So once again we have survived.

Street Fighter

tn_streetfightermovieI haven’t really kept up with this, but I heard something about Roger Ebert drawing a nerd fatwa by saying that video games aren’t art. From the sounds of it I think people should lay off the guy, because do you really want to convince Ebert to love video games and have him spend his last years playing Halo looking for its themes? I don’t want that, and I wish he’d cut down on the Twitter a little too. But I also hate these arguments about what art is, because any adult or teen should’ve figured out by now that there are people who define anything from a smiley face on your pancakes to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as art, and there are other people who have picky definitions about the difference between craftsmanship and true self expression. And trying to debate it leads to nothing but running around in circles and nobody acknowledging that one side defines everything as art and the other defines very few things as art. It’s stupid.

A good example is in the Maysles brothers documentary CHRISTO IN PARIS, where people stand on top of “The Pont Neuf Wrapped” arguing about whether or not it’s art. Watching the movie we can see that the fucking thing is beautiful, and these people are engaged in a discussion provoked by it. They are being thought provoked, it has caused them to think, to question their beliefs about art. But they don’t count that as art, so obviously they got a different definition of art than I do.

So why argue it? It’s like me debating Mr. Majestyk about what color Arnold’s suit is in RED HEAT when I’m color blind. To me the thing is bright blue but to him it’s green so it makes sense that James Belushi calls him Gumby. We just gotta acknowledge each other’s differing sight and let it go.

If you don’t like video games don’t play them, if you think they have the potential to move people then don’t worry about it. If somebody ever makes a video game as good as THE GODFATHER (movie, not video game) I’m sure it will be self evident.

So the real question is, is STREET FIGHTER: THE MOVIE art? And the answer, in my opinion, is blue.

mp_streetfightermovieSTREET FIGHTER: THE MOVIE is one of the Jean-Claude Van Damme pictures I never saw before now. It’s written and directed by Steven E. de Souza, often called “the writer of DIE HARD” even though he was one of many on that one. Really he’s more “the writer of KNOCK OFF,” but I can respect that too I guess. Credited as “based on the video game Street Fighter 2,” this movie is the story of a heavily armed junta led by a dictator named Bison (Raul Julia in his last role) who take a bunch of people hostage in a fictional Asian country called Shadaloo and demand $20 billion ransom. I know, at first I thought Shadaloo was a real country too, it sounds so real and natural. But I looked and I couldn’t find it on any maps.

At first I figured this guy Bison was so cruel just because he was born with such a stupid name, but when he announced that he wanted to conquer the world and rename it “Bisonopolis” I realized that he doesn’t have that kind of self awareness. He’s just an asshole.

Van Damme plays Colonel Guile, who leads a UN type group of soldiers in on a peacemaking/hostage-saving mission. His hair looks blonde in some scenes, so it’s a complete physical transformation like DeNiro in RAGING BULL. Like in UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, Van Damme teams with a female TV news reporter (Ming-Na from THE JOY LUCK CLUB), but she turns out to be Chun Li, a martial artist who secretly wants revenge on Bison for killing her father.

This is one of those weird movies of the ’80s and ’90s that try to be bold and stylized, with larger than life characters, special effects and scoring, but nothing ever really clicks. It’s on the screen and at this point it’s way too late to question whether or not anybody wants to see famous actors dressed up as, say, The Flintstones. Movies like this are more enjoyable watching it from a distance as a curiosity, trying to picture who they were making it for. The one really good part in this one is when Chun Li reveals herself to Bison only to find that he doesn’t remember the incident she’s talk about at all. And he has the great line that one of you quoted in some comments recently: “For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me… it was Tuesday.”

That movie poster is pretty accurate. I think Bison stays in the one room for pretty much the whole movie, basically waiting for everybody else to show up. I guess they spent alot of money on all those TV monitors, they wanted to get some mileage out of them. I’m not sure which one, but one of Bison’s flunkies is named “Dee Jay” I guess. He kept yelling out “Deeee Jaaaaaayy!” and I kept expecting him to say “rewind that!” or “Drop that beat!” or something.

