Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 1, 2009
I gave it two stars because the girls looked good. One star for each otherwise. I just laughed my way thru this one!!
Super Reviewer
August 18, 2013
Is it against the law to make a good SF movie? I'm beginning to think so. I couldn't even bring myself to finish this.
MANUGINO
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2009
Some fight for power. Some fight for us.

Disappointing movie but not too bad either. On the whole, the movie doesn't quite work. It has some good ideas and an interesting story, but it really doesn't handle them properly. For every strong moment the film has, there is a weak one to bring things down again, and of course there's an open ending, though if they actually make a sequel to this I'll be amazed. I likely won't be the first in line to see it, though. I probably won't see the movie again, either... well, not in the theater, anyway. If you like solid electronic dances tunes, the soundtrack may be worth your while. The movie, on the other hand, won't really entertain general audiences, and I imagine fans of the games will be pretty divided on it.

Chun-Li lives a calm life with her father, when one day, the local mobster Bison kidnaps her father. After her mother's death, she embarks into a quest to rescue her kidnapped father from the clutches of powerful criminal lord Bison.
Super Reviewer
October 19, 2011
I kept pressing start but the game wouldn't let me skip the opening cut scene. An hour and thirty-six minute cut scene. This film makes the original Street Fighter movie look like a masterpiece.
skactopus
Super Reviewer
January 26, 2011
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. What a waste of 90 minutes. Sorry Andrzej Bartkowiak, but this is one horrendous picture.For a film based off of a video game, it takes itself way too seriously and this makes the characters, among other things, look more out of place than they should be. As for the story, it is uninteresting and most of the film ends up feeling really mundane.The story and concept has the green light to unleash the action; however, there isn't enough of it. The choreography is pretty good in the early going, but as the film progresses it all goes downhill as it becomes less impressive. Eventually it all leads up to the predictable grand finale of Kristin Kreuk taking on Neal McDonough. Talk about the wrong stuff.Some of the acting is mediocre at best. The rest is dreadful. Aside from her looks, Kristin Kreuk isn't anything spectacular and her narration scenes are uninspiring and quite bland. Chris Klein is absolutely terrible. He tries to pull off an over the top character, but fails miserably. What few good things this film has, it is offset by Chris Klein's performance.All that's left to say is that Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is a waste of time. Please move on to something else.
Super Reviewer
January 14, 2009
The Legend of Chun-Li is a perfect example of why video game movies make both video game fans and the general public cringe. I don't think I've ever seen so much foolishness in one movie. Kristin Kreuk is pretty enough (in an extremely waifish way), but she's no Chun-Li. That fits in with the rest of the casting ,though, because none of the other actors in the movie really resemble the characters that they are supposed to be representing. That was supposed to be Gen? REALLY?

The police officers who were investigating Bison were unnecessary additions, but Moon Bloodgood is such a gorgeous woman that I can't complain too much about their presence. Her character and Balrog were the only two people that I liked in the entire movie. I know that these actors could have found projects that were more worthwhile, so why did they even agree to do this?

The plot is unsurprisingly bad. All the scenes of Chun Li wandering around Bangkok (looking very pretty and clean for someone who was supposedly living on the streets) and talking about how she had completely forgotten who she was were just priceless. And I never really understood why she was the only one who could defeat Bison, but whatever. It just seemed like there wasn't anyone involved in the creation of this movie that even had a passing familiarity with how to tell a story. And the fight scenes...how did they manage to be even more boring than the rest of the movie?

