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  Publicity Stills of
"Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li"
(Courtesy of Cathay-Keris Films)

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Cast: Kristin Kreuk, Michael Clarke Duncan, Neal McDonough, Taboo, Chris Klein, Moon Bloodgood, Edmund Chen, Cheng Pei Pei, Josie Ho, Robin Shou
RunTime: 1 hr 37 mins
Released By: InnoForm Media & Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.streetfighter.com/movie/

Opening Day: 19 March 2009



"Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li" is a live-action feature film based on Capcom's video game. The new film is focused on female fighter Chun-Li and her journey for justice.

Movie Review:

When it was announced that the latest incarnation of the Street Fighter movie franchise was to focus on one of the central character and a handful of other supporting character instead of the whole bunch, it felt like they had gotten the right concept of doing a Street Fighter movie after the horrible Street Fighter movie starring a certain Van Damme. Casting popular Kristin Kreuk from the popular TV series Smallville as Chun-Li seems like a good idea too, albeit that she don’t really look like a Chinese (but her mom is of Chinese descent so let’s close one eye on that).

However when the poster, tagline and trailer surfaced, it seems like the transitions of the popular Capcom game onto the big screen had once again suffered under the hands of those who don’t really care for Street Fighter and basically going through the motion to milk the franchise for all the money it’s worth.

How unfaithful to the essence of the Capcom’s Street Fighter game was this movie?

Let’s start with the costume, signature moves and look a like factor. Beside Chun-Li’s trademark double bun (which looked awful on Kristin Kreuk) and the (lackluster portrayal of) spinning bird kick, there are very little in this movie that one could link their game counterparts.

The manner that the main villain M.Bison was dressed as a business man in a clean white suit makes one reminisce about the last movie in which the late Raul Julia was at least dressed in that signature red military uniform with the trademark cap over his head. Chris Klein’s slacker cop routine was slapped with the Charlie Nash’s name but was without the signature glasses, yellow jacket/green pants or action moves to identify his character. Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog was without that trademark gloves and was all smiley instead of menacing as his character was in the games

One might argue that this Street Fighter installment is trying to follow X-Men and Batman Begins’ style of dabbling with the sense of reality while handing characters from the imaginary world. But even without the spandex costume, X-Men characters on the big screen convinces effortlessly of the pulp characters that they are portraying. That’s something that missing in the Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. This movie felt like it basically used the various beloved characters’ name and slapped it together on actors to form a B grade movie.

The action sequences here were particularly uninspiring, especially for a movie that is rooted from a fighting game franchise which had wowed consumers for many years. The most noticeable omission was Chun Li’s signature lighting kicks that was an obvious absence from this movie. The classic fight between Chun Li and Vega in the animated movie was blatantly and blandly inserted into this movie without any important ramification or reason. Taboo’s cameo as Vega here was so short that it made one wonder why this character was even added in the first place. Oddly enough, it was watching our local actor Edmund Cheng “taking on” the huge Michael Clarke Duncan that felt realistic and the most thrilling moment in this movie.

Last but not least, the third major issue with this movie lies with portraying of M Bison, his grand evil plan and the origin of his evil persona / weakness. In the gaming world, M Bison at least had the grand ambition of attempting to control the world’s government through his crime syndicate, Shadaloo. In this movie, the filmmakers really think small and had his grand plan minimized into laughable portion which echo the same mistake made in the recent James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

Another laughable attempt was when this movie attempted to explain M Bison’s diabolical origin. Instead of clouding M Bison in mysterious and therefore creating a scarier character, this movie chose to do some half baked presentation on acts of evil. Personally I find it hard to link acts of stealing a basket of fish to acts of evil but that the best that this movie could come up with.

There are fans in forums that are going around, asking people to watch this movie so that it could generate enough profit for the sequels project to be green lighted. That sequel which some fans were anticipating and hope for would be a movie about Ryu. But seriously, after watching this horrid rendition of the Street Fighters characters here, would anyone actually wants to see the rendition of Ryu in hands of those who either don’t appreciate the game franchise or are clueless in capturing the essence of this classic game.

Movie Rating:

(Another squandered effort in bringing the classic Game Franchise into the Movie spotlight)

Review by Richard Lim Jr


. Dragonball Evolution (2009)

. Push (2009)

. Never Back Down (2008)

. Rogue Assassin (2007)

. Dead Or Alive (2006)

. Street Fighter DVD (1994)


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