Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf
Plot: Brothers Terry and Andy Bogard are out with their martial arts master and their father one day. Suddenly, their father gets murdered by his old nemesis, Geese. Terry and Andy both make a pact on their father’s grave that they will train for ten years and return to take down Geese. Ten years go by and the brothers have reunited, prepared to take on Geese. Before they do so, however, the secret technique of their school must be passed on to either Terry or Andy. They decide to enter a martial arts tournament in order to decide who will inherit the technique, but before they can decide a victor, Geese breaks up the party. Will the brothers defeat Geese? Who will get the secret technique? Is it true that this same story has been told 3 trillion times before and better?
Reason for rating: Fatal fury truly suffers from poor pacing. With a recycled plot, semi-poor dialogue, inconsistent martial arts portrayal, and boring story, it’s not looking very good for this movie.
This movie isn’t even a full hour long. That’s a fairly significant problem. The story may not be good, but it’s a story that would need at least an hour and a half to tell correctly. The pacing is so bad that it makes for simply stupid dialogue at some points.
Before we get to the breakdown, let’s tackle the “I don’t get this” stuff. First, does the anime really expect us to take a villain named ‘Geese’ seriously? I was basically expecting associates named Ducks, Herons and Pelicans under the gang name ‘Waterfowl’.
Secondly, exactly what kind of realm is this world? They do nothing but regular martial arts for the first like 40 minutes. Then we get introduced to the secret hurricane fist, which looks like Goku acting like Taz. Then we have Geese shooting off chi blasts like the ki blasts in DBZ. In addition, this is very obviously a world with guns. Several characters get shot in this. I know this is a martial arts flick, but…why not shoot them? If you want them dead so badly and don’t give a shit about honor or finding worthy opponents why not shoot them? You tried to before. Wounded one. Why not do it again?
Third, how did Andy cough up blood if he protected his chest from the blow?
Fourth, I get that these guys are tough, but Joe gets shot in the shoulder and can just whoop people’s asses without much effort?
There are other minor things, but they’re not all that important.
Now onto the breakdown. Terry and Andy are with their master and father on a day out. Their father, Jeff, is with a group of young kids and buys a flower from a young girl. Suddenly, Jeff is attacked and killed by his old rival, Geese. Geese flees the scene (Must’ve been chicken)
along with the young flower girl. Terry and Andy later make a pact on Jeff’s grave that they will train for ten years and then return to avenge their fallen father.
Ten years go by and we meet Terry again. Annndddd *fast forward* blahblahblahblahblahunimportantBSblahblahblahTheflowergirlfrombeforeisnowanadult,guesswherethisisheadingblahblahblah. Terry and Andy reunite and meet up with their master. They have to decide who gets to learn the secret technique of their school as it needs to be passed on before Master Tung dies. They can’t decide so they decide to enter a martial arts tournament in order to determine who gets the technique…..why they couldn’t have just had a fight is beyond me, but whatever.
Geese learns of this and decides to kill Terry. He sends the flower girl from before, Lily, to poison Terry. Again, perfectly usable guns. You have no qualms against using them. Police apparently don’t exist….gun. Lily, however, can’t do it because she’s fallen for Terry. Damn, that was quick. Are you by chance related to a Disney Princess? Terry kisses her (You almost poisoned me? Lay one on me, sweet stuff!) and goes off to the tournament. Geese finds out that Lily failed in her mission and decides to, get this, SHOOT HIM. Once Terry and Andy have, predictably, met in the ring, Geese’s sniper takes aim. Andy’s fighter friend, Joe, decides to take the bullet for them and is shot in the shoulder. Before the sniper can make a second shot, however, the power goes out. When the power returns, all three are gone. Geese sends his men out to find them.
