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Movie Poster, featuring (from left to right) Zack, Ayane, Kasumi, Tina, Hayate.

DOA: Dead or Alive is a 2006 martial arts film based on the Dead or Alive series, and was released worldwide in September, 2006 with a Japan release on February 10, 2007 and a limited-release in North America on June 15, 2007. It was made available on DVD in September 2007. Directed by Corey Yuen, the film has various appearances from characters of the game series. The film was panned by critics and failed commercially as well, becoming a box-office bomb.


DOAFilm Kasumi and Ayane

Ayane warning Kasumi of her fate if she leaves the temple.

The film opens with Ryu Hayabusa informing Kasumi of the death of her brother, Hayate and that she must become the leader of their clan. Unwilling to believe Hayabusa's words without seeing evidence of her brother's death, Kasumi decides to leave her temple to find Hayate. Ayane, a kunoichi of the clan, warns her that if she leaves, she is honor-bound to kill Kasumi, but the princess leaves anyway and becomes a runaway shinobi. As she is jumping the wall of the temple, Kasumi catches a flying shuriken on which the words "You are invited to DOA" appear, inviting her to the Dead or Alive Tournament.

Meanwhile, Tina Armstrong is on her yacht out on the South China sea, arguing with her father, Bass on the phone about her career: he wants her to continue pro-wrestling, but Tina is tired of being "a fake" and wants to prove she can fight for real. A gang of pirates pull alongside her boat, but Tina defeats them as a DOA shuriken pierces the side of her boat.

In Hong Kong, Christie Allen is found by the police in her hotel room and being questioned about the theft of cash and diamonds from another hotel, after they were tipped off by Christie's on-off boyfriend and partner-in-crime, Max (possibly so he can have the money to himself.) She manages to disarm and defeat all of them, and then leaves the building, driving off on a motorcycle as she receives her own shuriken. All the while, she is observed by Max.

The three girls are amongst a number of fighters - including Bass, Hayabusa, Leon, Gen Fu, Bayman, Zack, Leifang, Brad Wong, Jann Lee, Eliot, Hitomi, and Max (who, while not a real fighter, managed to get himself into the tournament) - invited to the Dead or Alive Island where they meet Helena Douglas, the daughter of the late Fame Douglas, the tournament's creator, and Dr. Victor Donovan, the organizer of the tournament, who explains about the $10 million prize money, and the history regarding the tournament.

Each fighter is analyzed in a lab - overseen by Donovan's head scientist, Weatherby - to record their strength, are all injected with nanobots which record their abilities, and are issued with ID bracelets, which show the name of their next opponent in the tournament.

The next day, the confrontations begin; Christie wins her first round against Jann Lee, Helena wins against Hitomi, Hayabusa wins against Eliot, Bayman wins against Brad, Gen Fu wins against Leifang, and Max fakes an injury so Zack went through to the next round.

Before her first round fight, Donovan explains to Kasumi that Hayate was defeated by Leon the previous year, falling from the top of a cliff and his body never to be found. After some more reflection, Kasumi realises that Leon couldn't have killed her brother and believes Donovan is lying. After telling Hayabusa, he offers to help her find out the truth. Later, Kasumi finds herself also matched against Leon; however, she soon defeats him, proving to herself that if she can win so easily, Leon could not possibly have beaten Hayate.

During the first night on the island, Max and Christie make on plan to steal over $100 million from the Douglas's family vault somewhere on the island, but they only have one source to follow on: "Helena is the key".

DOA Christie Helena

Christie and Helena in the volleyball match.

The next day, after Tina wins her fight round match against Bass, all the combatants take a time-out on the beach to let off steam. A volleyball tournament takes place down on the beach with Kasumi and Tina against Helena and Christie. Meanwhile, Hayabusa explores Donovan's compound for information about Hayate, but is soon captured by the building's booby traps. At the beach, the game abruptly ends when the ball is struck down by a throwing star and Kasumi realizes that Ayane is calling her out.

