Movie Review: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

Starring: Kristin Kreuk, Michael Clarke-Duncan and Neal McDonough

Directed by: Andrzej Bartkowiak

As a young girl Chun-Li witnesses her fathers kidnapping by a powerful crime lord. Upon growing up she receives a message to go to Bangkok in search of answers where she is taught to fight without anger if she is to succeed in her mission. She must find and defeat the evil M. Bison, the man responsible for taking her father all those years ago.

There aren’t many people it seems that enjoyed the first Street Fighter movie which was released back in 1994 which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme but I was one of them. Although I haven’t seen it for a very long time so maybe my opinion may have changed after so many years but I have fond memories of watching it when I was young. Close to a decade ago, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li was released and I was pretty stoked that the Street Fighter franchise was getting another chance in the world of movies but for some reason or another I didn’t bother watching it right away. Maybe because it was about Chun-Li who was never really my favourite character in the games or maybe after seeing the lack of game characters that were involved in this movie kind of put me off, anyway for whatever reason I avoided it until now.

Honestly, I really wish I had continued to avoid this movie as there was almost nothing redeemable about it. Let’s start off with Kristin Kreuk who starred as Chun-Li, she was truly terrible in the role and really awkward to watch. She was extremely monotone in everything she said and I really didn’t like any of her fighting scenes, everything just kind of happened too conveniently for Chun-Li, there was no real point in time that she was in danger of losing. Swiftly moving on to Vega who was strangely played by Black Eyed Peas member, Taboo. While this movie only chose a handful of game characters, the least it could’ve done was given the ones they did choose a pivotal role. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case with Vega, he was barely in the movie and was defeated with such ease by Chun-Li, so easily in fact that I really didn’t see much point of including him in the first place. The script was extremely poor and some of the casting choices were questionable, I mean Chris Klein featured as an Interpol Detective and he was very, very poor as he so often is.

Michael Clarke-Duncan’s appearance as Balrog is unfortunate as typically I do like him as an actor but it’s a shame that he did tend to feature in all kinds of rubbish movies, this being one of his worst. One of my biggest gripes with this movie was right at the very end where Chun-Li was made aware of a Street Fighter tournament which would feature Ryu which hinted at a possible sequel to this God awful movie which I’m assuming would’ve went ahead if this was well received. If the producers and executives behind this movie wanted the possibility of a sequel at least put more effort into making this movie even the slightest bit good before you start planning future releases, it’s just common sense.

One of the only slightly enjoyable parts for me in this movie was the character called Gen, played by Robin Shou. Gen was Chun-Li’s teacher when she arrived in Bangkok and there was something about him that I really enjoyed watching despite his horrendous wig. Also, Neal McDonough who is somebody that tends to feature in anything and everything he can plays the evil crime lord M. Bison and despite having a close to laughable accent he at least put in a semi decent effort, making M. Bison the feared and often maniacal leader that he was supposed to be.

Overall, this movie was awful. Nothing much more to say. This will be one of the worst movies I will see this year that’s for sure and is one of the worst movies I’ve seen period. I’d love another Street Fighter movie providing it was done properly, this however was a train wreck.

2/10

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