This was just a poor effort all-around. It basically just ignored all of the things that make Street Fighter a popular franchise. As short as it was, it still felt much too long.
Super Reviewer
½ April 6, 2010
Finally, a Street Fighter movie that made me miss Jean Claude Van Damme.
deano
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2008
The story of Chun-Li is as predicatable as it sounds, with no surprises in either the unfolding of the plot or the characters.
Kristen Kreuk managed to turn in the least sexy fighting heroine ever. She managed to make possibly the lamest all-girl dance scene ever committed to film. The fighting scenes are not that bad, though they do have some confusing stunts. It is based on the popular fighting game.
Super Reviewer
January 14, 2010
It is up there for one of the worst movies I've ever seen!
Super Reviewer
October 6, 2009
Pretty poor film but has a few nice touches and enough cheese to make you smile
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ September 17, 2009
It's not every day that Jean Claude Van Damme gets some marginal level of redemption. The original 1994 Street Fighter film took the classic arcade fighting game and took it as seriously as possible, which meant it was incredibly silly. Van Damme was Colonel Guile and entrusted to rescue hostages from the evil dictator, Bison (Raul Julia). The big screen adaptation rewrote entire characters but managed to keep the stuff fans really care about, like catchphrases, costumes, and super moves. God forbid that audiences see Cammy (Kylie Minogue, yes that Kylie Minogue) make the wrong victory pose. It's always the unimportant things that somehow matter the most to execs. Street Fighter is a campy blast. How could you despise a movie that has its villain say, " For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me... it was Tuesday." Though the movie does have the depressing distinction of being Julia's last film before he died. Let this be a lesson to all actors looking to take a paycheck role. Years later, in the wake of a writer's strike, the execs at Fox thought they could pump new blood into a Street Fighter franchise. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li purports to tell the back-story of one of its most popular fighters, the diminutive fireball-tossing lass with Princess Leia's haricut. This movie proves that you don't need a Van Damme to make a boring and mediocre action movie.

Chun-Li (Kristin Kreuk) is trained to be a master pianist and also a master martial arts warrior. You don't realize the kinds of dangers classical pianists constantly run into. Her father is kidnapped by the crime lord Bison (Neal McDonough) for some reason or other. Three years later, a mysterious scroll falls into her possession. She travels to Bangkok to find her father. Bison has the ingenious plan of buying waterfront property, introduce high levels of crime, and then making money on lowered property values, which is simultaneously confusing and stupid. Bison has a few evil henchmen, notably the giant boxer Balrog (Michael Clarke Duncan) and the masked warrior Vega (Taboo from the Black Eye Peas), who help wipe out his criminal competition. In Bangkok, Chun-Li is mentored by Gen (Robin Shou, who played Liu Kang in two Mortal Kombat movies) and together they attempt to thwart Bison and his dastardly real estate scheme.

For a movie about streets and fighting, well there's a clear shortage of the latter. Much of the movie is structured around Chun-Li conducting her own private investigation and achieving some level of inner peace. She decides to try and make it on the streets of Bangkok. There are forgettable training exercises with forgettable platitudes disguised as wisdom ("You're hurting me," "No, you're hurting yourself"). There are a handful of lackluster fights and chases, some of them through streets even, but the movie has a scarce amount of action until it revs up for a climactic showdown. The action is also poorly shot and poorly edited, distracting the senses and making it downright impossible to understand. The choreography is nothing special. When the movie suddenly introduces a supernatural element the other characters don't even bat an eye. Screenwriting neophyte Justin Marks has too much revenge-seeking father drama and real estate scheming and not enough brawling. The Legend of Chun-Li has zero respect for the intelligence of its audience. It has flashbacks to flashbacks that just aired minutes earlier. How hard would it have been to just actually base a Street Fighter movie on a fighting tournament?

Director Andrzej Bartkowiak (Doom, Romeo Must Die) shoots the movie in such a dull manner that the fight sequences fail to even elicit any interest. There's one scene in the middle of the film that serves as a testament to the lack of care put into this movie. Chun-Li has battled a Bison henchwoman in a women's bathroom. The bathroom set design includes partition walls with portholes. Chun-Li is on one side and the henchwoman tries to punch her through the porthole. Chun-Li grabs the woman's arm and squeezes. The camera angle is from the side of the actresses, so it would make the most sense to have the henchwoman's right arm caught, that way her expression could be seen. Nope. Chun-Li is gripping the woman's left arm, meaning that her raised arm and shoulder block any view of the woman's face, and yet she talks through this scene. How difficult would it have been to just switch arms? Why purposely obscure an actor's face, especially in a scene that doesn't require a stunt double?

