First Look at The Legend of Chun-Li

| 29 Dec 2008 15:42

Unless you can speak fluent Japanese, you won't be able to pick up much of the plot from the newly-released first trailer for "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li", but there's plenty of action to make up for it. Also, Kristin Kreuk still doesn't look the part.

So, the guy in the silver mask and claw? Obviously good ol' Vega. The villainous-seeming black dude with a noticible gap in his teeth is probably Balrog, so we can check two of M. Bison's henchmen off the list. Bison himself? He'll be played by Neal McDonough (from "Boomtown" and "Tin Man") and has apparently swapped his trademark cap and uniform for a smartly-trimmed goatee and business suit.

Now, Neal McDonough is a talented guy with a magnetic presence, and I'm sure he'd make a great villain in any film. But he's the more ... well, cerebral type of villain - the sort of villain who would lever black-market forces and engineer terrorist attacks to drive up the price of real estate or something. M. Bison, on the other hand, is an over-the-top Saturday morning cartoon villain who wants to take over the world, or destroy the world, or something like that. I can't see Neal McDonough's Bison having a base hidden inside a giant Buddha statue in Thailand, that's for sure.

For all the original Street Fighter (rightly) gets lambasted, you can't say that Raul Julia didn't nail the "essence" of M. Bison, so to speak. They may have screwed up everything else, but they got Bison right. Hell, the equally-abysmal and short-lived SF cartoon nailed the essence of M. Bison too: ("Yes, yes, I killed your father. I killed my father too, and you don't hear me whining about it!")

While we're on the subject, would it really have been that hard to find an actress who not only can do martial arts but who also looks the part? While totally smokin' hot, Kristin Kreuk doesn't have the star power of Jake Gyllen... Gylen... of Donnie Darko, and he at least can pass for the Prince of Persia. Kreuk certainly wouldn't be our first choice to play a young, ass-kicking female detective from China - Beverly Hills, maybe, but not Beijing.

Oh well. At least the action looks decent.

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