“D.O.A.” is based on a series of videogames. In this film Three dangerous women, Christie,
Tina, and Princess Kasumi, each facing their own personal demons, have been summoned to a
far away island for the “D.O.A.” fighting competition, run by the billionaire Donovan. As
they kick, punch and scratch their way through a smorgasbord of fighters, they are recorded
by the island's invasive video cameras and watched on multiple screens in a computer
Once the brutal game begins, the women begin to scrap their way through the rankings, a
darker secret concerning the tournament is revealed. Donovan injects all competitors with
nanobots that record data from their blood stream. This data is relayed back into the
computer system so that when Donovan views the fights, incongruous colored bars hover in the
upper right and left corners of the screen, indicating the power levels of each competitor.
Each time a player is hit, the bar reduces. As the bar is diminished, the fighter becomes
more sluggish, until it disappears completely and the fighter collapses. When this happens,
giant red and yellow words jump onto the screen and announce who won, who lost, and how.
“D.O.A.” doesn’t feature much in the character development department. Legendary action
director Cory Yuen seems the proper man for the job. DOA occasionally touches on a good
story, interesting characters and some sort of drama, but kicks away in favor of a slavish
desire to package the entire production in the style of its source material.
The film is short, but still is not an awful film. After all, this is based on a video game
experience, so reality doesn’t ever enter the equation. The end of the film stumbles with a
noticeable fatigue the earlier adventure lacked, as though Yuen lost interest in the
lighting pulse of the film.