, top model and most commonly known as Miho from Sin City, can be expected to do a good job but to my surprise all do pretty good. The girls even better than the men. Singer Holly Valance (for some people the reason to watch DOA) shows much skin and even more fine action moves. Actress Sarah Carter fights her way through the tournament and she fights good. The choreography of the fighting scenes is way better somebody could expect from a movie that is promoted as one hell of a B-Movie. The stunts and fights are fast, fresh, good filmed and acted well. The wire action is handled perfectly by actor and director.
Sounds good you might think… and I must say it wasn’t really bad. I expected a movie around five hot women that just fight to show more and more skin. The Beach Volleyball Game is such a dispensable Scene but every man will love it (also a game from the DOA series: DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball – A Fanservice Game). But so is everything else. Every scene is beatiful and stuff but you cannot put your finger on what the film really is. There is not that much fighting to say it is a real fighting movie (The fighting is good especially in the rain. Looks like a Wet T-Shirt contest but is wonderful looking choreography). There are some Fanservice shots that will make every man happy but those are not cheap or dull. The story is too corny to base the film upon. The filming itself is good, pretty good, filled with some indirectness’s to fighting games like “Health Bars” during battles. Some minor flaws like when a deadly strucked down enemy falls down and afterwards takes back his arm to make way for the fighters can be overlooked. Overall the movie has everything and nothing.
Altogether I must say I was disappointed. Dead or Alive is not the bad B-Movie I expected, with some horny shots of women and real good fighting action. It just was a short Movie Mix which could be described as HK-Action-Adventure-Fighting-Love-Story. If I would rate it on a scale from 1 to 10 I would give it the amount of beer you had before you went to see it. DOA is fun to watch, nothing special but tries to handle every aspect of a classy fighting movie and a Fanservice game. If you are underage or as women loving as I am, go ahead, watch it, have fun, do not expect anything and just let it be!
I would like to end this post with a nice (and to the point) comic from Ctrl-Alt-Delete.
Dead or Alive (DOA)
- Directed by
- Corey Yuen
- Official Website (eng)
- Screenplay by
- J. F. Lawton, Adam Gross, Seth Gross
- approx. 87minutes
- Devon Aoki
- Princess Kasumi
- Holly Valance
- Jaime Pressly
- Sarah Carter
- Natassia Malthe
- Eric Roberts
- Kane Kosugi
- Collin Chou
Source of Pictures: Official Movie Site http://www.doa.film.de/