Wednesday, March 4, 2009

SF Blog Reviews Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-li Movie

In 1994 Street fighter made its first failed attempt to be a successful movie franchise, with JeanClaude Vandamme as Guile (the Hero of the movie) and the late Raul Julia as Bison. The result was a 90 minutes of pure cheese and fail.

15 years later, Street Fighter is back to the big screen with Street Fighter: The legend of Chun-li, written by Justin Marks and directed by Andrzej Bartkowjak.

Instead of focusing on a large group of characters, the movie makers took the good step towards focusing on one main character, in this Case Chun-li, to presumably tell a cohesive good story.

The Story: The story focuses on Chun-li played by Kristen Kreuk, a young pianist (Say WHAT?) who witnessed her dad been kidnapped by the evil bison (Neal Mcdonhough) and his right hand man Balrog(Michael Clark Duncan) in front of her eyes. Fueled by anger and sadness, the young detecti… I mean concert pianist, sets on a journey driven by revenge.

In her quest to find Bison, the evil leader of the Shadaloo Investement Corporation, she meets Gen, a middle aged homeless looking martial artist, played by Robin Shou. Gen is the leader of the mysterious clan of the Web (whatever that is). Gen also happened to have been part of Shadaloo at one point of his early life, and grew up with bison. According to Gen, bison was a sick poor kid who no one took care of. When he became a young man, Bison married a lady, made her pregnant and then took her to the “Dark” caves where he pulled his unborn daughter from his wife belly button or something, killing his wife, and then putting all his good side into his daughter. Gen also adds that bison had to do this to lose consciousness (I swear I am not sh!tting you guys).

Gen reveals to Chun-li that her dad is still alive, because he is an important business man who has connections, and Bison needs those connections. He then proceeds to train her so she can free her dad.

Charlie Nash is also introduced during the movie, played by Chris Klein, who is an Interpol agent who has been trying to catch bison for years, and that is it for Nash.

After training hard, watching her dad been killed in front of her eyes, and beating Vega in 1 minute (like Akuma with the Shun Goku Satsu) Chun-li is now ready to defeat bison who is expecting an important shipment, that happens to be his daughter Rose (yes rose from the game although she is 13 years old in this movie) since he missed her and want her to be close to daddy.  But that would not stop Chun-li from being a bitch and looking at rose in her eyes then twisting bison’s head 180 degrees in front of his daughter. (what a wrong message to give to the audience)

Chun-li now at peace because she killed a guy in front of his daughter, decides to do good and join an organization where she can help people. And no she does not join the Interpol or the police to become the detective we know and love, she instead joins the Clan of the Web!

The movie then ends with cliffhanger of some sort, when Gen tells chun-li that there is a street fighter tournament coming out and that he heard about a Japanese fighter named “rahhh you” that he wants to recruit in his mysterious Clan of the Web (ahahaha sorry I couldn’t resist the laughter)

The story of this movie started decent, and then turned horrible, in fact it is so bad, it just hurts me to remember it. Chun-li being a pianist was a retarded idea, Bison’s origin was a funny joke, Charlie does not add anything to the movie, in fact you can remove the Charlie scenes and the movie will still make the same sort of twisted sense it makes now. All in all, a very, VERY bad story.

Score: 4/10

Acting: This is the fun part to review. With the exception of Kristen Kreuk as Chun-li and Neal as Bison, the acting in this movie deserves a nomination for worst acting of the year. Especially Chris Klein. Whenever Chris entered a scene, the audience would burst into laughter, everytime he tries to be a serious looking cop he just look ridiculous and a retard. If they removed Chris Klein from the movie and replaced him with an audio tape player, so whenever they have to show Nash they just show the player playing charlie’s lines, the tape player would have done a better job than Chris Klein.  Clark Michael Duncan as balrog was a good cast in terms of resemblance to the character, but unfortunately Michael Duncan did his worst acting in this movie. Taboo as Vega was also the wrong cast for the character, but had such a short scene that I won’t bother reviewing.