Here's a curious item. Chun-Li has always been a full-blooded Chinese woman in the history of the video game. When we see her as a child, baby Chun-Li and child Chun-Li are very obviously Chinese in features. Flash forward a few years and she's transformed into looking like Kreuk, who is half-Chinese. Apparently, one of the less common side effects of trauma is becoming less Chinese looking as you age. Along these same strange ethnic lines, we're told that Bison was the child of Irish missionaries and was left behind in Bangkok. And yet, the child grown up completely in Southeast Asia manages to sport an Irish accent. Anybody want to explain that particular linguistic loophole?

Kreuk (TV's Smallville) is one of the film's biggest handicaps. The script saddles her with great amounts of pointless voice over, to the point that half of her performance is listlessly explaining what is literally happening on screen. Kreuk is a dead-eyed robot in this movie; she displays some glimpses of human emotion, like sadness and rage, but they never feel remotely credible, like someone who only knows the definitions of emotions and not proper application. Her lesbian seduction dance is a small moment of absurdity. She thrashes on the dance floor and her "dancing" reminded me more of a bird's mating dance without the excessive plumage displaying. Kreuk can run and flex well enough, which is also a nice benefit for a martial arts action flick.

The acting is terrible but there is one bright spot in a most unexpected location. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the best worst performance of the year, brought to you by Chris Klein (American Pie). Klein plays Interpol agent Charlie Nash who is conducting a parallel investigation into Bison's Bangkok activities. He's partnered up with a local gangland homicide detective (Moon Bloodgood) who takes extra care to showcase her cleavage thanks to work outfits with plunging necklines. Klein is awful to a powerful degree but here's the thing -- I'm fairly certain it's one hundred percent intentional. Being a conosoire of trashy cinema, I feel that I've adopted the skill of being able to deduce when an actor is hopelessly serious or just goofing off. Klein comes across like a self-aware man; he knows this is a crummy movie with crummy dialogue, so he's going to have as much fun as possible. His performance is all forced swagger, from the way he constantly swivels his head to the way he cannot purposely walk in a straight line. He overemphasizes lines, chewing over the faux hardboiled detective talk and spitting it out in a singsong delivery. He grimaces and furrows his brow, widens his eyes to comical levels, and when he crouches in a gunfight the man spreads his legs as far apart so that he looks like he could have effectively doubled as a backup dancer in an MC Hammer music video. It's obvious that Klein has given a staggering performance, but the observant will note that this is not an inept performance. This man knows exactly the kind of movie he's in. I always tabbed Klein as a wooden actor that came across like Diet Keanu Reeves, but I must credit him for making a bold acting choice to knowingly dig deeper when it comes to being bad.

Readers know that I am skeptical and dismissive about the prospect of a good movie ever being born from a video game adaptation. Games call for interactivity and movies passivity. But if you're going to make a movie called Street Fighter than stick to the script. This borefest wants to be a gangland drama with a tacked-on buddy cop side plot. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is an awful work partially redeemed from the sheer amount of unintentional hilarity. Kreuk is extremely miscast as a warrior woman. The acting is bad, the direction is bad, the writing is bad, and Chris Klein tries to outdo them all in badness, and I admire the chap for trying something different in an admittedly abysmal movie. To be fair, I was never a big fan of the original video game. The special moves always seemed much more tricky to pull off. How many different incarnations of Street Fighter II were there before they eventually mastered basic math and released Street Fighter III? These are the things I was thinking about wistfully whenever Klein or Bloodgood's cleavage wasn't on screen.

