2009 Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Written by Justin Marks
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li is a terrible film. And no one was expecting much from a Street Fighter film. I don’t know how the film got so bad. So many things were done wrong. The bad part is I know what kind of film they were trying to do, what kind of hero they were trying to make Chun Li, and what they were trying to do with the cops. They managed to fail on all fronts, which takes an exceptional amount of fail. The one thing this did accomplish was to make all other versions of Street Fighter look so much better. Future Cops should now get an Oscar, Street Fighter with Raul Julia should be on AFI’s top 100 films of all time list.
The best part of the film is Chris Klein, who knows exactly what kind of film this was and delivered exactly the kind of performance it needed. Too bad everyone else involved was completely oblivious. Chun Li narrates most of the film, but half of the time Krinstin Kreuk sounds like she is half smirking while reading, even the more serious stuff. It is odd.
The original Street Fighter film is a tour de force of awesomeness. We got Jean-Claude Van Damme kicking butt while Raul Julia is far to awesome to be in such a film and knows it, owning the role like no one ever will again. Originally, people thought this was to be a direct sequel, but they failed to understand prequel rage. Studios are prequel crazy, giving prequels to everything that ever existed. This is combined with remake rage, the other thing the studios are doing to ensure original ideas never make it to the local theater. Thus, we get a prequel remake that starts its own continuity, sort of like Star Trek except there is no Old Guile.
I don’t give a frak about the video game plot, because plots for tournament fighting video games are paper thin to begin with. But I think there is one and I doubt this followed it.
Chun-Li (Kristin Kreuk) – Chun-Li is just your average girl whose father does illegal mob accounting and taught her wushu, then was kidnapped by gangsters and she became a kung fu piano player who must avenge her father’s death.
Agent Charlie Nash (Chris Klein) – Agent Charlie Nash is with Interpol and investigates all the Shadaloo stuff that everyone says is a myth. But that doesn’t matter, all you need to know is that Chris Klein is awesome in this movie. He took one look at the script and decided to overact like his life depended on it. And thus, became the only good part of the movie! We salute Chris Klein.
Bison (Neal McDonough) – Remember when Raul Julia was awesome as Bison in the other Street Fighter movie? Well, enough of that, as this flick goes all 1980s and has Bison be a businessman. In a suit. Boooooring. Bison is known as Vega in Japan
Gen (Robin Shou) – Gen is Obi-Wan Kenobi, and heads up a secret society of beggers who recognize each other via spider tatoos. Gen teaches Chun Li everything he knows. Then he dies. Then he doesn’t die.
Detective Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood) – Detective Maya Sunee gets paired up with Charlie Nash, who spends the entire film trying to hit on her. She eventually gets thrown off the case by the corrupt government, but gets back on it because she won’t let a huge business destroy a neighborhood via illegal means.
Balrog (Michael Clarke Duncan) – Balrog is a big dude who punches people and collects paychecks from Bison. He also threatens people. That’s about it for characterization. Balrog is known as Bison in Japan
Vega (Taboo) – Vega is some dude with a hockey mask and Wolverine blades who is hired by Bison to kill people, including Chun-Li, but he fails on that last one. Vega is known as Balrog in Japan.
Bruce Willis as Hartigan
Mickey Rourke as Marv
Clive Owen as Dwight
Nick Stahl as Rourk Jr./Yellow Bastard
Elijah Wood as Kevin
From director Robert Rodriguez we get a film geeks have been drooling with anticipation for since it was announced. The news from Sin Cityland just got better and better, as Frank Miller was announced as a co-director (something Robert Rodriguez quit the DGA over,) the black and white imaging was announced, the pre-footage was shown at the convention, Quentin Tarantino was announced as a guest director, and the first trailers hit. The result is one of the most faithful comic book adaptations in history, and one of the best comic book movies in history. A mix of three Sin City stories and one short story (plus an added story tacked onto the end that’s not from the comics,) they are put together well, and set the tones for the Sin City universe.
The stories are: “The Hard Goodbye”, “The Big Fat Kill” and “That Yellow Bastard” with short “The Customer is Always Right” to start things off right. I read “That Yellow Bastard” when they first came out, and reread them all a few months before the movie arrived in anticipation.