After a poor OVA and a decent OVA we get … a decent film! Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture is actually the third in this series of adaptations, referring back to the two OVAs frequently to make sure you’re aware of this fact. While the budget is much higher and the stakes much bigger (via an entirely original storyline) at the end of the day the film is still no patch on the Street Fighter II Animated Movie, which really is where my fascination with this film came from… Want to know more details, or maybe see more of those sweet-sweet screen-capped-from-Crunchyroll pictures? Read on!
Laocorn Gaudeamus is on a crusade searching for The Legendary Armor of Mars, and fearing that her twin brother is losing his sanity by every piece he collects Sulia Gaudeamus is on a quest to find the man who defeated Wolfgang Krauser: Terry Bogard. She hopes his strength might be able to overcome the potential arrival of a “new God”…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Ah yes, a motorbike. That’s the last cliché needed for the complete set!
So first thing’s first: the plot. It’s really weird and not-at-all suited to Fatal Fury. King of Fighters? Sure! But not Fatal Fury. Laocorn Gaudeamus (generic pretty boy antagonist dressed like a Pillar Man from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) and his three hench-people Panni (woman), Hauer (Vega) and Jamin (generic Pillar Man again) are after a set of magical armour that will grant the wearer the power of Mars, the God of War (not the planet). Laocorn’s twin sister Sulia fears for her brother’s sanity and so seeks out Terry for his strength, the two meeting while she’s being chased by some generic masked fodder. After a reunion at a party, Terry, Andy, Joe and Mai watch as Kim Kaphwan reappears in order to get beaten half to death by a partially transformed Cheng Sinzan (minor game character) before just eking out a win, then they listen to Sulia’s crazy story and decide to help. This leads to a hunt for the last few armour parts and features a revisit to Krauser’s castle and an awkward moment where the Vega-a-like starts stripping Mai before being chased off by Andy.
Terry is about to learn a valuable lesson: Don’t challenge the lead villain in the middle of the film. It’s never going to end well.
Terry is wiped out by Laocorn but is partially healed by Sulia’s healing powers, powers that apparently require her to lay all-but naked on top of him. She looks like she’s under 16 even if she isn’t meant to be and so it made the whole thing really… really awkward. Andy and Mai take care of Panni and Hauer at their hotel and so it soon all comes down to the final armour part and Terry, Andy, Joe, Mai and Sulia arrive just a little bit too late. Terry runs ahead with Sulia while Andy, Mai and Joe stay behind and fight generic masked thugs and soon Terry confronts and defeats Jamin on the way to the armour’s temple site. Terry’s too late and Laocorn puts on the final armour piece, becomes super powerful and beats Terry and all his allies up at the same time for a while.
Terry lands a decisive blow and his armour cracks… then a nearby statue wakes, absorbs the armour and a demonic version of Mars is created. It also beats everyone for a while, both Laocorn and Sulia are killed, and Terry defeats Mars in a fit of rage. Cue walking away with sunrise in the background and fin. It’s as plain as they come, but I can’t call it bad either. Well animated too, so it’s just that little bit more good than bad, but … it’s close.
Vega-alike and generic punk-looking woman smile in the satisfaction of their generic roles.
To quote myself a few sentences ago, while it’s not bad, it is extremely predictable and therefore can be quite dull. With original villains a lot of the fun game connections are gone as well, and while cameos from the likes of Geese, Billy, Duck King and Raiden are fun, they’re just that, cameos that last a few minutes if you’re lucky.
Also I want to mention that the random girl Terry met in the first OVA is apparently still haunting him, causing him to dream about her all the time and never really get over it… What the heck?! They met for all of a few hours before she died, how deep of a connection could they really have made? It was dug up purely so Sulia could be the “next one” that Terry finally got over the other one for, but then Sulia dies again anyway, which is just cruel, and given there is no fourth OVA/Film ends the series on a rather low note, dramatic and tragic it may be (in intention…)
Mai, Andy and Joe ready to inevitably fail against the final enemy before Terry saves the day.
Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture isn’t a bad way to spend an hour and a half, though frankly there are many better options out there. It’s well animated and all, but the storyline is cliché as f- … as all hell to the point where you know the film before it’s even a quarter of the way through. Not bad, not good, somewhere in the middle!