Grade: D
Beefy
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2009
Not the cinematic abortion that the 1994 version was, this one actually had a few nice touches and stylistic flourishes. Still fairly silly, but if you turn off your brain I guarantee you've seen worse.
Super Reviewer
½ June 28, 2009
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li is pretty bad, but it isn't anywhere near as bad as reviews would lead you to believe. In comparison to the 1994 film this is a much better film. Unfortunately, that also makes it worse. The original has a cheesy camp appeal that is easy and enjoyable to laugh at. This one takes itself far too seriously. It tries to go the Batman Begins route, of delving into a characters origins and setting it in a real life setting. This begs the question "Why are the fight scenes so fake?" They may as well have left the wires on film as the stunts are so obvious there is no sense of danger or realism. Klein gives one of the worst performances in recent memory, coming off as a creepy boss awaiting a sexual harassment charge. Vega looks and sounds ridiculous and his fight is hilariously short. It all boils down to a film that tries too hard despite it's lack of talent.
kpn666
Super Reviewer
½ February 23, 2009
Well Ill say this, it is a marked improvement over the original. Aside from the eye candy (aka Kristen and Moon) everyone did alright, but who in their right mind got Chris Klein in it? The guy cant act, its like every movie is American Pie for him. >___<" Oh yeah, check out Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas making his mark as Vega. XD

Other than that, Robin Shou, Neal McDonough and Duncan were impressive, they brought the credibility and style to the movie, and it severely lacked a lot... Bartkowiack has made a couple good action films,but seriously, wire fu isn't great... and considering this was a 20th Century Fox film, how did they get away with the action scenes?? It reeks of timidness and maybe he should have got stars and a team willing to go the hard yards with this movie, because in my honest opinion, it showed great promise. But if you are thinking this is a movie about Street Fighting, like Never Back Down or some other silly BS, think again. Street Fighter is an international concept, something that is much bigger than the name suggests... hence the large plot and back story of the main characters.


Anyways... a sequel is mentioned at the end, which outlines the idea of a tournament... i they ever decide to continue it, they need a full Hong Kong action crew to work it, stars who are fearless and a Director who can bring action movies to life. these days for the movies, everything must be bigger and better, and the problem is, this movie is using outdated concepts, style and techniques which are redundant now.

Honestly, Fox should sell the rights to Lionsgate, it would have done much better.
Super Reviewer
½ March 5, 2009
This is a poor film, I didn't expect much to be honest but I really don't know why they tried again with this franchise as it just cant be made into film without being tacky and laughable. The characters don't translate well into reality as this films proves for the second time, it just doesn't work. The whole thing is cliched, predictable, been done many times before and isn't well made.
The acting is poor, the fights are basic and tame and its boring all the way, the main thing that hits you is how unoriginal it is, there is nothing here that stands out in any way and you only get five SF2 characters...Bison, Chun Li, Vega, Balrog and Gen.

Also the films ends with the hint of sequels.....not good.
DerekA101
Super Reviewer
February 28, 2009
Where to begin on this crapfest......

First, ALL film students need to watch this for a perfect example of atrocious acting... courtesy of Chris Klein. He was over-acting, and forcing facial expressions that were far below amateur. He delivered his ridiculously scripted one-liners with such uninspiring cheese that it literally reminded me of an elementary school play. His performance was appalling... it was a complete abomination to the fine craft of acting. He should stick to playing the sweet sensitive, yet hopelessly stupid high school hearth-throb, and leave the more serious roles to...well, anybody!

I played the Street Fighter games as a kid, so I had a knowledge of all the characters beforehand. But I feel sorry for those who don't know any history on the characters because the director quickly inserts them into the storyline with no elaboration. Character development is non-existent.

Not only were the characters under-developed, but many were widely unused. The coolest character in the whole film (and game) was Vega... and he received a whole 2 minutes of air time. That was a HUGE error by the director.

The storyline was incoherent, unintelligent, and unfathomable. The special effects were cheesy, the direction was awful, the acting was piss-poor, and even the fight scenes were a little ridiculous most of the time.

The only reason this film gets a full star is because Neal McDonough makes a formidable bad guy as Bison, Michael Clarke Duncan was cool as Balrog, and Moon Bloodgood is smoking hot.
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2009
Charlie Nash: His name's Bison. I've tracked him through eleven major cities on four continents and never come close, not once. This guy walks through the raindrops. Anybody that's against him is either dead, or on their way.

