Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li Reviews
Verdict: 1/10. F-. Atrocious. Godawful. It spits not only on the very practice and art of acting, but also on the greatest fighting game franchise ever created, Street Fighter. A disgrace.
But other than that, no.
When she was younger, Chun-Li (Kristin Kreuk) witnesses the kidnapping of her father Xiang by the wealthy Irish crime lord M. Bison (Neal McDonough), the CEO of Shadaloo Headquarters. Years later, she goes into a quest for vengeance and becomes the famous crimefighter of the Street Fighter universe.
I was introduced to the Street Fighter universe when I bought Street Fighter IV for the Xbox 360 a few years earlier, and I loved it. A wide variety of characters, fun gameplay, inventive fighting styles and powers... it was pure awesomeness. I also bought the updated version of the game, Super Street Fighter IV, and I loved that even more.
In the summer of 2013, I rented the 1994 live-action Street Fighter film from Family Video. The Steven E. de Souza-written and directed film starred Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile (tremendous miscast), Ming-Na Wen as Chun-Li, and Raul Julia as M. Bison (best part of the film). While very different from the games, I gotta admit, I had a bit of fun with this film. It's bad, yes, but I'd consider it a guilty pleasure. However, that film is Oscar-worthy cinema compared to this abomination.
If you thought the 1994 film was a terrible adaptation of the games, take a look at this shitstorm. This film rapes pretty much everything people loved about this franchise up the ass. Director Andrzej Bartkowiak (whose previous films I did enjoy) and screenwriter Justin Marks make absolutely no attempt to try to follow the games and that pisses me off.
The performances are awful, with the three exceptions being Neal McDonough, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Robin Shou. Despite his truly horrendous Irish accent, McDonough was trying very hard to make this generic, non-threatening bad guy work, and Shou was mildly entertaining as Gen. Sadly, Marks' dismally-penned script and Bartkowiak's tenuous, amazingly effortless direction prevent McDonough and Shou from being allowed to truly shine.
Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog is admittedly a delight. You can tell he's having a blast playing this guy. Not to mention, Balrog is the only character who bears any resemblance to his video game counterpart. Kristin Kreuk is atrocious as Chun-Li, which is a real shame, given that I loved her as Lana Lang on Smallville. Her line delivery is just abysmal and she shows hardly any genuine emotion.
Moon Bloodgood is bland (although sexy) as Maya Sunee, who becomes Crimson Viper in the video games. Taboo as Vega is a tremendous miscast, one of the biggest in film history. However, the worst performance comes from Chris Klein as Charlie Nash (Blanka from the games). Klein looks beyond bored to be in this film and he sounds as if he's a petulant five-year-old doing a bad Christian Slater impersonation. Phenomenally awful.
If you watch this film expecting some bad-ass fight scenes, you'll be disappointed. The action scenes in this movie are pitiful. Andrzej Bartkowiak directs the action and fight scenes with no skill, effort, passion, or energy, and not to mention, they're very poorly edited by Derek G. Brechin and Niven Howie, and the choreography is nothing short of a joke. They even use Chun-Li's signature Spinning Bird Kick with truly deplorable results. However, the cinematography by Geoff Boyle is occasionally crisp, so there's that.
The whole affair is just a tired, generic mess all around. Stephen Endelman's musical score is insipid and flavorless beyond definition, there are countless martial arts and action film clichés, and there's not even a lick of originality and creativity to be found. The visual effects are spectacularly horrible. There's one bit five minutes into the movie where Chun-Li's father attacks a guy by using a bottle of wine as a water pistol, with the wine being as clear as water. The CGI for the wine is just... blecch. I mean, dear God.
Justin Marks' screenplay is reprehensible. Hardly any character development, really god-awful dialogue, and a story so redundant, outrageously ridiculous, and nonsensical you'll want to pull your hair out. Not to mention, the tone is completely wrong. It takes itself so goddamn seriously. What dumb-ass wanted a dark, gritty, more realistic version of Street Fighter? What the fuck.
FINAL SCORE: 1/10
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is bar none one of the worst video game movies ever made. Holy mother of God was this terrible. Bad writing, bad acting, bad action, bad story, bad characters, bad adaptation, bad reboot, bad movie. The 1994 film may not have been good, but hey, at least it was fun. This, however, is not enjoyable in the slightest. Fuck this movie and never, ever watch it.
*Puts face up to camera*
SUCKS MONKEY FUCK!!!