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Why I Don't Like Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

I know that I'm not the only one posting a review for this. I know that others are probably better written. But I left the movie with a lot on my mind and I want to share my thoughts here.

To start off, I give the movie a 4/10. If you're just looking for a number score, that was it. But that doesn't sum up anything about the movie. It doesn't really tell why it's both a horrible movie AND a horrible adaptation. So if you want to kill a few minutes, the thoughts are next.

So one would think that this movie would be more accurate to the video games and Anime movies since Capcom had direct hands in this. Nope! This is even worse than the 1994 film. But unlike that one, this one isn't fun. This one isn'y laughably bad. It's just bad. I'll basically go through it, so spoilers if you actually wanted to be suprised.

I went into it expecting crap based on the trailers. But at first, I'm pleasantly suprised! Duncan is Balrog and portrays him very well. Big black boxer, working for Bison, enjoys killing people. Spot on characterization and acting. The opening fight with Chun Li's dad against Balrog and his henchmen was good fun all the way through. I was having a great time!

Then M. Bison comes in. Who appears to be the nicest British man in the world. I don't think he's actually British, but that's how he feels. He is not fueled by Psycho Power, he is not the be all end all badass. He's a guy in a suit. Now at first I thought this is how he would start, then later in the movie he would get his Psycho Powers. This never happens.

Chun-Li's actress isn't a bad actress. She plays the role very well. But there's a big major problem, she looks nothing like Chun-Li. This is a glaring issue if for no other reason than it being so distracting to a fan of the games. She's barely Asian, more meek than the most powerful woman in the world, and her legs are NOT super duper awesome. Speaking of which, Chun Li never does her kick attack in this movie. Her trademark move is nowhere to be seen. She does something similar to a Spinning Bird Kick and a Kikoken. In fact, the focus of making Chun Li so awesome in this movie is her learning and performing the Kikoken. Nevermind that this move has never been the focus of Chun Li's character ever, it's her lightning fast kicks. But I'm glad there was a fireball in this movie, that was the main down note of the original live action Street Fighter movie. Also she's not a cop. At all.

Robin Shou finally pops back up into movies playing Gen. Of course, the character is portrayed completely wrong. He's not an old assassin, he's a middle aged former criminal. He also teaches Chun Li the Kikoken. But since Gen hasn't been such a staple character like say most of the SF2 characters, it isn't as obvious. It's nice to see Robin again, as well.

Charlie Nash appears in this as well. The name is pretty much all you get though. He doesn't fight, doesn't Sonic Boom, and doesn't really look like Charlie.

Vega is a waste of Vega. He's dressed in all black and has long black hair, making him look like a ninja as opposed to a Spaniard fighter. Sure, he's the "Spanish Ninja", but his costume is ridiculous. The mask looks like a really cheap prop, especially even compared to the 1994 film. The actor, as well, is a horrible cast for Vega. Vega is beautiful. The Vega in this movie is a tough guy and sounds more like a black man than Michael Clark Duncan. Plus his appearance is horribly short both times, which is worse the second time around. You expect Chun Li vs. Vega to be the first really big fight and it's actually the shortest.

The movie itself has serious pacing issues. Chun Li starts fighting about 15 minutes too late. A large chunk of the first act is based on Chun Li "living amongst the people of Bangkok". Something which could have been wrapped up in a few minutes, we would have gotten the point. Instead we're treated to what feels like a half an hour of boring narration and Chun Li walking around streets.

Most of the time when Chun Li is kicking ass, it's entertaining. The problem is how little it happens. And how boring the rest of the movie is. Whenever we cut to Nash, we just don't care about that storyline. When Chun Li dances, it's un-needed, as is the borderline lesbian scene. The movie just crawls along trying to make its way to an ending you probably don't care about anymore.

When we finally get to the end, Bison starts kicking ass. He is able to punch Gen across a room with little effort, but never does anything you would expect M. Bison to do. He fairs more poorly against Chun Li, while in a very nice suit, but keeps the upper hand until Chun Li performs her epic Kikoken technique, which hurts him way more than it should. And after it's been drilled into our heads that Bison put his soul into his daughter and that's his ONLY weakness, Chun Li kills him by snapping his neck 180 degrees. Thus adding another weakness Bison has, having his neck snapped 180 degrees.

So both Balrog and Bison are killed in this movie, before the tournament even occurs. Sure, as a fan I know that Bison can switch bodies, but we aren't told that at all in the movie.

The film ends with Gen meeting Chun Li with an ad for the "Street Fighter" tournament, hinting that Bison is behind it even though he was (seemingly?) killed. He mentions that there's a great fighter in Japan they must recruit, "His name is Ryu...something." And the film ends.

So instead of properly making a Street Fighter movie, the filmmakers behind this opted to make a prequel to what the audience would care about. A poor prequel at that, which nobody will like, so we may never get a real/good Street Fighter movie (with Ryu as the main character). I would avoid this in theaters, or giving it money at all. The only reason to give it money would be so there's hope of a sequel about the tournament.
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About dark-mulletone of us since 10:26 PM on 12.04.2008

Steve Rudzinski here of Dark Mullet Cinema. I make movies and shows and I'm kind of a big deal. Not really. You can check out my online series at www.vgspoofs.com

I currently own a PS3 for the current gen, but I still often play my NES, Genesis, 32X, PS1, Dreamcast, and PS2. As all gamers should. I play all kinds of different games, RPGs and Action at the top of my list of genres.

Xenogears is my top game hands down, I love it very much. My favorite franchise is Metal Gear Solid, with 3 and 4 being my favorites.

I'm a Transformers geek, Jazz is totally the best. And yes, I liked the live action movie. I hate the crazy Gee-Wunners.

I'm also a huge comic geek, I read almost everything that comes out every week. My fav heroes there in order are:

1: Deadpool
2: Captain Marvel/Shazam!
3: Moon Knight
4: Flash (Wally)
5: Green Lantern (The Corps. as a whole, not just one)

I listen to all sorts of music, but I love Hair Metal the most. It's so ridiculous it's awesome.