Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li – yes it’s rubbish!
Based on the popular video game franchise, female fighter Chun Li embarks on a quest for justice Critique: I don’t know why anyone thought this was a good franchise to begin again, but they need flogging with a whip..perhaps with blades attached to it. The original Street Fighter starring JCVD was very dull to say the least. I suppose it may have some camp/cult following now but you cannot tell me that 90% of the audience left the cinema after first seeing it and didn’t want to grab Steven E. de Souza’s (the director’s) throat and throttle the poor fellow to death. Perhaps that is a bit harsh, but the video game of Street Fighter has been accused of making people angrier before so I'm using that old chestnut again. This incarnation makes the first mistake from the get-go, by not including Guile, Blanka, Ryu, Ken, E.Honda or Cammy (and perhaps a whole host of better characters). Instead it includes the very uninteresting Balrog (played by Michael Clarke Duncan), Vega (played by Taboo from The Black Eyed Peas) and of course Bison. Sadly Bison is perhaps the most uninteresting of them all as he merely looks like a disgruntled businessman most of the time. As well as these characters that you may recognise from the game, a load more are thrown in for good measure; all of which are good at wasting screen time. For example Moon Bloodgood plays Det. Maya Sunee which is a laughable choice considering she spends most of the time running around with perfectly straightened hair and a deep plunging neckline. I imagine that the people who she arrested would be too distracted by her chest to be paying attention to their rights being read. Another individual who wastes time onscreen is that of Chris Klein (playing an Interpol cop Charlie Nash). You may remember Klein as the annoyingly artsy git (called Oz) in the first American Pie. Well rest assured, he is just as annoying and still is unable to act with conviction. In fact it makes you wonder why the police department scenes were included at all. It looked as if they were intercut into the film (badly) as every scene that they are in, feels disjointed in a “did the projectionist fall asleep on the projector” kind of way. The last video game adaptation I watched was DOA: Dead or Alive and although it was complete tosh, it didn’t take itself too seriously. It has a camp, amusing quality to it that Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li doesn’t. For example in DOA they played with the idea that each fighter had to fight each other in a tournament. This may sound boring but at least they were sticking to the ethos of the video game. This cannot be said for Street Fighter as the whole look of Chun-Li has been altered with her seemingly wearing pyjamas in a nightclub whilst attempting some sort of lesbian chicken dance on the middle of the dance floor. I wish I was making this up! I really do! What sort of fool puts that in a screenplay? I’ll tell you what sort of fool! Justin Marks; that’s who! Remind yourself never to see a film written by him ever again (unless it is a comedy) because he must have been taking the wee-wee by putting that scene in it. Believe it or not though the dialogue throughout the rest of the film makes that scene look great in comparison. Lest we forget that Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is about fighting...in the street. So with this in mind we should be impressed with lots of silly flips, spins, kicks, fireballs and training throughout the piece. Sadly most of these scenes are merely copies of what we have all seen before in films such as The Matrix. In fact as Chun-Li’s master is giving her advice about how not to be angry whilst kicking her arse, I expected her to put on a black coat and start staring at girls in red dresses! The fights have been used and reused and there is nothing new to be seen. The fight with Vega looks fairly amusing though as you could imagine it being Edward Scissorhands getting all angry and beating up Chun-Li! At times like this you have to wonder why anyone would bother wasting money on a remake of Street Fighter. In my opinion they should have just pretended to film a new one and show us the original instead. At least then we could reminisce in a nostalgic way how rubbish it was. This is new and more expensive crap starring a lot of TV actors and a man who is so nasty he wants to wipe out the slums of the city and build housing! Seriously; this is the bad guy of the piece. If this was true then a suitable alternative to M. Bison in reality (a concept I have trouble with) is that of my local building contractor! By 1 hour and 20 minutes into the movie I am seeking out the nearest exits whilst yawning; hoping that this torture will come to an end soon. Thankfully the end does come soon after that with Kristin Kreuk doing an ethereal wiggle at the camera and a few unnecessary talking scenes afterward. In fact the end is the first time when you believe that the next Street Fighter (for there is sure to be one) may just be better than this pile of cack (much like the computer game). Just don’t expect it to be too much better.
Conclusion:Although a relatively tame tale, this movie doesn’t entertain to say the least. This is not just a story that we will forget in time. It is one that we will be moaning about for years to come. If you were to compare the Rotten Tomatoes rating for the rubbish new Street Fighter and the rubbish old Street Fighter, you’d notice that JCVD’s version is ranking higher. That says it all really. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is a waste of your time if you liked the game and a waste of your time if you hated it (or never played it). It has little or no relevance to the characters and when you can’t even get the outfits right then it is time to quit the day job! Awful! Rating: 1.5 out of 5