Ayane and Kasumi fight each other in the bamboo treetops, where Kasumi pleads for Ayane's help to find Hayate, pointing out that when he deserted the clan, she never pursued him out of love. Ayane coldly replies that he was different, and that Kasumi should come to terms with his death. Their confrontation ends with the arrival of the other girls searching for Kasumi, prompting Ayane to flee.

Final Slam

Christie and Helena battling in the rain.

With recreation time over, the tournament resumes with Tina being matched against Zack. The two fight at the forbidden square and Tina defeats him. The result leaves a showdown between Helena and Christie. In a dramatic beach fight in the rain, Christie notices a tattoo on the back of Helena's neck. Despite being caught off-guard by the image, Christie still manages to overpower Helena, progressing to the semi-finals of the tournament. Returning to Max, she recalls and deciphers the cryptic image, revealing the code and showing the location of the vault to be in a Buddha head statue. With a new round beginning the following day, Tina, Christie, and Kasumi go looking for Hayabusa at Donovan's compound. However, they themselves fall into a trap and are also captured.


The captured fighters.

Weatherby, who has fallen in love with Helena, reveals that Donovan wanted to use his technology to take it in "a new direction", and he and Fame got into a argument about it. Since Fame had objected to the idea, Donovan had him killed by Bayman. Helena gains new resolve to stop Donovan.

It is revealed that Donovan is planning to harvest the nanobots from the four best fighters, creating "The Dead or Alive Program": a bio-technology where the host will be able to predict and adapt to any fighting style, and therefore defeat any combatant. The technology had been Weatherby's, who had no idea Donovan would use it against fighters' wills, as well as for profit. Donovan downloads the program onto special sunglasses, reveals to the four captured fighters that he captured Hayate a year ago, as he was the world's greatest fighter. He challenges Hayate to one fight, to try and win the other's freedom, but the program allows him to effectively predict every move Hayate makes. Hayate falls through the floors of the building, but is saved by Ayane, and the two lovers are happily reunited. Just as Donovan is about to send the program to buyers across the globe, Weatherby and Helena prevent Donovan from broadcasting and contacts the CIA. Meanwhile, Max finds the vault and breaks the code, but is interrupted by Bayman, who under Donovan's command, knocks out Max and takes the cash.

Helena confronts Donovan as he tries to flee, and manages to hold him off for a short time as tries Weatherby unlocks the harvest pods but fails, and Donovan sets the compound on irreversible self-destruct. Weatherby finally unlocks the harvest pods, and with all the fighters freed, the girls join forces to take on Donovan as he attempts to escape in a four-on-one fight.

DOA Girls

The fight on the palace steps.

Hayabusa fends off Bayman with the help of Weatherby and Max, and soon Hayate and Ayane join the fight against Donovan. After a tough fight, Christie manages to knock off Donovan's glasses, preventing him from using the program. Kasumi finish him off by paralyzing him with a needle to the neck.

In the final moments, all the combatants jump off the cliff into the water, whilst Weatherby, Max and Hayabusa take an escape hatch. The compound explodes, presumably killing Donovan. Managing to gain a boat (humorously, from the same pirates that attacked Tina earlier in the movie), the group escapes the island. One week after the tournament, back at Kasumi's palace, the five female fighters join forces against the warrior guards on the steps of the palace.


Character Actor
Tina Armstrong Jaime Pressly
Kasumi Devon Aoki
Christie Allen Holly Valance
Helena Douglas Sarah Carter
Ayane Natassia Malthe
Ryu Hayabusa Kane Kosugi
Max Matthew Marsden
Victor Donovan Eric Roberts
Weatherby Steve Howey
Zack Brian White
Bass Armstrong Kevin Nash
Hayate Collin Chou
Bayman Derek Boyer
Leon Silvio Simac
Gen Fu Fang Liu
Leifang Ying Wang
Chief detective Chad McCore
Butler Martin Crewes
Gentleman Ted Thomas
Bellboy Li Shi
Nurse Jones Anna Bolt
Hitomi Hung Lin
Brad Wong Song Lin
Pirate leader Robin Shou


The film began production on May 4, 2005 and concluded on July 19, 2005, with a production budget estimated at $21,000,000. Filming locations include Bangkok, Guilin, Hengdian and Hong Kong.

