The King of Fighters (film)

The King of Fighters is a 2010 American science fiction-martial arts film that is loosely based upon SNK's The King of Fighters '96 from The King of Fighters series of fighting games.[4] Directed by Gordon Chan, it stars Sean Faris as Kyo Kusanagi, Maggie Q as Mai Shiranui, Will Yun Lee as Iori Yagami, and Ray Park as Rugal Bernstein.[5]

The King of Fighters
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGordon Chan
Produced by
  • Andrew Mann
  • Tilo Seiffert
  • Bobby Sheng
  • Joseph Chou
  • Tim Kwok
Screenplay by
  • Rita Augustine
  • Matthew Ryan Fischer
Story by
  • Rita Augustine
  • Chris Chow
Based onThe King of Fighters
by SNK
Music byTetsuya Takahashi
CinematographyArthur Wong
Edited byKip-hop Chan
  • Double Edge Entertainment
  • VIP Midienfonds 4 GmbH
  • Inferno International
  • Rising Star
  • Convergence Entertainment, Inc.
  • Axis Entertainment, Inc.
  • Scion Films
Distributed by
Release date
  • August 31, 2010 (2010-08-31) (Canada)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States[2]
Budget$12 million
Box office$2,370,613[3]


The King of Fighters is a tournament held in an alternate dimension. When contestants are issued challenges, they enter the tournament via a special bluetooth headset.

Mai Shiranui and her boyfriend Iori Yagami attend a private unveiling of three relics at a museum in Boston: The Kagura Mirror, the Yagami Necklace and the Kusanagi Sword. Rugal Bernstein storms into the exhibit and steals the three relics, and uses them to disappear into a dimensional portal to awaken the mythical entity known as the Orochi, which grants limitless powers. The sword is revealed to be a fake and the quest is delayed. Mai is told by an injured Chizuru Kagura the real sword is with Saisyu Kusanagi at a mental institution. She is warned she must defeat Rugal and that Iori should not be involved. At the institution, Mai meets a catatonic Saisyu and his son, Kyo, but Iori's presence suddenly breaks Saisyu's catatonic state, and the elder Kusanagi threatens to kill Iori before losing consciousness and dying.

At another hospital, Chizuru is recovering from her injury and is informed by her colleague, Scott, that Rugal has altered the King of Fighters database and issued challenges to fighters around the world. CIA agent Terry Bogard enters Chizuru's room, demanding information on Rugal's whereabouts and the tournament. She tells that different dimensions exist, but he does not believe. Chizuru tells Terry to go to Seattle and ask Mai, who is an undercover operative sent by the CIA to infiltrate Chizuru's organization a year ago.

At a cemetery in Seattle, where Saisyu is buried, Kyo and Iori confront each other. Iori explains that both Kusanagi and Yagami clans were destined to be enemies. Mai hitches a ride with Kyo to his home, where she explains that she is looking for the Kusanagi Sword. Kyo tells her that centuries ago, a Yagami ancestor attempted to release the Orochi, but it consumed him with murderous rage. Kyo's ancestor killed the Yagami and returned the Orochi into its world. Mai tells Kyo that Rugal is out to unleash the Orochi. Kyo wants to confront Rugal, who destroyed his father's mental state.

At a hotel, Mai and Kyo meet up with Iori and Terry. Rugal is using the tournament dimension to merge it with the real world. After Mai blows her cover in front of Kyo, Iori puts on his Bluetooth headset and enters the tournament dimension to confront Rugal. There, he defeats Rugal's servants, Mature and Vice, only to have his mind consumed by the Orochi.

The next day, Kyo is lured into the tournament dimension, where he first fights Rugal and loses, but is allowed to live as a warning. Kyo brings out his ancestral sword and joins Chizuru and Terry into the tournament after Mai is dragged in by Rugal. When the four meet up, they are separated into different dimensions, with Kyo fighting Rugal, and Mai and Terry facing Mature and Vice. Rugal is about to decapitate Kyo, when Iori appears and intervenes. Rugal reveals to Kyo that several years back, he battled Saisyu, Chizuru and Iori over control of the Orochi. During that fight, Iori allowed the Orochi to take over his body, defeating Rugal, but also destroying Saisyu's mental state by bashing his head against a wooden barrier several times. This leads to a fight between Kyo and Iori. Kyo slashes Iori in the back, releasing the Orochi from his body.