Lily leads them out of the building. They lock themselves in a room and drop a ladder out the window. Lily forces each of them to go ahead of her and, shocker, she gets caught by Geese who promptly pushes her/chi blasts(?) her out the window. Terry holds the remarkably unbloody Lily in his arms as she dies and he yells to the heavens. (*sigh*) Master Tung shows up and drives them away, but is mortally wounded by Geese in the process. The doctor claims Tung might not even make it until morning. Andy runs out of the hospital and meets up with a remarkably mostly-recovered Joe. They go off to avenge both his father and Master Tung. Terry stays behind at his Master’s request and Master walks outside like nothing and teaches Terry the move in like two seconds. (Seriously, it’s just “Here’s the stance” “Okay” “Feel the chi of the earth” “I can’t do it!” “You must!” “Okay” *does it* “And then unleash it!” *does hurricane thing* “Wow Master, thanks for showing me—oh hey you died….Oh hey you died in a completely impossible position. Okay…” Takes place over the course of maybe a minute and a half. Not kidding.) Terry then goes after Andy and Joe.
Andy and Joe arrive at Geese’s place and fight two of his lackeys. They fall after some fighting. Andy and Joe face Geese himself, who, oddly enough, doesn’t seem to show a lick of martial arts talent. Seriously, in both his fight with Terry and Andy he just seems to stand there, dodge and shoot energy blasts from his hands. Geese blows Andy away with one shot and no effort. (Sorry Andy, apparently the writer doesn’t like you) Terry shows up and Andy passes the baton to Terry. (As if he had a choice) Terry faces Geese and this is, by far, one of the most disappointing endings I’ve ever seen. Well, disappointing might be the wrong term. Disappointing usually implies that you were look forward to something….Lame. Yes, lamest ending fight ever.
Terry faces Geese and uses a move quite similar to the Gaia Crusher from G Gundam called the Power Wave. Because that’s an imaginative name. Geese easily dodges and teleports behind him. Terry tries to recover with another move called the Burning Knuckle or something (Wait, first the Gaia Crusher, now the Burning Knuckle(finger?) Come to think of It, wasn’t there a tornado move in G Gundam too?) Geese catches his attack and just palms him in the chest. Then Geese shoots a chi blast at him. Terry, however, blocks it with his hands. Terry’s losing confidence, but decides to use the secret move on him. Geese is shocked (really?) by him using this move. However, Terry’s move is not good enough to defeat Geese. Oh, did I say that? I meant to say “Terry forgot to stop dicking around and actually put his all in that last move.” He does it again and this time it defeats Geese.
I know I make that sounds somewhat interesting, but, again, this all takes place in like a minute. After the battle, Andy, Terry and Joe go to Jeff’s grave to put flowers on it. They decide to part ways. Joe goes off to train harder for the championship. Andy goes off to become stronger than Terry due to the fact that Master chose Terry over him. And Terry goes off the train as well to get deeper roots or whatever he said. The end.
All taking up a total of about 46 minutes. Bad pacing. So bad. The entire movie is so damn predictable. Even if you’ve never seen a movie with this kind of plotline, you can predict everything that happens. Of course they’re gonna want revenge, of course they’re gonna train, of course Terry is going to be chosen, of course Terry’s gonna fall for little miss flower, of course Andy’s gonna fail etc. etc. etc. There is nothing you haven’t seen in this movie. Usually that can be made up with in cheesy fun, but there’s not even that much of that in here. The fighting moves aren’t even all that impressive. I still don’t even understand how being spun around a few times and thrown into pond can kill a master of martial arts. The anime might have been better if it focused more on the brothers and their relationship/rivalry more than the other BS, but even then it wouldn’t have been very original or interesting.
Bottomline: I guess if you’re not bothered by movies like these then maybe you should give it a watch. 40-some odd minutes isn’t that much to sacrifice. It’s not god-awful, but man is it poorly paced, poorly written and cliché as hell.
Art: The art isn’t that awful and the animation is fairly decent.
Music: Typical 80’s-esque fight movie music.
Additional Information and notes:
Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf (Not even sure what that title means…) is based off the Fatal Fury game series. This movie was produced by NAS and directed by Hiroshi Fukutomi. The English Dubbed version is available from ViZ.
Recommend audience: Mmm, some murder, a little swearing, blood….Eh, 13+