There are a few movies from the 90s that should never be spoken of again. So Fox decided it wouldn’t just talk about it, but make an all-new feature length film starring an actress from a poorly written television show and one of the guys from American Pie that didn’t have much going on. This perfect storm came together to create Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Not because anyone asked for it and certainly not because the original film from Universal made an enormous amount of money. No, this film was made…well, I’ve no freakin’ clue. In a move that surprised no one, the film bowed out of theaters worldwide with less than $12 million in revenue.
Brace yourself for the hard-hitting action and high-flying excitement of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. including an all new unrated cut! Based on the wildly popular Street Fighter video game series, this powerful martial arts adventure explores the origins of the Street Fighter universe through Chun-Li (Kristen Kreuk), who avenges her father’s death at the hands of Bison (Neil McDonough) and his evil Shadaloo Empire. Now the stage is set, the challenge is clear, the legend will be forged…but who will prevail? Round One. Fight!
I could fake enthusiasm for this film, but I won’t. I’m only a moderate fan of the video game series itself and I found the Van Damm film entertaining only for the incredible amount of ham they stuffed into it. My interest in seeing this film is about as high as cleaning a toilet and the enjoyment is about the same…although the buzz given from the cleaning agents being used in close quarters at least helps erase the memory of doing it. There is no such aid for Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, although I’m sure a heavy dosage of alcohol during it would incur the same effect…but then I couldn’t write a review about it, so I’m in a shoddy place.
I probably shouldn’t be so hard on this film as I’m sure it could’ve been worse…but there really is just nothing about this film in the least that’s worth checking out. The lead, Kristen Kreuk, comes off of her stint in Smallville, in which she is easily the worst written and most annoying character, to “star” in this film as Chun-Li, a character who is almost entirely different from the character she’s named after, both in physical appearance as well as origins, and is supported by a cast of other individuals who also share few similarities to their counterparts (Michael Clarke Duncan is the only one who really comes close).
As I said I’m a very minor fan of the series, but even I can see something is amiss in this film. Completely ignoring the fact that it’s even related to the series, however, and we’re still not left with a film of any value. The only ones who could possibly care about what goes on in this film are the fans of the series and that would only result in them complaining about how horrendous it all is. As a standard film, it just doesn’t work; the story is mundane, the acting, while not horrendous, just isn’t much better than a Sci-Fi channel production and aside from a few decently choreographed fights, there just isn’t much action going on in it. It’s a scant 97 minutes long and while it breezes by at a decent pace, I dare you to come up with one positive thing to say about this film. And no, “well it didn’t suck completely” doesn’t count. There’s a reason this film has a 4% on Rotten Tomatoes; while those scales can be skewed at times, in this case I feel it is wholly justified—there just is enough wrong with this film and not enough (i.e., nothing) right with it that makes it worth watching in the least.
Overall even fans of the series…well, scratch that. Especially fans of the series will find this film disappointing and those who have no idea what Street Fighter even is will be bored by it. There just isn’t anything of value within this film and it’s not even something you can blame on one person; there’s a collective level of suck possessed by this film that everyone involved gets an equal slice of the pie. Skip It.
Good Lord. We’re fighting for modern films like The Dark Knight to get decent home video editions and Chun-Li jumps out of the gate with a three-disc “special edition” release. Ok, so one disc is a toss-a-way (digital copy), but the other has a bonus DVD of the animated origins movie Round One: Fight! and the film itself has a smattering of extras that would make anyone envious. The set itself arrives in a standard size Elite Blu-ray case, with the inserts making up the digital copy redemption code and a few sticky security labels.
Video arrives in the form of an AVC (@28mbps) encoded transfer that does a fair job in bringing the film to life. It looks good from start to finish and is what you’d expect from a modern film…but there just isn’t anything that really ever pops out at you. The fights are, again, fun to watch in a small way, but not enough so that it makes you marvel at the shot composition or lighting of the shot. It’s just a generic and simple film and it’s represented as such both through the video as well as the audio, which is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. Some subwoofer pounding and surround work does exist, but, again, not enough to make you really care. Or maybe the video and audio are the only things you can care about with this film…I’m having a hard time deciding. Also included are English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles.
• Theatrical and Unrated feature
• Audio Commentary by Patrick Aiello, Ashok Amritraj, Neal McDonough and Chris Klein
• Street Fighter: In Movie Enlightenment
• 14 Deleted Scenes
• Marvel vs. Capcom 2: Sneak Peek
• Becoming a Street Fighter
• Chun Li: Bringing the Legend to Life
• Fox Movie Channel Presents Making A Scene
• Recreating the Game: Arcade to Film Comparisons
• The Fight in Black and White: Storyboard Gallery
• Behind the Fight: Production Gallery
• Unrated Digital Copy
• Street Fighter Round One: FIGHT! Animated comic movie
The first disc is pretty loaded, what with the commentary taking front focus and a mixture of extras to check out, including a hefty dosage of deleted scenes (yay?). The commentary is a bit self-congratulatory for my tastes and no one really seems to want to come out and call the film a piece of crap. Still, there’s a decent mixture of extras (if you care) and the animated flick itself is worth a spin, if you didn’t already pick up its February release. The unrated cut of the film isn’t even all that different…with only a minute of extra footage (that I noticed anyway).
Overall you can Skip this one too.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.