Dec 21, 2009

[Movies] Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)Over the years, video games that get turned into movies rarely perform decently at the box office. Let's face it - video games are set in fictional worlds that are hard to match in terms of live-action performances and so it takes a LOT of creative direction to pull this kind of a movie off. We have yet to see major successes in this arena - heck, I can't even think of a successful video game movie right now. That can't be good.

To be fair, these movies rely heavily on fan support and thus it ends up driving certain behaviors. One, you get a movie with minimal plot or at least a shallow one since it's either largely based on the game, which was shallow to begin with, or you get one that was created just for film, which features only limited elements from the original game. Second, you tend to get a movie with very limited budget since the movie studios have seen that such movies don't perform too well at the box office and so they'll want to minimize their exposure while hopefully maximizing potential revenue. Ironically enough, these behaviors only continue to drive the poor performance of these films at the box office and one can only hope that sometime take that gamble and go all out in support of a video game movie.

Yeah I know, keep dreaming, right?

Chun-LiImage via Wikipedia

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is the second live-action film to be created based on the popular fighting game franchise Street Fighter. Instead of following the stories of all the different fighters at the tournament, the creators decided to create a movie only based around the life of a single fighter, in this case Chun-Li (Kristin Kreuk).

The story follows Chun-Li's life starting from her childhood where she learned Wushu from her father. When he gets murdered by M. Bison (Neal McDonough) and Balrog (Michael Clarke Duncan), the incident scars her for life but she struggles to move on. She grows up to be a concert pianist and things seem well enough until she receives an old Chinese scroll. This scroll leads her to discover this secret organization marked by spiderweb tattoos that are trying to fight Bison's criminal empire and of course Chun-Li decides to join the fight. At the same time, Charlie Nash (Chris Klein) and Detective Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood) are also trying to investigate Bison's organization and naturally the eventually come into contact with Chun-Li.

Where do I begin in discussing this movie? There are just so many angles to choose from!

Let's start with the story, which was pretty bad. I mean seriously, I'm not sure who came up with this plot and how they felt it flowed from one event to the other, but it just so didn't work for me. Throw in the really bad cheesy dialog and horrible one-liners (I dare not recount them even now!) and you get an unnecessarily painful movie experience.

As much as I respect Kristin Kreuk, I'll never get over the fact that she's not actually Asian and yet she's trying to play an Asian role. I know it's a minor point, but it just kills me how she is unable to visually capture the look of Chun-Li. Then again, I don't think anyone really managed to personify the characters they were based on, most especially the weirdo they picked to play Vega (Tattoo).

And the fights weren't all that great either. I mean when it comes to movies based on fighting games, you kind of expect to see more of their signature moves or at least have them fight in a manner that is similar to their character's style. I didn't see any of that and none of the actors really managed to convince me they were in fact based on the video game somehow - even the first movie managed to do that a LOT better.

So this was definitely one of those movies that left me feeling outraged that I had actually lost a part of my life seeing and we immediately deleted from my partner's computer lest it cause damage to the other, much better films stored there. Meh!

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li gets 1 leather skirt outfit out of a possible 5.

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