Sunday, February 6, 2011

Movie Review: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
Copyright 20th Century Fox


Chun-Li: Started off as a Chinese girl, but grew up into a Latino looking girl. Genetics blow my mind. Looking for her father and looking to find herself, she becomes part of some unknown group trying to take down Bison Light. She kills him in front of his own daughter. Our hero everybody!

Gen: He ain’t Gen so he’ll be lovingly referred to as Liu Kang for this review. The leader of the Web of Shadows or something like that and is trying to take down Bison Light throughout the movie. He sucks at that by the way.

Charlie Nash: He has no purpose to the plot and is yet one of the most entertaining parts of the movie. I think was channeling David Curso and Don Johnson for most of his performance. Anyways, he’s some sort of Interpol detective trying to bring down Bison Light.

Detective Maya Sunee: Like Nash, she is barely important to the plot, but hey, let’s bring her up anyways. A detective who is working with Nash to take down Bison Light.

Rose: Bison Light’s daughter from Russia. She sees her father get killed in front of her towards in the end of the movie by Chun-Li. I wonder if this will encourage her to take whatever is left of Bison Light’s empire and use it to kill Chun-Li.

M. Bison: Neal McDonough! He ain’t M. Bison so he’ll be lovingly referred to as Bison Light for most of the review. He was born a Chinese baby, but yet grew up into a British guy. Biology is strange. His master plan to take over the slums is extremely flawed and could have been handled in a far more legal route, but nope, he’s a villain so how he accomplishes his goals must be EVIL. His neck is snapped by Chun-Li in front of his daughter.

Balrog: Michael Clarke Duncan! Bison Light’s right hand man who seems to be enjoying his job way too much. He’s stabbed to death with a pipe by Gen.

Vega: He ain’t Vega so he’ll be lovingly referred to as Wolverine Jason for this review. He’s some random assassin that Bison Light hires to kill Chun-Li, but she kicks his ass in a very unconvincing manner.

+ Setting your hands on fire will not hurt your hands in the slightest.
+ Gentlemen do not hurt school girls, but pianist is another story.
+ Chinese girls grow up to be Latino girls.
+ Everyone in Bangkok speaks perfect English and has no accent.
+ All authority figures or people with power in Bangkok are American or British.
+ Blindfold training involves buzz saws and katanas.
+ Chinese nightclubs play American Hip-Hop.
+ Bathroom stalls are made of glass.
+ Steam will fix a bullet wound.
+ Handguns make ping noises when fired.

1 min – Pay close attention folks, Chun-Li is currently Asian here as a little girl…
6 min – Oh my God it’s a corporate Nazi!
9 min – …now then, as you can see, Chun-Li is a completely different race now.
11 min – Wow! It’s just like New York City.
23 min – You weren’t told that and the scroll never said that either. Stop making s**t up.
26 min – Is she going to become Batgirl or something?
33 min – No, you really are hurting her. I think almost some of her bones broke as well.
35 min – Despite being in China, the news articles are in English.
45 min – I’m stuck movie limbo, it finally happened.
54 min – WTF am I watching and why I am still watching it?
79 min – And now the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare movie is playing for some reason.
85 min – Where the hell did she come from?
88 min – *Reviewer is laughing uncontrollably at the special effects*
90 min – What a bitch.

Charlie Nash: Nash out!

Det. Maya Sunee: So... where do we start?
Charlie Nash: You don't want a ticket to this dance, Detective.
Det. Maya Sunee: You've never even seen me dance.


Ah yes, Street Fighter. Now that was silly movie if I remember correctly. Hammy, bad acting, bad fight scenes, and yet strangely amusing. Now fast forward over a decade later and we have yet another live action Street Fighter movie, this time directed by the guy who brought us Doom. Oh goody, because that screams the mark of quality right there doesn’t it? Anyways, before we begin, the movie version I’m using for the review is the uncut version, so there may be a few difference than the theatrical cut.

