Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li“That sh*t was stupid.”

That’s what one of my fellow theater goers said after walking out from the doors following watching Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li.

I’m not entirely sure there’s a more accurate description of this movie.

It’s awful incarnate.

Check after the jump for my full review.

The much-maligned Jean Claude Van Damme Street Fighter movie was loads more enjoyable than this film.  I mean, let’s be honest.  A movie based on the Street Fighter video game is destined to be somewhat bad.  Most films centered around fighting are.  Still, the Mortal Kombat film from 1995 was a pretty good film, without losing the essence of the game’s story – there’s a fighting tournament, bad guys want to take over the world, blah blah blah.

The Street Fighter movies, both this and the last, seem to think that the idea of a fighting tournament just won’t work in their movie adaptations, so they come up with contrived, silly story lines to try and fit together the mythology and characters of the game.  Still, neither time has it worked, and this one…damn…this film is just bad!

So, long story short, Chun Li’s (Kristian Kreuk) dad gets kidnapped by M. Bison (Neal McDonough) when she was young.  She holds a grudge against the guy, so years later she gets a mysterious scroll that tells her to leave her home in China and go to Thailand, where a mysterious man named Gen will train her.  So she leaves her mansion and goes to Thailand and…all of a sudden…she’s HOMELESS?  First gap in logic there.  She was a famous concert pianist…the scroll didn’t say live on the streets, just come to Bangkok.  Anyway, so she goes to Bangkok and literally just walks around looking for this guy Gen.  That’s like me saying come to Virginia and look for me … my name’s Paul.

Legend of Chun LiAnyway, he finds her and they begin training and all of the movie’s efforts to be somewhat less stupid than the video game get blown out the window when, all of a sudden, Chun Li can shoot fireballs from her hands.  I know it’s in the game.  But it makes no sense in the world of the movie.  She just…can.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that this guy Gen is played by Robin Shou.  Yes, Liu Kang from Mortal Kombat has jumped to the competing fighting game franchise…and he looks like hell!  What happened to this guy?  He used to be muscular!  Now he just looks old.  Sigh.

So while all this is happening, the two worst cops in the world, Charlie Nash (Chris Klein) and Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood) sit in cars, make out for no reason, and flirt, instead of actually catching criminals.  In one scene, to avoid being seen, Nash makes out with Sunee.  Of course, the bad guys get into a different car while they’re making out and, when the kissing ends, they follow the wrong car.  They sit outside of a nightclub while tailing Bison’s business partner Cantana (Josie Ho), but have to ask what’s going on, since they can’t see anything from where they’re parked.

Chris Klein, Street FighterChris Klein…dude…what the hell?  Not that I was ever a big fan, but every time he came on screen I just had to laugh.  It was like watching a young Keanu Reeves, mixed with Clint Eastwood, mixed with Stephen Dorff.   I mean…he just kept squinting his eyes and posing whenever he talked.  He flipped his hair back about a million times.  The overacting was horrendous!

It frightens me that, based on this script, screenwriter Justin Marks was allowed to write the He-Man movie and the Hack/Slash movie.  I mean, some of the ideas could have worked, but…ugh.  I kept hearing that this movie was laughably bad, but I had no idea.  Some aspects of it were funny, but it’s not quite laugh out loud funny like last year’s D-War.

Pass on this piece o’ crap.  The comics are better, the game is better written, and the JCVD version has more to offer you.  And if that doesn’t convince you, maybe the director’s resume will:

  • Doom (okay, that one was okay)
  • Cradle 2 The Grave
  • Exit Wounds
  • Romeo Must Die



awesome2Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 2 out of 10