Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li – 3 Disc Special Edition
Directed by: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Cast: Kristin Kreuk, Neal McDonough, Chris Klein, Moon Bloodgood, Michael Clarke Duncan
Running Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Plot: A young woman raised on martial arts named Chun-Li (Kreuk) wants vengeance against super villain Bison (McDonough). At the same time, Bison is being pursued by two cops, Nash and Det. Maya Sunee (Klein and Bloodgood).
Who’s It For? Here is the movie that can match the intellect of it’s primary audience of thirteen year old boys. They will be oblivious to the awful acting, editing, dialogue, and will eat up whatever portions of action Chun-Li has to offer.
Street Fighter kicks off with a waltz by Frederic Chopin, which is right about where any shred of Chun-Li’s gracefulness stops dead in its tracks. Acted and directed by a bunch clowns, this newest addition to the video game movie trash can takes itself too seriously – not just because it asks for a sequel after its cheese whiz conclusion, but because it refuses to align with the video game’s first grade idea of straight up, no brains, fighting. Is it so difficult to make a movie with non-stop action equivalent to button mashing on a controller? Instead, high on reboot juice, Chun-Li attempts to give characters background when it should be aiming lower at having more scenes of fists and feet flying through the air and into someone’s face. A prime example of this problem is with Neal McDonough’s Bison, who desperately wants to be the toughest PG-13 baddie possible. He kills his partners, uses a woman as a punching bag, does something pretty darn awful to his wife, and in general is the cause of the heavy violence from the film. It’s all a bit unnecessary, especially considering this is an action movie created for thirteen year olds who only understand cleavage and fight sequences that use wires. Even the title character shouldn’t need as much a dramatic (albeit cliché) push to give her an excuse to kick ass – oops, I mean butt.
Director Andrzej Bartkowiak clumsily edits his movie, with his fight scenes having more cohesion than the overall story. Still, the combat sequences are too short to offer any real payoff. A showdown between Chun-Li and Vega sounds pretty rad, right? It’s over in what feels like three seconds, with the promising sub-villain looking as goofy as Chris Klein’s entrance earlier in the movie.
Probably wishing they could cover their faces with make up, many of the actors cope with their presence of being in a movie based off a video game by either under-acting or overacting. Michael Clarke Duncan, once an intimidating figure, allows himself to become a stooge to lead bad guy Bison. Chris Klein, formerly known as the guy who didn’t get some in American Pie, is the real bozo here, dishing out the laziest of efforts to force himself into the legacy of greasy looking cops. Every line that comes out of the corner of his scowling mouth is complimented with a hilarious facial expression that, like a good fighter, might catch you off guard. Consider him the only type of comic relief that Street Fighter has to offer. Everything else is just pain.
Round One: Fight – An hour long animated feature that slowly crawls over comic book imagery while spoken by a room full of voice actors (who can’t agree on how to pronounce “shadaloo”). Though it has more characters from the franchise than Chun-Li, this is just as bad. Fans of “Street Fighter” might be amused when watching their favorite characters evolve in a dinky prequel, but everyone else will probably be wishing they could perform a shoryuken on their TV. That’s nerd speak for “it’s stupid.”
Deleted Scenes – Most of these deleted moments involve Nash, their exclusion coming from an effort to save what little hope Chun-Li had. And for some reason, the creators behind this movie couldn’t find a picture of Nash’s family, as indicated by a blank screen that flashes twice (both in quite humorous occasions). There’s also a final scene with “The White Rose” that could’ve served as an alternate ending.
Becoming a Street Fighter – The producers embark on a race to sound like the bigger idiot, the winner taking the cake with his exhaustive use of “phenomenal.” Key players to this project discuss the origins of why there’s another Street Fighter movie, and then go on to praise each other for being what sounds like the best thespian ever. But this typical self-worshipping featurette isn’t entirely full of lies, as not a single compliment is said about Chris Klein. There is justice somewhere, Chun-Li!
Chun-Li: Bringing The Legend To Life – More discussion about why the character Chun-Li was chosen to re-introduce the “Street Fighter” franchise. The praising shifts from Kreuk to her character, as everyone begins to indulge themselves on useless overt analysis of a character from a video game.
Fox Movie Channel presents Making A Scene – The fight in the alley that is so “pivotal” to the plot is dissected. Kreuk continues to get praised for her efforts, and action sequence experts try to justify the excessive use of wires by saying it’s “realistic.”
The other extras:
Unrated Cut Audio Commentary by Producers Patrick Aiello and Ashtok Amritraj, and Actors Neal McDonough and Chris Klein
Marvel v. Capcom 2 Sneak Peek
3 Galleriers: Game-to-Film Comparisons, Storyboards, Production Stills
Street Fighter: In-Movie Enlightenment Trivia Track
Theatrical Cut of Film
Unrated Cut of Film
Extras Score: 5/10
The animated movie is just additional weight to a Blu-Ray rigged with typical self-serving features that might just maybe please the fans. The 3-disc set is mostly for moot though, as the main course is bad to just about everyone – especially those who want to see their favorite characters in live action and with a bit of intelligent credibility. Defying science, this is one of those rare occasions where picking up a video game controller instead of doing any other action is actually the smartest idea possible.
Final Score: 4/10