Street Fighter

PLOT:

A multinational military force known as the Allied Nations has managed to enter the fictional South East Asian nation of Shadaloo to combat the armed forces of a drug lord turned General named M. Bison, who has recently captured several dozen AN workers. Via a live two-way TV broadcast, Bison demands AN regional commander William F. Guile secure a $20 billion ransom in three days, or he will kill the hostages and the world will hold Guile and the AN accountable. Guile’s assistant, Cammy, is only able to partially trace Bison’s signal, determining that his hideout is somewhere in the river-delta region outside Shadaloo City.

Among the captured AN relief workers is Carlos “Charlie” Blanka, a peacekeeper and one of Guile’s closest friends. Bison orders his henchmen to send Blanka to a laboratory and turn him into a mutated soldier, the first of many, which Bison plans to use to help him conquer the world. Dr. Dhalsim, a captured scientist, decides to sabotage Bison’s scheme by tweaking the brainwashing process to retain Blanka’s humanity.

Meanwhile, in an underground fighting arena, con artists Ryu and Ken attempt to sell fake arms to Shadaloo’s Tong crime syndicate leader Victor Sagat. His plan to kill them both by having them fight his champion, Vega is interrupted when Guile crashes the building and takes everyone into custody. Guile later presses Ryu and Ken into infiltrating Sagat’s gang by staging a prison-break and faking his own death. The plan hits a snag when news reporter Chun-Li Zang, who wants revenge against Bison for the death of her father, finds out that Guile is alive. Her partners, Sumo wrestler E. Honda and professional boxer Balrog, each of whom hold a grudge against Sagat for ruining their reputations, attempt to kill Bison and Sagat with a truck bomb, which destroys much of Bison’s arms cache but fails to kill the dictator. Chun-Li and her friends are captured when Ryu and Ken seemingly turn on them, to earn Bison’s trust.

Once in the fortress (which is built under a Cambodian temple similar to Angkor Wat), they free Balrog and Honda, and the four of them go to “save” Chun-Li, who is fighting a surprised Bison in his private quarters. Unfortunately, the arrival of the others interrupts Chun-Li long enough for Bison to escape and trap the five of them by sedating them with gas.

Meanwhile the AN is able to locate Bison’s headquarters from Ryu’s homing device and the explosion at Bison’s camp, and since Bison’s air defenses are too powerful they begin planning an amphibious assault on the base. A group of peace negotiators inform Guile that the invasion is no longer authorized, since the ransom demand is about to be paid, but Guile protests what he sees as appeasement and rallies the troops to assault anyway.

As Guile, T. Hawk and Cammy head up river, they are attacked by Bison who uses underwater mines to blow up their speedboat, but narrowly escape into the fortress, where Guile is attacked by a horribly mutated Blanka, who then recognizes him as his friend. Guile almost kills Blanka to end his suffering, but Dhalsim intervenes and persuades Guile not to do so. After learning from Dhalsim that Bison attempts to use Blanka to execute the hostages, Guile hides in Blanka’s incubation chamber and takes Bison by surprise. At the same time a huge battle ensues between Captain Sawada’s AN forces and the Shadoloo troops. Ken attempts to leave the battle, but returns to save Ryu from an ambush, and the two of them defeat Vega and Sagat after an intense fight. Meanwhile, Guile seems to be winning against Bison, until an automatic revival system brings Bison back to life and charges his body with great amounts of electromagnetism, allowing him to shoot lightning bolts and fly across the air.

After taking a serious beating, Guile finally discovers Bison’s weak point, and uses it to send him flying against his gigantic monitor wall, where he crashes and is hung by the neck. The damage causes severe electrical disturbances which destabilize the power system of the base, but the heroes find and release the hostages just in time, and everyone evacuates. Guile finds the lab and tries to persuade Dhalsim and Blanka to escape with him now that Bison has been defeated, but Blanka refuses to return to society in his condition, and Dhalsim decides to atone for his actions by accompanying him. When the temple comes crashing down after an explosion everyone thinks that Guile is dead, but then he appears from amongst the smoke. After Guile converses with Chun-Li, Ryu, Ken, Cammy, Zangief, Balrog, E-Honda, T-Hawk and Sawada, they see the last ruins of the temple fall and take their familiar win poses from the video game as the camera freezes and fades out.

In the home video version of the film, a post-credits scene returns to the ruins of M. Bison’s lair, as the main computer announces that its batteries are recharging from solar power and it begins fibrillating Bison’s heart with electricity. Bison’s fist suddenly smashes through the rubble, and on a computer screen the resurrected dictator selects “World Domination: Replay.”

REVIEW:

Steet Fighter was never my favorite fighting game. That honor went to Mortal Kombat. I did think that the characters would make for an interesting enough movie, but after watching this thing and remembering the total waste of time that was Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, I can’t help but wonder if that is even possible.

First off let me say that is becoming more and more apparent that video games should not be turned into movies. 9 times out of 10 they flop and with the news this week that they have optioned the hit facebook…yes I  said Facebook…game Mafia Wars to become a film, I’m sure the flops will keep coming. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Since Street Fighter is all about fighting and a tournament, two films thst did it right come to mine. First is D.O.A.: Dead or Alive. While this wasn’t the greatest plot flick, it brought the tournament to the forefront, with a secondary take over the world plot. The best video game flick that Street Fighter could learn from, however, has to be Mortal Kombat, I know that’s the last thing Fighter freaks want to hear as it is the Kombatants that  killed the game franchise in the first place, but it is true. Mortal Kombat was the greatest video game adaptation for quite a while and, disregarding the sequel, still ranks among one of the best. The reason for this is that they used the main character.

It seems every Street Fighter film or cartoon chooses to give the spotlight to any and everyone but Ken and Ryu who are the main characters. I don’t really know why. I’m still scratching my head about the whole Chun-Li movie.

Now, Street Fighter was released in 1994, and is probably best known as Raul Julia’s last performance. If you’re going to go out with a bang, then what a way to go. He is the most memorable character of this film, and is also the closest to the source material, as far as I know.

Jean-Claude Van Damme stunk up the joint. First of all, Guile is blonde and American. Why, oh why, did they decide to make him an orange haired Belgian? If not for the martial arts scenes, I would really question casting Van Damme, but he does he is known for his fighting ability, so I can’t fault them for casting for that purpose. However, the acting and accent is just too much and ruins pretty much the entire flick for me.

The rest of the cast does what they can in very small supporting roles. It was more of a case of too many characters being crammed in and not getting time to develop them. I have no problem with trying to get them all in, if you can get them all the time they deserve. If not, then you should save some for a sequel or cameos.

The action in this flick is what you would expect from a film in the genre and the plot is a bit predictable, complete with exploding villain headquarters.

Does Street Fighter stack up to other video game adaptations? Not really. It may very well be one of the worst franchises to be adapted to the big screen, but this version is infinitely better than that Chun-Li movie, of that there is no question. If you must see a Street Fighter movie, then check this one out, or look for one of the animated films, or better yet, just play the game. I cannot recommend this to anyone unless you want to see Raul Julia in his last role because that is really the major redeeming factor for this thing.

2 out of 5 stars

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2 Responses to “Street Fighter”

  1. […] franchise, I was curious, but I had my reservations. After all, I had just watched the horrid Street Fighter movie not too long […]

  2. […] one of their final on-screen roles, they won’t tarnish their legacies a la Raul Julia in Street Fighter. R.I.P. Robin and […]

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