We open with a flashback to Chun-Li reflecting back on her childhood when she moved with her family to China, where she learned Wushu (a type of martial arts which I hear isn’t a fighting type amusingly enough) from her father as she studies to be a concert pianist. I’m already beginning to doubt how accurate this movie is to the video games. Then one night, Balrog and a bunch of ninjas break into Chun-Li’s home to kidnap her father in one of the silliest wire, slow-mo, and CGI fight scene I have ever seen.

During the fight, instead of doing the sensible thing and call the police when you hear things getting smashed or people fighting, Chun-Li just wanders down and Balrog quickly takes her hostage. Then a gust wind blows out of nowhere and M. Bison, who looks absolutely nothing like his video game counterpart, wanders in and forces the dad to come with him and goon squad. We then see Chun-Li watch as her father is dragged off into the night.
A couple of years later, we see Chun-Li performing behind a green screen effect on her piano so I suppose her career has taken off . We also see somewhere in Bangkok that Bison Light talking to a generic group of businessmen/crime bosses (I think one of them is Frank D’Amico from Kick-Ass) about taking over the slums and their crime territories. The guys don’t agree to this, so Bison Light has Wolverine Jason (Aka Vega) kill them. You know, there is a probably a better and more legal way to get there land, but that wouldn’t be EVIL enough for him.

Chun-Li takes this mysterious scroll she got after one of her performance to some lady who translates it. Apparently, Chun-Li needs to go meet this random guy Gen to find herself or some crap like that. Meanwhile, we see Charlie Nash, an Interpol agent, teaming up Detective Maya Sunee to bring down Bison Light. It’s not important to the plot until the very end, but hey, I’ll mention it early.

We then watch Chun-Li ditch everything in her life and throw out all her memories apparently to find Gen because the scroll told her to do. It just goes on and on and on as we listen to her boring monologues that sound she going to doze off at any moment. Then one night, a bunch of thugs, who aren’t even Chinese, beat up an old lady for no reason (Really, she’s just walking by and decide to kick the crap out of her, not even rob her) and Chun-Li steps in and beats them all up. She then passes out from exhaustion, but luckily Liu Kang just happens to show up. Thank God for movie convenience.

Liu Kang (Okay he’s Gen, but screw it. That’s not the character from the game I know) explains to her that he run some sort of small underground organization that is to suppose to protect the people living the slums and that he used to be a part of Shadaloo, which Bison Light runs. Liu offers to train Chun-Li and have her become part of his team so that they can rescue her father, who is still alive and is being used by Bison Light for some mumbo jumbo that has no business being in a movie called Street Fighter. She accepts, after he cracks some her bones in a bad fight scene.

He then trains her to use some sort of magical, glowly ball power that make absolutely no sense and is probably the silliest use of CGI I have ever seen before. After that weird moment, we see Chun-Li do a little research and figure out that Shadaloo is secretly using the fake business name of Esperanto. Speaking of which, Bison Light forces a bunch of land owners to sell them their property in the slums by holding their family hostage. I’m pretty sure he could have gotten the land in a far more legal way, but that wouldn’t be EVIL enough would it?

Chun-Li spies on Balrog, one of Bison Light’s cronies from before, and hears about a shipment called White Rose. She decides to confront Catanna, one of Bison Light’s employees, to get any information about this. After a boring catfight (There’s a phrase I thought I never say), she gets her the info she wants and takes off Catwoman style over the rooftops.

Liu then fills Chun-Li about Bison Light’s back story that is stupid and very disgusting, as in killing his wife to rip out his unborn baby so he could transfer his ‘good’ soul into the baby so he can completely evil. What the hell is this? Would you even connect this to Street Fighter? Hell no, this is only a strange crime drama martial arts flick with the Street Fighter logo slapped on it. Screw this movie.

Balrog and his men attack Liu Kang’s home when Chun-Li isn’t there anymore and blow it up, while Wolverine Jason hunts down Chun-Li. In yet another silly and pathetic fight scene, Chun-Li kicks his ass and moves on. This is unbelievable. This movie manage to make not only a catfight uninteresting, but one with a hot chick fighting a guy with Wolverine claws. That’s film is just something else. Also, Nash and Maya are thrown off the Bison Light case. This subplot is a bit footnote in the main movie script when you think about it.