Disappointed by the outcome of the fight, Rugal sends Kyo, Iori and Mai into another dimension to face them with his full potential. Chizuru and her multiple clones appear, revealing that she has found the mirror and the necklace. The heroes fail in their first attempt to combine the relics and trap Rugal, with Chizuru mortally wounded. Mai takes her place as the mirror holder, but as she, Kyo and Iori corner Rugal, they are once again overcome by his powers. Rugal destroys Kyo's sword, but as he is about to finish him off with a fireball, Kyo magically generates a new sword to block it. He then throws the sword and destroys Rugal.

Back in the real world, Scott places a lantern on the ocean in memory of Chizuru. Kyo decides to keep the family tradition by continuing with the tournament. He reflects on his late father's teachings while Iori stares at him from the other side of the pier.


  • Sean Faris as Kyo Kusanagi, a Japanese-American motorcycle enthusiast and the son of Japanese martial artist Saisyu Kusanagi. He is also a descendant of the Kusanagi clan.[6] Faris spent a month learning how to use a Samurai sword in preparing for his role.[7]
  • Keanu Lam as young Kyo
  • Maggie Q as Mai Shiranui, an undercover CIA operative sent to infiltrate the King of Fighters tournament.
  • Will Yun Lee as Iori Yagami, a King of Fighters participant and descendant of the Yagami clan.
  • Ray Park as Rugal Bernstein, a mysterious man who steals the three relics and uses them to take over the King of Fighters dimension.
  • Françoise Yip as Chizuru Kagura, descendant of the Kagura clan and host of the King of Fighters tournament.
  • Hiro Kanagawa as Saisyu Kusanagi, descendant of the Kusanagi clan and keeper of the Kusanagi Sword.
  • David Leitch as Terry Bogard, a CIA agent investigating on the activities of the King of Fighters tournament. Leitch was also the film's fight choreographer.
  • Monique Ganderton as Mature, a female King of Fighters participant and Vice's girlfriend, who is lured into the tournament dimension and brainwashed by Rugal.[8]
  • Bernice Liu as Vice, a female King of Fighters participant and Mature's girlfriend. As with Mature, she also becomes Rugal's servant.
  • Sam Hargrave as Mr. Big. He loses to Mai in the film's opening battle.
  • Scott Patey as Scott Hana

The fighters that did not make their appearances in this movie:


The filmings began on November 3, 2008 at Aja Tan Studios, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Shooting finished on January 19, 2009.[9]

Release and receptionEdit

The King of Fighters was released direct-to-DVD in the United States on September 7, 2010 through Vivendi Home Entertainment.[10] It was re-released in the U.S. by Well Go USA Entertainment.[11]

Beyond Hollywood gave the film a negative review, saying that it "wastes a lot of unnecessary time trying to convince itself that the audience needs to know everything there is to know about its history (a history that has absolutely nothing to do with the game, by the way), when it should have just accepted that it’s a movie based on a 2D fighting game, spend 10 minutes tops on the explanations, and get to the fighting already."[10] Felix Vasquez, Jr. of Cinema Crazed gave the film one-and-a-half out of four stars, commenting that "yet another semi-classic video game from the nineties is butchered in to yet another half assed lazily made film."[12]


Ledo Millennium announced that they are working with 37 Mutual Entertainment for new anime and live action adaptations of The King of Fighters.[13][14][15]


  1. ^ "Easternlight Films - Arclight and Micott & Basara Fund Fighters". Archived from the original on 2008-12-28. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
  2. ^ Elley, Derek (October 25, 2012). "The King of Fighters". Film Business Asia. Archived from the original on August 2, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  3. ^ "The King of Fighters". Box Office Mojo/CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2014-05-07.
  4. ^ The King of Fighters on IMDb
  5. ^ "IMDB The King of Fighters Cast".
  6. ^ Brian Ashcraft, "King of Fighters Movie Promotional Images," Kotaku (June 11, 2009).
  7. ^ Kit Yan, Seto (September 1, 2010). "Leaping into action". The Star. Star Media Group Berhad. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  8. ^ Behind-the-Scenes Video for King of Fighters[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Sean
  10. ^ a b Beyond Hollywood - The King of Fighters Review Archived 2015-09-23 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Well Go USA Home Entertainment - The King of Fighters". Archived from the original on 2012-01-22. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
  12. ^ Cinema Crazed - The King of Fighters Review Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Effendi, Sean (January 10, 2016). "THE KING OF FIGHTERS Anime and Live Action Announced". Kitakubu.
  14. ^ 37 mutual Entertainment announced the production of "The King of Fighters" animation and live-action TV series
  15. ^ Franz "d3v" Co (January 11, 2016). "King of Fighters Anime, Live Action Drama in the Works". Shoryuken.

External linksEdit