Score: 3/10

Directing: The legend of Chunli is directed by Andrzej Bartkowjak, the same person who directed Speed (1994) and Lethal Weapon 4. Unfortunately he does not do more than a half decent Job. The fading from scene to scene used in this movie is reminiscent of old 90’s horror movies. Too many scenes cutting. For example, we see balrog firing a rocket launcher, cut to explosion, cut to Balrog laughing. I do blame the studio and low budget for things like that, but still not a good directing trick. The fight scenes are also a problem here, the wirework is very obvious, and the director does not do much to hide it.

Score: 4/10

Special Effects: Chun-li Does a Kikoken in this movie, however the Special effects looked very cheap and even worse that a Sci-Fi channel tv Movie. The explosions and energy ball also look very Cheap.

Score: 3/10

Action: What is a street fighter movie without a lot of good action? The answer is the legend of Chun-li. The movie lacks big time on the fighting side, and even with the few fighting scenes, they are either too damn short (Chun vs Vega) or obvious bad looking wirework (chun vs thugs) The movie even gets so boring towards the last half for the lack of fist to fist combats.

Score: 4/10

Sound: The only good element of the movie was the soundtrack of the Legend of Chun-li. While it does not have any resemblance to the Game soundtrack, the Street Fighter Legend of Chun-li Music and sound effects are well done, especially the main theme of the Movie.

Score: 8/10

Resemblance to the Game characters: This is a Street Fighter based movie, so it is only logical to compare how the characters look in the movie compared to their game counterparts:

Chun-li does not wear her trademark outfit and does not physically resemble Chun-li although she does wear blue and show in hair buns in one scene: Draw

Bison wears a white then a black suit, and I mean a business suit: Fail

Balrog uses mostly guns but physically looks somewhat like the Balrog we know: Draw

Vega wears a HUGE, man HUGE mask and freddy Kruger looking claws, and also wears a black infiltration suit, he also does not look like vega at all, and hides his face not to protect his beauty but to hide his ugliness: FAIL

Nash is an Interpol agent instead of an army man, he doesn’t wera glasses, he is not blod, and he sucks big time in this movie by acting like a fool jerk = FAIL

Gen is not an old man in the movie, nor is he Chun-li’s dad friend, he looks like a middle aged Lui kang from Mortal Kombat = FAIL

Rose is a kid and she is Bison’s daughter, she also wears pajamas = SUPREME FAIL

Score: 2/10

Closing Comment:

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-li is with no doubt a huge disappointment to all of us Street Fighter fans who waited 15 years to get a second attempt to do a Street Fighter movie. The movie is very bad, maybe not as bad as some people are making it, but still very bad. The story is horrible and does not make sense, nor follow the game’s storyline. The acting is horrible and Chris Klein does shine as the worst actor of the decade. Special effects and fight scenes are very cheap looking and do not deserve to be in a Motion Picture. All in all, this movie fails in being the start of a new Film franchise, and we probably have to wait another 15 years for a third attempt if ever.


Final Score:  4/10


Anonymous said...

LOL now i just want to watch the movie... just for fun haha

oblique said...

This is the question that needs to be answered strug!

Which street fighter live action movie was better though? This one or the last one?

Red White said...

Depends on what you like. If you can't stand camp then this movie is better but if you liked the old one, this one's probably not going to float your boat.

Personally, I like this one more than the old one because it was a better attempt at SF. Albeit missguided in alot of areas, but an overall better attempt to make it real. I give it more kudo's because they weren't afraid to put powers into it unlike the last attempt. Not movie of the year by any means but I wasn't expecting it to be. Just thought it would be... better than what it was but I do give it a thumbs up for effort.

And Strugler! I liked Gen's acting in the movie. Why didn't you mention any of that?

FistfulOAwesome said...

