Mar 28, 2009

Street Fighter Movie Disasters


First off, I'm an old fan of Street Fighter. Ever since I heard the famous and overused "Hadoken" at the arcades back in 1993 or so, I was instantly in love with the baddest of the baddest arcades machines at that time.

I still love playing on emulator the classic Street Fighter II, the Alpha prequels and even the Street Fighter The Movie arcade game. That one may sound a bit strange, seeing as nobody enjoys playing it, but the attempt at making a Mortal Kombat-esque Street Fighter is nothing to be sniffed at.

Now the movie itself the game is based on is a whole other story. Having recently read an old forum thread about one of the games' designers, I couldn't help but go back to watching the panned movie, Street Fighter The Movie (1994). Then forced myself, against all of my senses (all 1 ½ of them), to watch Street Fighter The Legend of Chun-Li (2009). To compare them is to think you can measure Beavis & Butt-Head with King of the Hill. They're related but too different. But I can't help to bring them together when it comes to disappointing me.

And I was surprised to find the least disappointing one has a character that for no real reason changes his outfit at the end of the movie to fight troops of Shadaloo's psychotic and twisted enforcer, General M. Bison. With shiny red gloves.


And while I found it extremely cheesy, I said to myself "Well, it IS faithful to the game". You know how fans bitch about continuity and Hollywood changing their favorite brawler's outfit for the sake of making them look more realistic? Some of that was found in the 1994 Street Fighter movie. In terms of storyline all the characters held little to no relevance to the video game, save for M. Bison and Guile.

Dhalsin wasn't indian nor did he care much about Yoga.
Blanka wasn't a beast at first, nor was he raised in a jungle.
E. Honda looked more Hawaiian than Japanese sumo wrestler.
Ken & Ryu have forgotten about their code of honor or whatever and they're con-artists.

I can't be bothered to access all the small incorrect details in the movie but you can get the point by now. BUT at least they looked their parts, in terms of outfits and getting inspiration from the game itself.

Street Fighter: The Movie (1994)

Pros: Most, if not all, the characters were easily recognizable. With the exception of T. Hawk and Ken, everyone looked their part. Didn't take itself too seriously making it a fun movie even if you got pissed when you first saw it 15 years ago. Raul Julia.

Cons: Character background stories were completely revamped except for Chun-Li's and Guile's thirst for revenge. Blanka looks like a dehydrated Incredible Hulk from the 70's, should have not appeared at all. Next to none special moves.




This new Street Fighter movie improved some aspects that were rapidly dragged down. As in anything lacking originality, ever since Tim Burton turned Batman from colorful to badass black, every stupid ass designer has gone down the same route: Robin, all of the friggin' X-Men, Catwoman, Nite Owl, many more, and I'm sure they won't be the last.

Vega is wearing all black, his hair is always loose, has mask that tries to look like Jason's and it's twice the size of his head.

Balrog, while with no indication that he is a boxer or that he ever had hair, acts the part of a badass bodyguard. And yep, he's wearing all black. But this is the only character I don't have a complaint about.

M. Bison, no indication that he is, was, or plans to be, a general. He is more of a businessman, and while I loved the character, he wore only suits. He had a demented asshole look on his face, but at least a red suit would've been nice.

Gen, ironically played by Robin Shou, who was Liu Kang in the Mortal Kombat movies, which were based on another video game that was Street Fighter's main "rival" in the 90's, did not look like a wise old master. He still looked like freakin' Liu Kang.

And check shit out, Elizaveta Kiryukhina as Rose! This is worse than Psylocke on X-Men 3. These are cool characters people wish to see but they're so obscure in the movie you don't even know who they are and it's only by weird coincidence that you might read their names on the Credits. Who is she? What does she look like? Was she even crucial? I can imagine who she is, looking back on the movie, but you wouldn't know this the first time you watch it. Or the second, thir--- Let's face it, you wouldn't watch this more than once.

(By the way, I have found NO info on this actress other than being mentioned in this same movie, I don't know how true this is)

As for Kristin Kreuk's feeble attempts at resembling the hot-legged Chinese martial arts expert from the video games fall flat on their face. And they fall hard. Starting by the fact she doesn't even look Chinese, she's skinny as hell, and barely uses her legs. Then you got the 'do, I think the only part in the movie when she does have her adorable Ox Horns (balled up pigtails) is when she is not even moving. She does not wear a skirt, bracelets, or anything outside of The Gap for that matter.

The Spinning Bird Kick was disastrous, even Jackie Chan did a better job.




(Jump to 2:25 if you want to get to the Chun-Li part)


And her "Kikoken" is laughable, even with 2009's special effects they managed to make YouTubers look like pros at video editing. Long story short, this movie sucked. The only references to Street Fighter are the movie's title presentation, which resembles Street Fighter 4's art style, and at the end when Gen shows an invitation a tournament called Street Fighter in which a "Ryu" is supposed to be hot shit.

"Is that it? Aren't you going to mention more characters?"

Sadly, no. I won't because THERE ARE NO MORE CHARACTERS. None that are relevant anyway.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

Pros: Nice visuals, on-location shooting of Bankok is definitely a thumbs up. Bad guys were more interesting than the good guys.

Cons: Liu Kang as Gen? C'mon, get a real old geezer, this guy can still kick ass, don't give him crappy white streaks. Crappy Chun-Li, crappy Vega, crappy fighting.


To finish this off, THIS is what a Street Fighter movie would look like:


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