There’s an ensemble of other characters, like Byron Mann (BELLY OF THE BEAST, A DANGEROUS MAN) as Ryu, the singer Kylie Minogue as Beret Lady, Wes Studi as an arms dealer, the guy who played the terrible remake Leatherface as a mohawk guy, some guy that has a metal mask and Wolverine type claws, and various others as etc. Lots of guys who must mean something to people who played the game, but are just confusing and unexplained to the rest of us.

From what I understand the game is about fighting. The title is not supposed to be a metaphor, I don’t think. That’s weird because the movie doesn’t have any street fighting of any kind and very little off-road fighting for that matter. There’s some kind of underground fight tournament that some characters are supposed to be in at the beginning, but then they leave before the games begin. In my opinion it’s a bad idea to call a movie “Street Fighter” and then have a bunch of non-fighting leading up to Van Damme fighting Raul Julia. We all miss Raul Julia but I think most of us would agree that he was more respected for his acting than for his screen fighting skills.

Bison’s plan (besides waiting around making megalomaniacal speeches until he gets $20 billion) is to force a kidnapped scientist to use a magic science machine to turn Van Damme’s best friend into a green troll monster with orange hair, because obviously if you got one of those you can build Bisonopolis. He’s supposed to be Bison’s “perfect soldier,” so if you watch Van Damme movies you know that the ultimate soldier is either a dead guy (UNIVERSAL SOLDIER) or a green guy (this one). The only thing that could beat them would be a dead green guy, like a Frankenstein or something.

The plot is too plodding and messy for me to remember much about it. I do think it’s Van Damme’s only movie with two separate parts where it pretends he’s dead (one when he fakes his death for some reason, one when the others leave him behind in an exploding building and then figure it’s okay to just say he’s dead without really knowing).

Most movies like this tend to go way too big in their climax, some noisy business with missiles that are gonna blow up a major city or something like that. This one actually goes too small: the big surprise is that Bison uses magnets to fly around his room a little bit. Not that impressive, in my opinion.

Of course it’s too bad this was Julia’s last role, but at least he gets to ham it up and have fun. He has all the funny lines and he goes after them with guns blazing, he’s clearly the most entertaining part of the movie and arguably the only entertaining part. Van Damme’s actually the one whose talents are being wasted. He doesn’t get to fight or even do stunts nearly as much as in his other movies of the time period (this was the same year as HARD TARGET) and de Souza obviously wrote the script with more of a talker in mind. In my opinion Van Damme was not ready for the rousing “who wants to go home, and who wants to go with me?” speech that inspires all the peacemakers to refuse orders to make peace.

I can understand how this would be a beloved crappy movie to somebody who played the video game at the pizza parlor when he was 12 and went and saw the movie with all his friends or whatever. It’s a unique style of terrible and good for some laughs. But as an actual action movie or Van Damme picture it’s fucking OUT OF ORDER.

You see, like when a video machine game is broken. PLAY AT OWN RISK.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Monday, July 5th, 2010 at 12:43 pm and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

58 Responses to “Street Fighter”

  1. I grew up with playing the game on the good ol’ Super Nintendo, then I watched the movie when I was 14 or 15, when it was for the first time on TV. And holy shit, I fucking HATED it! Then, a few months ago, I caught it on TV again. And guess what, I enjoyed it! Okay, probably because my expectations were lowered from 14 years or so of hating it or because I saw the same week the unbearable reboot “The Legend of Chun-Li”, but yes, I enjoyed it. From Raul Julia’s mega acting to the silly attempts at humor (Godzilla, anyone?). I’m not saying it’s a good movie (well, maybe compared to the reboot), but I had a blast.
    And if you think “Bison” is a bad name (It technically isn’t even his name, but I’m too lazy to explain the SF II Endboss Name Swap now), you should know that “Guile” means “horny” in German. (It’s spelled “geil”, but is pronounced the same way.)
    Also let me congratulate Mr Majestyk for being the first non-celebrity-frequent-commenter of this websight who was mentioned in one of Vern’s review.

  2. This film is fucking hysterical. It’s clearly written as an AUSTIN POWERS type thing, but I remember at the time most people seemed to have missed 95% of the movie and for some reason thought it was supposed to be a sincere military spy film. Everybody talks about how campy this film is like that is some sort of mistake or something that got into this film by accident or something.