Chun-Li heads to this White Rose shipment or whatever and ends up getting captured by Bison Light and his gang. They tie her up and take her to some undisclosed place. There she is reunited with her father, only for the Bison Light to snaps his neck (Off screen strangely despite that I am watching an uncut movie). Wow, this movie almost seems like it could be the original story for Batgirl. No Batgirl in particular, just Batgirl.

After the dad’s body is dragged away and Bison Light leaves, Chun-Li manages to escape and runs into Liu, who managed to survive the explosion earlier. After recuperating with him for a while and finishing their glowly ball training, Chun-Li goes to meet with Nash and recruits him to join her as she takes down Shadaloo and the rest of the villains with Detective Maya’s Swat Team and the rest of Liu’s underground organization.

The heroes take on the villains at the docks where some sort of shipment is going down and a huge shootout commences. Liu and Chun-Li storm a ship to find out what the White Rose shipment was. Liu takes Balrog in the ship’s hold, where he defeats him by stabbing him with a pipe. From the little information he was able to get from Balrog, Gen discovers that this White Rose that Bison Light wants is a girl. It turns out this girl is his daughter and apparently his only weakness as Liu guesses. Oh yeah, guess what Street Fighter fans. Who is Bison Light’s daughter? Rose. Yep, I can hear you anguish cries at this very moment.

It turns out that Chun-Li ran into the girl earlier, whom she didn’t even recognize, on the boat. She’s already gone and the Chun-Li and everyone has to go to Bison Light’s hideout now. As they are taking out the guards, Liu runs into Bison Light, who promptly kicks his ass. B.L. runs back to where he is keeping his daughter (Speaking of which and in case you care, he built this entire criminal empire to protect her) and is horrified that she isn’t her room anymore. Amusingly enough, Liu is there somehow and then promptly gets beaten up yet again. He’s strangely not good at this is he?

Luckily, Chun-Li comes in from out of nowhere and starts fighting him. In a really pathetic fight scene, she beats him up with a piece of bamboo, blinds him with a bag of powder cement I think, and knocks him off the side of the roof with her magical glowly power ball that she conjures. Ugh. Anyways, he falls in front of Nash and Rose, who is being led to safety by the Interpol agent. As he reaches out to say goodbye to her, Chun-Li drops down and snaps his neck in front of his daughter! You f-ing bitch! Now you screwed yourself over because Rose will probably now want to seek revenge against you for killing her dad, who is her only living relative. Screw you Chun-Li, screw you!

She then mocks the dead body and says she figured he had a weakness for his daughter. So apparently she knew that was girl was his daughter and decided to kill him in front of her anyways? Then Nash decides to congratulate her on a job well done! No you idiot! All the bad guys are dead and you did all of this without any police regulation or what not. You are so fired from Interpol for this crap and Chun-Li traumatized a girl. No, you all suck! Screw this movie! Screw it to hell!

The movie mercifully comes to a close with a scene of Chun-Li having finally settled down and getting a visit from Liu. He informs her of something called the Street Fighter tournament and that a member in it called Ryu maybe he good to recruit for something I don’t give a damn about anymore. Chun-Li declines to help him and wants to move on in her life. With that, the movie is over and thank God for that as well.

This movie sucks, blows, stinks, and whatever other way there is to say that this movie is pure crap. We got horrible action scenes, bad dialogue, some messy editing, terrible special effects, worthless characters, cringe inducing scenes, unlikable characters, a lame villain, and an uninteresting story. The major offensive here is the adaption of the Street Fighter video games into this movie. Change all the characters’ names and you wouldn’t even be able to tell this was a Street Fighter movie.

Outside of Michael Clark Duncan and Chris Klein (Nash) hamming it up and looking like they were enjoying themselves, there is no reason to recommend this movie, even as an action movie. I recommend sticking with the original Street Fighter film with Raul Julia and Jean-Claude Van Damme. It is nowhere near a perfect movie, but it was still a lot more fun to watch than this.

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