The lights are on
Power Member - Level 7
Although many people list DOA: Dead Or Alive under the genre of action, I'm almost positive it's a comedy. In fact, I'd go so far as to call it a martial arts spoof movie. It's a hilarious parody of the fighting tournament stock plot so common in martial arts films, including the Mortal Kombat movies.
But the thing that surprised me the most about DOA: Dead Or Alive is that it was fun. Of all the words I could use to describe this movie, "boring" would not be one of them. Like heading straight to the desert section of a buffet and assembling a creation made up of a little bit of everything, DOA: Dead Or Alive is a sugar rush for the senses that leaves you feeling a little guilty for having enjoyed it.
Let me set the scene:
Princess Kasumi has been informed that her brother is dead. But apparently she's genre savvy, because she responds that if there is no body, then he clearly isn't dead. She desires to go out and find him herself, but is told that if she leaves, she will be forever outcast like her brother was. After a heated discussion while surrounded by 200 kneeling guards, she takes off running...across the guards kneeling backs! She then throws her sword into the castle wall in front of her, and uses it as a trampoline to launch herself over it!
Now she's suddenly miles up in the air and falling! So she removes her Kimono and activates a fold-out hang glider she'd apparently been hiding underneath this entire time! A small blade whizzes by her, which she snatches out of the air! But rather it wasn't intended to kill; the blade actually contains an invitation to join a reality TV fighting tournament!
The above description might sound completely absurd to you, but it still doesn't do the actual scene justice. It's one of the most absolutely bonkers sequences in any videogame movie ever. I love it.
The rest of the film is literally just a continual stream of uninterrupted fight sequences. At one point the film takes a break from regular fight sequences in order to show a montage of shorter fight sequences. This seemed strange to me, because aren't the fight sequences the entire point? Were they shortening these in order to make room to introduce a little bit of plot?
No. They were doing it to make room for more fight sequences.
Normally this would get boring after awhile, but they throw this constant stream of ridiculousness at you at such a rapid pace that you're never even given a moment to catch your breath. In fact, the only place where the movie drags a little is near the start of the second act, when they make the mistake of trying to wedge some actual plot into it via exposition and a series of confusing flashbacks. But then it goes back to being crazy again.
Even the cheesecake is so over-the-top that while I initially just rolled my eyes, eventually it managed to get a few laughs out of me. There's just no way you can take this movie seriously. Though that might not entirely be true. It wouldn't surprise me if there are teenage boys out there who the humor is lost on, because they're too busy watching the text to notice the subtext. And when I say "text" I mean "breasts."
I felt the ending dragged a little, but mainly because they ran out of room to further escalate the lunacy. When an evil David Carradine lookalike reveals the high tech sunglasses that allow him to steal everyone's moves, it almost doesn't seem crazy enough, because they've already hit the ceiling on crazy. At that point, I think the only way the movie could have ended in a satisfying way is if the entire island suddenly took off into the sky.
DOA: Dead Or Alive is delicious and bad for you.