After your glowing reviews of SFII Remix and SFIV where you refused to let any negatives you had with the games seriously affect the score I was starting to think you are a fanboy. I'm glad to see that there are some things with SF in the name that you are not willing to support.

strugler said...

lol @fistfilOawesome

Well i am a crazy Street Fighter fan, but i only support what deserves to supported, i literraly thing sfIV is perfect, i really didnt have this much fun with a game since the SNES days, and i am one huge gamer, played every major game since Atari2600, i really thought hd remix was great and sf4 is perfect.

Too bad not much love was put into the Legend of Chun-li Movie, i am kinda sad that Capcom didn't look after its franchise and did let Fox handle it.

Hopefully Street Fighter: The awesome Butt of Cammy, which will be released in 2024 will be good! :-/

Anonymous said...

I think the blog should have put the Street Fighter score a 1/10, as the worst possible Street Fighter representation in media. What was worse than this flick, the USA cartoon?

This movie makes the Van Damme flick look like the Godfather.

strugler isn't a fanboy. He didn't like NECA's SF figures (he probably won't like SOTA's Ken statue either...). While liking Street Fighter, he has his own tastes.

oblique said...

I haven't seen the first one....

Psychoblue said...

You're being much too gentle with this movie: at least the 1994 movie had the excuse of not having much canon to work with, since it came out before the Alpha series, Eternal Challenge, and the Udon comics.

This movie doesn't have that excuse, and managed to be a level of fail that far surpasses "Epic fail." At least the 1994 movie was stupid fun.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, 4/10 is still a fanboy score...

Anonymous said...

This new movie is so bad that the first one was way better. They might as well leave the street fighter films to anime.

Anonymous said...

At the rate Hollywood is going, any video game movie or anime should just stay animated.

Soon you can add Dragonball as this year's Speed Racer.

mynando said...

The thing is that I know that with all the current and unused footage from this movie, the director and editor are able to reedit this movie into a much better and proud version. That and completely redo the kikouken because it looks like a college student's After Effects project that got a C+.

Kristin did an excellent job acting out the charging/manifesting and throwing of the kikouken. The actual ki/chi/energy ball looked so amateurish and anti-climaxing. I felt complete embarrassment for the movie's creators when I saw the kikouken hit Bison. It looked so generic.

Since I saw this film in a downloaded camcorder-rip file (the movie's not playing in Colombia), I was able to turn down the volume during Kristin's voice-overs. I completely got the gist of what was happening without needing the voice-overs. Unnecessary voice-overs makes the movie-goers feel like idiots and like we're being patronized. It takes away that "cool" mystery from the storyline and just lays it flat out boring.

There's a line towards the end of the movie where Chun-Li says "I've stood when standing was not easy...and have found something to believe in. Something worth fighting for...The Order of the Web." If she had just said something along the lines of "...the good people who need help" or "...justice" instead of "The Order of the Web," Chun-Li's story would have been canon and probably set her up for her being a police cop/interpol agent.

God, this movie could come to DVD & Blu-Ray in a reedited and enhanced version and it would become such a cult-hit for all the good reasons. I mean, there was no real effort on promoting this movie. So, they might as well make a last-ditch effort and reedit this movie and release it.

Movies are a type of art medium and I've learned that art that's put out to the world belongs to the world. So many people (fans and nonfans included) were rooting for this film to be so good. And If we are going to get an embarrassing piece of art...well, that just sucks.

As a hardcore Street Fighter fan with this movie in its current state, I would rather have had Capcom not make this film at all than to have seen this half-effort. It would have spared the "Street Fighter" franchise and the "Capcom" name the embarrassment and joke that is now attached to it.

Ansatsuken-TKD said...

I am tickled all over by strugler's comment about Rose:

"Rose is a kid and she is Bison’s daughter, she also wears pajamas = SUPREME FAIL"

I can't stop laughing!!!

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Play Casino Online said...

Chun-li Does a Kikoken in this movie, however the Special effects looked very cheap and even worse that a Sci-Fi channel tv Movie. The explosions and energy ball also look very Cheap.