    I guess the same people who fail to find the entertainment value in this film must be in the same camp of people who felt somehow non-entertained by SHOWGIRLS.

    I guess they don’t let the actors all ramble on about their dicks for three hours and then try to pull some heartfelt message out of their asses at the end like some bullshit Judd Apatow comedy would do, but fuck, for my comedy dollar’s worth, I’ll watch STREET FIGHTER.

  3. I think it’s pretty similar to the 1980’s Flash Gordon movie, where you got no idea if the high camp factor was done on purpose or if something went terribly wrong, but in the end it doesn’t matter, because you have so much fun with it.

  4. Me ? I’m more of a Mortal Kombat guy…
    Get Over Here !

  5. Well most people would agree, I think, that “Street Fighter 2” was a classic genre-defining video game. I don’t think the same would be said of the movie, but I gotta go with CJ on this one. I thought it was hilarious and fantastic in a way that only a truly bad movie can be.

    I give it points, though, for ambition. It tries to juggle way too many plotlines and characters, and doesn’t even come close to making them work. (The whole point of the videogame is that you play ONE character at a time. One. Technically you could swap in between fights or after losing one, but still… One character at a time. It just works.) That said, it realises it will never be “good” and reaches instead for “ridiculous / awesome”. I give it kudos for at least that level of self-awareness. I’ve commented on a lot of movies recently (“Mission Impossible 3” immediately springs to mind) where the bar is set so low in just about every respect, I wonder why (artistically speaking) they were even made at all.

  6. I like the part where it dissolves from the big metal skull to Bison’s face, but to make it even remotely match, Raul Julia has to be making that absurd leery expression that no human person would ever make.

  7. I believe this was written by the same guy who wrote Hudson Hawk, so it’s not suprising the films tone is all over the place and you’re not sure if it’s being stupid on purpose or not, and if it is being stupid it’s not always stupid enough and is some awkward middle ground.

    On the other hand I do think it works pretty well as a pastiche of American foreign policy. You have JCVD playing the all american hero who does that big speech about how they have to go invade the foreign nation and kill the bad guy and how the UN guy in the suit who keeps talking about laws and whatnot is pussy for not wanting to start an illegal war. If this was released 5 years ago everyone would be commenting on its post 9/11 thematics.

    Also why is it filmmakers keep feeling the need to adapt video games with no plot? Who looked at street fighter or mortal kombat and thought “gee there’s a deep and complex story in here with rich characters i want to tell that I really think would entertain people”. I know a large majority of games have little to no plotting, but fightinng games really are scraping the bottom of the barrel. I guess fighting games were in their brief moment of popularity back then. Also I saw an interview with JCVD from before the films release and he talked about wanting to do it “for his kids” which seems to be the defense a lot of actors use for starring in shit films. Kids have a lot to answer for.

  8. Vern, I was ready to carry the “blue vs. green” debate with me to the grave, but after that shoutout I think I’m just gonna let it go. Consider the jihad called off.

  9. I never saw this movie because I hated the video game (I could never conjure up those blue fireball things that others used to continually beat me) and the movie just looked stupid. I really appreciate your “what constitutes art” argument, Vern. You hit it on the head. I think people that argue about art are willing to argue about anything and do so solely for the sake of argument. As far as a video game approaching Godfather status, play Red Dead Redemption. It’s pretty damn good. The story is fantastic and memorable. It’s completely engaging.

  10. It’s a very enjoyable crappy movie just for how cartoony it is and some of the quotes. Gotta love how they signposted faking Guile’s death in the previous scene with the line “The only way you guys are getting out of her…is over my DEAD BODY…heh?”
    other amusing questionable things:
    -Bison only picked Guile’s buddy to experiment on because Guile made a point of giving away how Bison had him hostage!
    -zooming in on Guile’s Flag Tattoo to emphasise how american he is, despite having an accent that implies otherwise
    -all the characters spontaneously adopting their in-game victory poses for the freeze-frame ending. Unfortunately the title obscures Kylie’s ass

    Btw, despite this being Raul Julia’s last movie (and at the time, he apparently knew as much due to his failing health and let his kids pick what projects he’d do, and they were SF Fans), they put a post-credits scene where Bison survives (you just see his arm poking out of the wreckage, typing a keyboard) and is planning something else. So they were actually trying to set up a sequel…

  11. I’ve been out for a week or so. Mr. M, have you watched the Incredibles yet?

    Jared: the same could be said, so I’ve heard, for “The Godfather” game. {g}

    (I would dearly love to see Vern review the RDD game, by the way.)