Rather than talk about this movie, don't worry, its terrible and bears little resemblance of the game, actually managing to be worse than the Van Damme version, which was good campy fun, I think special notice should go out to Chris Klein.

Klein plays Charlie Nash, an interpol agent working to stop Bison. Klein somehow manages to take bad acting to a new level. He approaches levels that seem like a dare in terms of how bad he can be in a movie.

Its funny, because I was just watching him in Election the other day, where he is quite good and oh, how bad things must have gotten for him. Everything he does, his dialog deliver, his posture, his reactions are all hilariously terrible. Its simply amazing.

Oh, and again, this movie sucks.

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.
Sean N.
Super Reviewer
April 1, 2010
How did this movie fail like multiple video game movies before it? Well, for this one, it suffers just like the 1994 stinker Street Fighter in one thing; the cast. There are two major faults with this cast. First, Neal McDonough as M. Bison. He looks nothing like Raul Julia from the first movie (Raul Julia did a good job, but this guy doesn't even resemble him in the slightest). Second, we have Robin Shou who plays Gen. The problem here is that Shou played Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat. It's like seeing Will Shatner in a Star Wars movie, it just doesn't look right. Aside from that, the acting's horrible, the fighting is weak (looks more like your typical action movie fighting compared to the first movie (which actually showed something related to 'Street Fighting'), and the story is rather weak. This movie makes the first look like a masterpiece. One of the worst video game movies.
Super Reviewer
½ August 17, 2010
This reviewer may very well be the uncoolest man currently writing a column on film. Oh, he has the geek thing down pat?film geek, that is. As for other geeky quotients, however, his expertise proves rather fleeting. Video games, for instance, are a veritable black hole. Q*Bert and Burger Time remain on his timeline. On the other hand, Guitar Hero and Wii Fit might as well be distant foreign lands populated with Dodos. However, he has been witness to the video game Resident Evil in which a self-contained animated story propels the action forward between levels. These ?stories? seemed paper-thin, laughably cliché-ridden, and head-scratchingly opaque to anybody who had not been gaming their whole damn life. And this defined the experience of watching The Legend of Chun-Li, a poorly directed actioner structured just like a modern video game?and as interesting to watch as video games for non-gamers.

In the PG-13-rated Street Fighter, a female martial arts fighter (Kreuk) embarks on a quest for justice in Bangkok.

Scenery gets chewed, butts get kicked, and the whole she-bang comes to a predictable conclusion. This would all count as acceptable entertainment were Andrzej Bartkowiak?s execution not so shoddy. For the most part, the actors (save for Kreuk, who struggles to make more out of the weak material) snarl their way through every line of formulaic dialogue. Some action sequences are shot such that moviegoers cannot tell what the hell is going on. And worst, the ending baits a sequel?or another video game?-the reference is THAT vague.

Bottom line: Game over.
Super Reviewer
January 26, 2009
It's a little surprising that the filmmakers opted for Chun-Li instead of the signature character of Ryu. Kristin Kreuk may be a looker and her personal grounding in gymnastics and martial arts do help, but she's ultimately let down by a weak plot and some very weak supporting characters. As if the villains were good enough, being nothing but bland and uninteresting. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is a straight forward movie without much depth in its story and it's relatively lower production budget translates to many of the jazzy special prowess in the game being considerably toned down. Perhaps director Andrzej Bartkowiak's intention was to have it more rooted to reality, but therein lies the danger see, because this movie has tremendous parallels with that of another super-powered movie called Elektra. Both have recognizable female actresses in the lead role and they share a plot involving secret organizations, mystical healing, an experienced teacher to learn the ropes from and plenty of hokey martial arts. Even the training sequence looks super summarized, uninspiring and filled with unremarkable, clichéd dialogue. This movie has an origin story and depending on which camp you're on, you may or may not agree with some of the tweaks made here to accommodate the film version of things. Despite being called "Street Fighter", the fights here are nothing too fantastic or memorable and looks comfortably in place with many B-grade action movies out there, with the occasional lapsing into the crutch of having the fight scenes edited in double quick time.
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