Lisa Hamilton, Kokoro, Bankotsubo and Raidou are only a few of the original Dead or Alive cast mates that didn't make it into the movie, while two new characters were made just for the movie: Max, who helps Christie on her mission to steal the money and Weatherby, who acts as a love interest for Helena.


The film was released first in a number of markets during September 2006 including the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Philippines. The BBFC rated it 15, IFCO rated it 15A and OFLC rated it M. All Canadian provinces gave it a PG except for Quebec which gave it a G with warning, and the MPAA gave it a PG-13.

In non-US markets the film was somewhat successful, making over $6,000,000 in the foreign box office, with almost 1 million in both the U.K. and Australia. In the USA though, the film was a box-office bomb, making only $260,000 in its first week. It was released into 505 theaters, and spent 21 days in theaters, closing on July 5 with a domestic gross of $480,813 (or about 7.2% of worldwide gross as of 7 May 2007. The movie made a total of $6,924,930.

The film was released in North America on June 15, 2007, without press screenings. In the UK and in Australia, the film is available on DVD and features a "Making of" documentary and deleted scenes. (There is no DVD commentary on the UK release) There are two covers for the DVD; one exclusive to online store and the original cover in most retail shops.


The movie received negative reviews, only receiving a rating of 34% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 41 reviews. It was voted number 10 on Gametrailers's "Worst Video Game Movie" countdown. Fans of the Dead or Alive games, however, are split down the middle about the film's quality. Some feel it embodied the series well and was a respectable action flick, whereas others criticized the confusing narrative, deviations from the games and relative absence of certain characters.

References and differences[]


Hayabusa fights without a sword in the film.

Game references[]

  • During the first fight scenes, the big-screen layout and voice announcer are lifted straight from the Dead or Alive series.
  • The volleyball scene is a reference to the Dead or Alive Xtreme spin-off series. Zack announcing during the match is likely a reference to the fact that the Dead or Alive Xtreme series takes place on Zack Island, his private island. He also DJs in this scene, referencing his job as a DJ in the games.
  • Some of the characters wear their default outfits straight from the Dead or Alive games, while others mismatch such as Tina Armstrong wearing jean jacket with jean pants, a reference to Hitomi's default costume.
  • Ryu's attack on the base is a possible reference to the Ninja Gaiden series, in which Ryu also stars in. However, Hayabusa fights with the Dragon Sword in the Ninja Gaiden games, while in the movie he solely fights hand-to-hand.
  • When Gen Fu knocked Leifang off the ledge and jumps to the bottom level after she falls, this is actually referencing the games' multi-tier stages.
  • During a scene where Leon is fighting Kasumi while in the room where Christie and Max are in bed, you can see for a split second she does her regular fighting stance while she dodges Leon's attacks.
  • The part where Tina Armstrong and Zack agreed to challenge in a fight that takes place at a courtyard with a castle in the background is basically L's Castle, which was Leifang's stage in the original Dead or Alive.

Character cameos[]

  • Eliot appears fighting Ryu in the first round, portrayed as a middle aged Asian man, rather than a teenage boy from England. His name is not listed in the credits, and he was the only new character from Dead or Alive 4 to appear in the film. (Kokoro and Lisa did not.)
  • Hitomi is also featured in the movie - Though not explicitly stated, the scoreboard after four fights shows that Hitomi has been knocked out of the tournament. You can also see a female fighter in the lobby later on, appearing to be a brunette girl with a pink headband and a jean jacket, which is Hitomi's primary costume in the games.
  • Leifang was defeated by Gen Fu in the first round of the tournament. The movie's crew may have mixed Leifang and Kokoro together, because when Leifang fought with Gen Fu, she wears a kimono like Kokoro.
  • Jann Lee also has a minor role in this movie. He fights against Christie in the first round, and loses. He does not appear in the credits.
  • Brad Wong appears in the movie fighting Bayman in the first round, and loses. His appearance is based on how he looks in Dead or Alive 3.