  12. The weirdest thing about this movie is that Dhalsim is changed from an Indian yogi to some white guy, just to be burned brown in some accident. Why make up some bizarre origin story to explain why he looks Indian, instead of just making him Indian? I mean seriously what the fuck?

  13. Sabreman: No, not yet. I’m trying to save it for a weekend when my roommate is out of town so I can watch it on her big-ass TV without getting made fun of. I know you guys are secure enough in your masculinity that you can watch children’s animated cartoons without shame, but I am not that evolved yet. I’m working on it, though. I’ll keep you posted.

  14. Gwai Lo- Uh, I thought he WAS Indian? The actor who plays him was born there, and is typically seen playing indians. he was the prime minister who was in the thugee cult in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

  15. You might be right. The one time I saw this movie I had a fever. Doesn’t he at least lose his hair in some sort of accident?

  16. OK, yeah, IMDB’ing this guy he’s definitely Indian. Ignore me.

  17. You’re right about his character totally being changed and him becoming a scientist who later becomes a Yogi because it fits their version of the story better. Just like why DeeJay and Zangief aren’t really bad guys in the games, but they’re made henchmen because a DJ/Fighter and Russian Pro Wrestler would be hard to incorporate without the streetfighting element.

  18. Whatever it was, it really stuck in my craw when I was 10.

    This just in: Devin “Mr. Grumpypants” Faraci gives INCEPTION 10/10. I only read the first paragraph of the review because I don’t want to be spoiled. Lalalalala

  19. Yeah I get what you mean Gwai. the scientist and the green guy just turn up at the end to talk with JCVD and say they’re gonna stay in the burning building. The scientist dude has, entirely off screen, changed into clothing that the character wore in the Street Fighter games and is now bald. :-/ No explanation, just there.

  20. I have loved and defended this movie since I was 14 and saw it in theaters. This is such a fun goofy movie. I think the first Mortal Kombat took itself too seriously ( and the second one is just batshit insane). Street Fighter has so many fun and cool moments that me and my brothers have quoted for years: The woman throwing away her Vega sign after seeing Ryu and then Vega’s reaction; the fact that Blanka just happened to be right there when Guile stupidly reveals to Bison that he has a personal stake in this; the whole rousing Guile speech; all the various and pointless double-crosses…this is just a fun as hell movie. And I have to agree with you, Vern, that the Chun-Li/Bison scene is the best, but if i may offer a second-best: When Bison gives Wes Studi the briefcase full of Bison bucks and explains how much they will be worth when he ransoms the Queen of England. He’s so badass, he’s already got his next supervillain plan ready to go!

  21. gwai – The Hype police are on the patrol!

    yeah I saw STREET FIGHTER as a kid. It’s a bad lame movie surrounding a good performance by Raul Julia of a silly role. Damn he’s missed. Imagine all the more awesome shit he could have done. And I don’t mean just AWESOME

    CJ Holden – The comparison to FLASH GORDON doesn’t hold water.

    GORDON was, for good and ill, done as camp because it was Europeans producing it, and who also produced BARBERELLA? Dino DeLauentiis. The guy who scripted FLASH GORDON? A guy who worked on the BATMAN tv show, you know Wham! Poof! Zip! all that. Europeans traditionally (for one reason or another) don’t take the space opera adventurism stuff as seriously as we Americans tend to. Those fuckers can’t resist being tongue & cheek here and there, probably why they liked ESCAPE FROM L.A. a hell lot more than U.S. did.

    Or to put it another way, and I’m not comparing quality or FX or acting but in style and presentation….compare STAR WARS with FIFTH ELEMENT.

    Then again, to be fair with FLASH, I can’t blame them and Mike Hodges for going in that direction. STAR WARS was better probably as a straight sincere FLASH GORDON adaptation than any FLASH movie could possibly hope for, so I suppose they figure they might as well go off in their own direction.

