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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Review: STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI


So I pulled myself away from Street Fighter 4 long enough to check this movie out. I mean, the studios can learn from the abomination that was the first Street Fighter movie, right?

NOPE!


Essentially, they thought, "Well if people didn't like it for being too much like the game with no good story, why don't we make it not like the game and leave the no good story part?" I have compiled a list of things wrong with this movie that took me out.

They pronounce M. Bison's evil organization Shadaloo as Shadalao. (which happened like every two minutes at one point)
M. Bison (the M is silent) is Irish and has no Psycho Powers
Balrog is never mentioned to be a boxer
Vega is not Spanish and is a complete wimp
Charlie Nash is.......actually he was fine, I had no expectations.
Gen is......actually he was fine too, actually pretty awesome
Chun-Li? The star? Let's begin.

The movie starts with a voice-over from Chun-Li talking about how she was daddy's little girl and that her family moved from San Francisco to Bangkok. After settling in Bangkok, Chun-Li starts to pick up martial arts from her father. As time goes by, they get visited by a group of thugs that take her father away, but Bison saves Chun-Li as she is trying to help because he doesn't want her to be hurt. Years later, Chun-Li is grown and is taking care of her ill mother as Bison has a man with a mask and one hand of Wolverine claws named Vega kill the other crime bosses to take over Bangkok. Chun-Li gets a scroll from an unknown source after a piano recital (exciting right?) and holds on it, questioning it's significance.

This is a basic story right? Bad man takes father. Daughter grows up vengeful and wants revenge. Easy! How did they mess this up? BY ASSOCIATING IT WITH STREET FIGHTER! This would be an okay movie if it weren't for the Street Fighter relations! After The Van Damme Debacle, I had high hopes for this movie until I heard that Kristin Kreuk was the star. She has a great look, but it isn't for Chun-Li. Eventually Chun-Li and her father meet up, but the father gets to say goodbye before being murdered in front of Chun-Li.

The rest of the movie is Chun-Li learning the importance of releasing anger instead of holding on to it by Gen, the man who sent the scroll. These sequences are both cheesy and a fan service. They literally took the concept of placing your anger into a ball and releasing it to heart. This is one of the closest thing that we get to a Chun-Li move, the Kikoken (her fireball). Also in an early scene, we see a Spinning Flower Kick, but it's such a wakeup call that I was like "Huh? What? OH YEAH! STREET FIGHTER! LET'S SEE MORE!" That never happenned. There was also a side story with and Interpol agent and a local Gang Division cop trying to take Bison down where they eventually meet up with Chun-Li at the end to defeat Bison.

This film was a huge let down, not surprisingly. It called itself a Street Fighter film, but it was only by name. There were only two things about this movie that I can honestly say I enjoyed. Robin Shou, who played Gen, was excellent and at first I didn't recognize him. Secondly, the way Bison died. I'm just going to tell you because I do not want anyone to see this movie. Chun-Li knocks him off of one story onto another below, but then leaps down with her heel pointed right at his mouth, lands in his mouth and then twists his head around 180 degrees. My mouth was agape for a while after that. 

That's not the end though! NO! THIS IS WHERE THE MOVIE REALLY TURNS MY STOMACH! Chun-Li returns to her home where Gen finds her and tells her of Street Fighter tournament led by the actually alive Bison. Now this is acceptable as Bison reincarnates himself in the games, but Gen even mentions, "a great warrior from Japan, Ryu something." At this point, the fan boy in me was stoked, the next movie was going to be done right! A game about a fighting tournament is going to be a movie about a fighting tournament! That's the reason Mortal Kombat was good and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was terrbile. Chun-Li looks around and remembers the happy times she had with her now dead family and declines the offer.

NO! I know this review has gone a little long, but she negated the premise of a possible GOOD movie with characters that we actually WANT to see. That cemented it for me. This movie is a disgrace and is worst than the original. I mean, at least you had the characters in their costumes doing the moves! I must say though, as much as I wanted Bison to have Psycho Powers, he is a really well developed character and has no soul in this movie. All of the things he does to people is pretty bad-ass, but not enough to make this movie passable.

If you haven't gotten the hang of this review, DON'T SEE THIS MOVIE! If Chun-Li had said yes to the tournament, I would say differently as it would put into motion the movie we all want to see. I'm going to go back to playing Street Fighter 4 so I can try to forget this piece of tripe.

1 comment:

Ben1050 said...

Oh the trepidatious task of making a video game based movie... I have not seen this movie and really had no interest. Street Fighter is a classic video game series. But this film didn't look like it brought anything to the table.
I agree even further about the casting choices though. Really, Neal McDonough is Bison? Fine actor, but I just can't see that.

As to the ending, were this movie somehow to become a huge hit, I'm sure they would make a Ryu movie anyway, whether Chun Li was in it or not. However, considering the movie bombed this weekend (big surprise) doubt that'll be happening.

Well, look at the bright side. At least Uwe Boll wasn't involved.

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