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

Note: Reviews of Paul Blart: Mall Cop coming soon after a review of The Watchmen film for Friday. Also still have plans for BioShock Plot Analysis Part 3, so I'm fairly swamped at the moment.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Nerds like to think they're making headway in the film industry, especially since the comic book adaptation genre has finally "come of age" in July 2008 thanks to The Dark Knight. While that may be so (even if I personally still don't agree), video game adaptations still have a long way to go, as Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li aptly demonstrates.

I'm not even sure where to being describing the plot. Exposition is of the "have characters converse disengagingly for a bit, splice in a cityscape/action scene, rinse and repeat until end credits" variety. The overreaching story arc follows Chun-Li's (Kristin Kreuk) quest to rid Bangkok of crime, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Chun-Li is a San Franciscan born aspiring concert pianist who moved to Hong Kong with her family. Her daddy was taken away by Bison's (Neal McDonough) crime syndicate because he finds his strong international connections useful, and that's really the only hiccup in her otherwise picturesque childhood. Years later, Chun-Li becomes an accomplished concert pianist with no connection to any sort of street fighting or martial art whatsoever, let alone a connection to Bangkok of all places. After receiving a mysterious scroll at the end of a performance, she has it deciphered and learns that she is to head to Bangkok where a mysterious man named Gen is to draft her as a sort of freedom fighter against local crime and poverty.

Chun-Li's motivation for heading to Bangkok in the first place is beyond my understanding, which is largely a result of the brief ~90 minute run time that does not offer sufficient room for one story to grow, let alone three. The "Chun-Li heads to Bangkok to get revenge on Bison for kidnapping her father" thread might not be the most original plot in the world, but it's still solid ground for a decent movie. Instead of sticking to the core story and running with it, Interpol/Bangkok Homicide has to have their own fat slice of exposition pie, and of course we need to figure out what makes Bison so gosh darn evil in the first place. As a replacement for one focused and coherent albeit slightly insipid plot, we have three muddy and sloppy stories that are definitely insipid.

image
Kristin Kreuk doesn't have the thighs for Chun-Li, but then again, no human does.

But who goes to a film about Street Fighting for story-time anyway? People want to know if the film kicks any measure of ass, and indeed it sort of does, even if it's hampered by the production's own profound technical ineptitude. Fight scenes are good in the same manner that people compliment Paul W.S Anderson's gunplay because it's his crappy movie's only consolation. While it's entertaining to see characters flip around each other menacingly, the lighting is often so dim that what you see is often just a blur of hair and clothing flickering through shadows. Characters also have a terrible habit of uttering terrible one-liners at senseless times. "I'm just getting started!" quips Chun-Li after handing Vega's ass to him before the camera cuts and the fight scene ends. Is the film only half finished? It's almost like a bizarro tie-in where the film is rushed to meet the video games target released date instead of the other way around.

What about the die-hards though? Will they be pleased by the film? I've only played Street Fighter II way back on the SNES some 16 years ago, so I only recognized Chun-Li, Bison, and Vega as characters from the franchise. The rest of the main characters are all strange figures who try to fit in to the world but don't resonate with me at all. Even the iconic costumes are gone, which may heighten real world credibility, but severely diminishes the nostalgic factor. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li isn't a total disaster, but it does fail to register on any significant level. Not only did I not like, I did not dislike strong enough, which leaves it squarely in the cinematic purgatory of cheap adaptations and B-Movies. Street Fighter is straight to DVD dross with a theatrical release. Nothing more, nothing less.

I don't need to read a review about this movie to know it's "a bag of shit"...

The Necroswanson would like to comment on this but he just died of an aneurysm at the thought that anyone would actually watch this.
Don't mean to belittle your review, it was well written, but we didn't need anyone to really tell us this was going to be monkey nuts.

MrBrightside919:
I don't need to read a review about this movie to know it's "a bag of shit"...

TheNecroswanson:
The Necroswanson would like to comment on this but he just died of an aneurysm at the thought that anyone would actually watch this.
Don't mean to belittle your review, it was well written, but we didn't need anyone to really tell us this was going to be monkey nuts.

Same.
I'd like to see a review of something that isn't a huge bag of shit. Good review, though. You talents will go well in The Watchmen review.

MrBrightside919:
I don't need to read a review about this movie to know it's "a bag of shit"...

Damn, beat me to it.

Like Brightside said, there is no need to read a review to know it was shit. But on the helpful side, the review was good but sometimes a bit a hard to follow but still good. The only thing I need to point out as bad it the last sentence, it can always be seen as less.

I thought the review was rather kind to the film.

I was expecting a bad movie, I wasn't expecting it to be boring

sighh:
I thought the review was rather kind to the film.

I was expecting a bad movie, I wasn't expecting it to be boring

That was exactly what I was trying to convey. Bad films can be entertaining for their sheer awfulness if nothing else, but Street Fighter doesn't even accomplish that much. It's so boring and inane that it just doesn't register as good or bad one way or the other.

You spend about half your review doing a synopsis of the plot and then say "who comes for the story?" anyhow. Your review would've been better if you expanded on your other points or spent less time discussing the plot, but it was still pretty well written and did managed to coerce a chuckle from me.

I have one question though...

What on earthpossessed you to see this film in the first place?

Hey Joe:
What on earthpossessed you to see this film in the first place?

I dropped my Wednesday afternoon class, so I have nothing to do for four hours in the afternoon between classes. I've seen every other bloody film, and decided to use up my free scene points since I would never actually pay money for this crap.

I admit the review is not my best, largely because it doesn't deserve a particularly balanced or in depth opinion in the first place.

No offence but you were WAY too kind towards the film. I've seen shitty B kung-fu movies that are better than this film. Hell, I'd rather watch the first Street Fighter movie or any Steven Seagal flick over this garbage. It managed to be as bad as any Uwe Boll movie which I didn't think was even possible.

Nice review. There was no way in hell that I was going to see this movie anyway.

Saw a clip of Chun vs Vega...and well...that was enough to make me cry...was pretty uninspiring with matrix-esque buzz saw blade dodging...*yawn*

Sheepzor:
Saw a clip of Chun vs Vega...and well...that was enough to make me cry...was pretty uninspiring with matrix-esque buzz saw blade dodging...*yawn*

I saw it too. Apparently, that's the only scene Vega's in, and they didn't even have the decency to honor him. They raped Vega. They raped him hard. He is one of the coolest characters in the game, and they made him suck so hard in the movie. They raped him like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull raped Indy. It's horrible.

(To Clarify As To Not Offend Anyone)

I'm not saying your review is bad, Maet. I'm just saying that I don't need to read a review to know that Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li is a shitty movie...

I just hope that better movies about games will come out soon

 

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