Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li was first announced, long time
fans of the beat ‘em up series felt a collective shudder down their
spines. The first Street Fighter movie was a disaster on all counts,
messing around with the video games established back story and being a
generally atrocious film. Along with Super Mario Bros. it very quickly
turned the video game adaptation into a joke, which it has never quite
recovered itself from. After all that they wanted to do it again? The
people behind the project swore they had learned from the mistakes of
the previous peoples attempt, instead choosing to focus on the beloved
Chun-Li. Still signs did not look good, early snippets of the story
suggested a generic work, and casting announcements were puzzling. You
mean that long haired dude from Black Eyed Peas is going to play Vega?
One of the series most bad ass villains is going to be played by a guy
who is partly responsible for the song “My Humps”? It’s not hard to see
why fans were concerned. Then the film went straight to DVD and was not
pre screened for critics, and it some begun to suspect another flop was
on hands. Were these people right? Had Street Fighter been dragged
through the mud again?
answer isn’t that simple, for the most part Street Fighter: The Legend
of Chun Li is a bland film that reeks of many lesser action movies of
the past decade. But the other part, which is basically any part where
Chris Klein is on screen, elevates the movie from bland to “Oh my god
this film is awesomely bad, and as such I am entertained”.
main story has been done a thousand times before, and nine hundred times
better. It involves our hero Chun-Li (Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk) , who
as a little girl studies the martial art form Wushu with her father,
before he is violently extracted from their home by the evil M.Bison,
who puts him to work for his crime syndicate. As Chun-Li grows older she
begins a search for her father, eventually coming into contact with Gen,
who teaches her to be a better fighter before she sets off to settle the
score once and for all. This part of the movie is entirely bland, and
features ridiculous lines such as “I had to become one... with the
streets of Bangkok”. If the film was all this, it would be entirely
forgettable and the review would be a lot shorter.
where the film really gets good/bad, is when Klein’s Charlie Nash comes
into play. Nash is a INTERPOL agent, chasing down Bison’s crime
syndicate with the help of some Thai law enforcement agency. Klein
destroys more scenery than all the fight scenes put together, as he
swaggers around, squints at every possibility, spits ridiculous lines
with all the conviction in the world, and shouts when everyone else is
talking at a normal volume. Every minute Klein is on screen the film
becomes five times more entertaining, as everything he does is so
laughably captivating you can’t help but watch. His interaction with his
possible romantic interest played by Moon Bloodgood is so brilliantly
bad that it almost begs repeat watches.
from that the film has a couple of fight scenes, that sway between
inventive (such as the first one), to the bland (most of them) to the
awful and noticeable wire-fu (almost all of Kreuk’s fight scenes). They
are all competently staged, but there is nothing that really lifts them
ahead of any other action film.
Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li demands to be watched, even if you skip
through all the stuff that actually involves Chun Li. Watching Klein
play Charlie Nash is hilarious, and if forking out money for the DVD
seems a little steep for that, then Youtube should at least be
consulted, as there must be a compilation of clips somewhere. Apart from
that Street Fighter has been hard done by again, a boring film with too
little of the characters that most fans know and love (Ryu is relegated
to a mere mention at the very end). Someday someone might get the
formula right, but for now Street Fighter fans will just have to console
themselves with the videogames.
are no special features on the disc.