Differences to the games[]

DOA Kasumi Christie

Kasumi and Christie's personalities were changed around in the film.

  • In the game, Kasumi is a compassionate person with a personable and 'soft' personality, but in the film she is portrayed with a more mature, stern appearance and attitude.
  • Since Ayane is portrayed by Natassia Malthe - a Norwegian-Malaysian actress who, at the time the film was made, was 31 - her character in the film appears 15 years older than in the video game series, and possesses a complete change in ethnicity. Also in the movie, Ayane is not Hayate and Kasumi's half-sister, but she is Hayate's lover.
  • In the game, Christie has white hair and is an assassin, while in the film she was portrayed as a blonde thief. Christie's personality is also partly reversed, where in the games she would be the last character to become friendly or team up with others, and in the film she is a bit indifferent in the beginning but doesn't show ruthlessness, or a sadistic, somewhat psychotic streak. Also, in the film Christie uses a more generic fighting style with clenched fists and grappling techniques, as opposed to her distinctive shequan style in the games. She is also shown to be something of a prankster in the film as evidenced by her jokingly making it sound as though Tina (who had earlier let her stay for the night) had more going on between the two than what actually happened when Bass arrived. She is also given the surname "Allen" in the films; she doesn't have a confirmed surname in the games.
  • Helena's personality and overall character seems to be a mix with that of Hitomi in the film, as she is now a happy, bubbly girl with Helena’s character history but largely with Hitomi’s personality traits. Also, Helena's occupation of a opera singer in the video game is not included in the film, nor is her French nationality. However, it is stated that one of her tattoos was done in Paris, and in a deleted scene, Donovan suggests that Helena "take the jet" for a vacation in Paris. Unlike the games, there was no mention of Maria in the movie, and Fame Douglas's fate in the movie is the same as in the games, as he was killed at the hands of Bayman, partially shown during Weatherby's flashback to the day of Fame's demise.
  • In the film, Bayman acts as a loyal bodyguard to Donovan, but in the games he is a bodyguard to Helena, and Bayman (as of Dead or Alive 5) wants revenge on Donovan for trying to kill him and the deaths of his mercenary squad.
  • In the film, all female contestants appear to develop close friendships with one another. However, this is not so in the game for a few of them; for example, Helena and Christie are enemies in the games.
  • Hayate is also considered a traitor to the clan when he goes to the previous year's DOA tournament. According to the game series, however, after Raidou sends him into a coma, DOATEC kidnaps Hayate while Kasumi tries to look for the one responsible for his condition. He also seems to do an Eagle-style stance in the movie, while he uses ninjutsu in the games.
  • It was said that in the game series, defeated players are sent home. However, eliminated contestants are seen hanging around the island afterwards.
  • In the film, it is strongly implied that Tina Armstrong is a lesbian, or at the very least that Bass suspects her to be that (as evidenced by his reactions to Tina spending time with Christie and later Kasumi), although the games never indicated that Tina was of any sexuality beyond possibly heterosexual. The film also indicates her full name is "Christina Armstrong," something that is never indicated in the games.





