DOA: Dead or Alive

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
DOA: Dead or Alive Movie Poster Image
Sexed-up game adaptation is heavy on bikinis.
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 87 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Inane motives are the primary offense here, though the fact that just about everyone joins in the ongoing melee means there are no moral or intellectual alternatives.


Video-gamey violence includes kicks, karate chops, punches, body slams, flips, falls from great heights, sword fights, crotch grabs and crotch kicks, needle stabs/pricks, head-butts, bites, breaking bones (with crackly sound effects), eye gougings, martial arts weapons (stars, poles, etc.), and explosions. Pirates appear with guns but don't use them. Father and daughter fight it out in a river; two girls fighting throw each other around in the mud and rain. The island explodes at the end (in slow motion, of course).


Women wear bikinis and/or underwear, showing lots of cleavage; men appear in underwear, too. Christie first appears in the shower, then a towel as she battles intruders (she slips her panties on to distract them, eventually tossing her bra into the air, which then falls onto her naked form in slow motion, accompanied by brief profile shots of her breasts -- but they're suggestive rather than explicit). Max and Christie embrace in bed and make flirty talk (the movie then cuts to a presumably post-sex scene in bed); Zack "comes on" to Tina in hot tub; she flirts, then leaves with his clothes (he gets out naked, covering his genitals). Seeing two women in bed prompts a father to assume that they're lesbian lovers. Battle between two women takes place in rain and slow motion (wet T-shirt effect); Christie and Max kiss passionately; closing kiss inspires Tina to tell a couple to "get a room."


Several uses of "s--t," plus "ass," "hell," and "son of a b--" (it's cut off in mid-utterance).


One big promotion for the video game it's based on.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink what looks to be beer, champagne, and wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie (based on the same-named video game) is full of incessant, mostly mindless action (though not too much blood), much of which seems to be designed to showcase girls in bikinis and underwear. In fact, there's a fair amount of sex-related content for a movie aimed at kids -- including brief profile shots of a woman's breasts, characters embracing and flirting in bed, the assumption that two women are lesbians, and more. There's also some implied drinking, as well as several uses of words like "s--t," "ass," and "hell."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybsteimle April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byEverything'sAmazing November 18, 2012

I actually enjoyed it!

Unlike a lot of people I actually really enjoyed this movie! I found the fight sequences really good and realistic and the plot was quite good considering it wa... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byevolinag April 21, 2012

Stupid action flick focuses on martial arts and lacks story

This movie is a pure waste of time.
Nonstop martial arts fights and other violence, girls are dressed up in revealing outfits in order to attract and seem like... Continue reading

What's the story?

DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE follows a grueling competition on a heavily-guarded island overseen by the odious Donovan (Eric Roberts). Ninja princess Kasumi (Devon Aoki) overcomes a courtyard full of warriors in order to find out the truth about her martial arts-star brother, who vanished at the last DOA contest. Professional wrestler Tina (Jaime Pressly) knocks out a crew of pirates who arrogantly think they can take on a pretty girl sunning herself on her yacht. And assassin-thief Christie (Holly Valance) takes out a squad of thugs in suits, then almost gets away with the loot until she's thwarted by her boyfriend/rival Max (Matthew Marsden).

Is it any good?

Directed by respected martial arts choreographer Corey Yuen, DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE is a series of fight scenes strung together by a pretense of a plot. Video games aren't renowned for yielding complex movie characters, and in keeping with such low expectations the three primary girls in show lots of skin and little in the way of motive or deep thinking. The girls don't so much bond as admire one another's skills, which they all flaunt frequently. Only one non-girl opponent stands out, Zack (Brian J. White), who is outsmarted by Tina despite the deliriously low IQ levels of all participants.

The plot, such as it is, includes some rudimentary familial tensions: Tina fights with her father (also a pro wrestler); Kasumi believes her brother is not dead, as has been reported; and good girl (and competitor) Helena (Sarah Carter) suspects that her uncle Donovan is up to no good. Like, duh.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about video game-based movies. What's their appeal? What do they have in common? Why do you think filmmakers want to adapt video games? What sorts of plots or characters do they provide? Does this movie's story work better on the big screen or on a console? Why? What audience do you think it's trying to attract?

Movie details

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