  • Milo Ventimiglia was originally supposed to be Weatherby but dropped out because he didn't like the way the character was developed. He appeared in Stay Alive instead, another video game movie.
  • During Weatherby's hacking, a code quickly flashes. The scrolling code is a Linux source code essential for running Linux on the DEC/Compaq Alpha processor.
  • YouTuber Spoony One, who was well-known for his Final Fantasy VIII reviews, reviewed DOA: Dead or Alive. He criticized the confusing storyline and the bad characterizations of the characters in the movie (like Kasumi, whose personality was different in the game and movie). In the end; however, he praised the movie for staying truthful to what the series is, actually favoring the movie over other fighting game movie adaptations like Tekken or King of Fighters.
  • Ayane is the only Dead or Alive character who wasn't invited to nor participated in the DOA tournament in the movie.
  • During the fight scene where Helena fought Donovan's henchmen and henchwomen, the katanas were drawn blade downwards when they are generally supposed to be drawn blade upwards. Drawing the blade downwards can actually damage the Saya (Scabbard).
  • Tecmo and Team Ninja were so disappointed with the film that they banned all future live-action adaptations of their works.

External links[]

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Main series Dead or AliveDead or Alive 2Dead or Alive 3Dead or Alive 4Dead or Alive 5Dead or Alive 6
Spin-offs and related titles Dead or Alive++DOA2: HardcoreDead or Alive UltimateDead or Alive OnlineGirls of DOA BlackJackDead or Alive DimensionsDead or Alive 5+Dead or Alive 5 UltimateDead or Alive 5 Last Round
Dead or Alive Xtreme sub‑series Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach VolleyballDead or Alive Xtreme 2Dead or Alive ParadiseDead or Alive Xtreme 3Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus VacationDead or Alive Xtreme 3 Scarlet
Canceled games Dead or Alive: Code ChronosProject Progressive
Related series Other Koei Tecmo series Ninja Gaiden seriesWarriors seriesFatal Frame seriesSuper Swing GolfDeception series
Third-party Crossovers Virtua Fighter seriesSNK MultiverseSenran Kagura seriesAzur Lane series
Playable characters Main cast KasumiZackRyu HayabusaBaymanLeifangGen FuTina ArmstrongJann LeeBass Armstrong/Mr. StrongAyaneHelena DouglasLeonEinHayateHitomiBrad WongChristieLa Mariposa/Lisa HamiltonKokoroEliotRigMilaMomijiRachelMarie RosePhase 4NyotenguHonokaTamakiDiegoNiCO
Secondary Kasumi αShidenFalse Kasumi
Final bosses RaidouBankotsuboGenraAlpha-152
Xtreme only MisakiLunaFionaNagisaKannaMonicaSayuriPattyTsukushiLobeliaNanamiEliseKoharuAmyShandyYukinoShizukuReika
Guest characters SPARTAN-458Rio Rollins TachibanaAkira YukiSarah BryantPai ChanJacky BryantNaotora IiMai ShiranuiKula Diamond
Non-playable characters Main series Alicia ArmstrongAnastasiaAnneAyameBuraiChenFame DouglasGoldieHitomi's fatherIrene LewIsabellaKuramasan MaousonLaurenMariaMei LinMiyakoMuramasaNikiVictor Donovan
Guest characters RidleySamus Aran
Non-canon characters Max MarshWeatherby
Miscellaneous characters Toreko
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Plot subjects DOATECDead or Alive World Combat ChampionshipMugen Tenshin clanNinpoNukenin (missing shinobi)Project AlphaProject EpsilonShinobiTengu
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DOA: Dead or Alive
Main characters

KasumiTina ArmstrongChristie AllenHelena Douglas

Supporting characters

AyaneRyu HayabusaMaxVictor DonovanWeatherbyZackBass ArmstrongHayateBaymanLeon

Minor characters

Brad WongEliotFame DouglasGen FuHitomiJann LeeLeifangPirates

AcupunctureCentral Intelligence AgencyDead or Alive World Combat ChampionshipDOATECDonovan's Glasses
ID BraceletKatanaNanobotsNeedleNinjaNunchakuRunaway ShinobiShurikenVolleyball
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Character Relationships

Ishikari MountainsSouth China SeaHong KongDOA IslandBuddhaWaterwheelBamboo ForestForbidden SquareGray StepsLab ComplexDOA CompoundTina's YachtNinja Clan
DOA: Dead or Alive Original Soundtrack
Promotional Artwork