    So in short, I liked FLASH GORDON. Yes the campy shit can be grating at times, but at other times I laugh. I admit it, sorry. Plus one can’t help but like the slut princess. “Not the worms! Not the worms!!!” And come on guys, Timothy Dalton and Brian Blessed. They’re like pepper on cole slaw. More the merrier.

    Also, FLASH has another thing thing over STREET FIGHTER…..Queen soundtrack. Back when Queen was still an awesomely silly rock band but before they abandoned such hard rocking pretenses in favor of pedestrian pop as they did later that decade. “The Hero” is yet another excellent gay battle anthem from their catalogue.

  22. FUCK YES!! Now that Vern has reviewed Street Fighter I can die a happy man with no regrets. Thank you Vern.

  23. They should have just remade Bloodsport with Street Fighter characters. That is what people want to see when they watch a movie based on a fighting game with almost no story.

  24. Damn, I’m late to the comments again. Everyone pretty much summarized why I’ve always had a soft spot for this one, though it’s great to see Vern give it his treatment. I just always thought it had a lot of heart. They made all the sets and costumes so you could watch a live-action Street Fighter. There were enough real actors (Julia, Ming-Na, Studi) mixed in with no names who looked right and Van Damme playing the only character that would make sense, even though he wasn’t really the star of the game (Ryu was if anyone) and wasn’t even American. Also the idea that Van Damme was the biggest star they could get in a Street Fighter movie so it kind of had to be his vehicle too.

    My friend and I loved the freeze frame jump they do at the end. The Tuesday line is the best of course. My vote for second is when Van Damme pulls a knife and all the gunmen back off, only to reveal his backup has arrived with guns blazing behind him. But his cocky smirk with the knife is classic.

    Lots of heart, the kind of energy that’s missing from today’s ultra serious “gritty/realistic” nonsense. It’s nice to see millions of dollars spent on some flawed vision. I was already 17 but I guess I could always transport myself to youth for a film.

  25. This is the sort of movie where you’re hoping it’ll be So-Bad-It’s-Good but it just ends up being So-Bad.
    Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li works much better in the So-Bad-It’s-Good department. That flick at least had the benefit of an unintentionally hilarious Chris Klein performance (although if you’ve been following the headlines, the alcohol was probably doing all the acting).

  26. Wasn’t there a Jackie Chan movie that briefly turns into Street Fighter? CITY HUNTER maybe?

    and apparently fighting games do have plots… i’m not good enough to play them, though my local pub does have STREET FIGHTER 4 and it looks gorgeous. MORTAL KOMBAT was a more fun movie

    they made a STREET FIGHTER: THE MOVIE: THE GAME. apparently it’s utter crap, unlike the rest of the games

    i love how Vern isn’t really a gamer but still respects it, or respects gamers

    can’t believe he wasn’t joking about THE GODFATHER game tho

  27. Chris Klein really surprised me in LEGEND OF CHUN LI. I didn’t think he had that kind of Nic Cage energy in him. And as far as I remember his character and that pretty lady from TERMINATOR 4 were both completely pointless characters. I don’t even think they were those types of characters who exist just to provide exposition to the main character. Didn’t Chun Li already know everything about Bison’s evil crime empire from a scene where she Googles him?

    But DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE is the cream of the crop. That movie is pure Eric Roberts perfection.

  28. i reckon the most perfect videogame movie/movie videogame set is THE WARRIORS. the plot of the film is as awesome and compressed as the best video game plots and the actual game just expands it a bit

  29. Kylie Minogue is Cammy?? Now that bluray purchase doesn’t seem like a bad idea…

  30. “Lots of heart, the kind of energy that’s missing from today’s ultra serious “gritty/realistic” nonsense.”

    Yeah well I rather have my DARK KNIGHT than G.I. JOE, thank you very much.

    Or hell, even LOSERS is rocket science compared to something like…like…this.

    Then again, things are always much better in the past it seems, no?

  31. Can somebody say a few words about the dearly departed odo19?

  32. I always found it odd that they now have TWO live action Street Fighter movies and none of them center around Ryu and Ken. It was pretty obvious to me that those were the two central characters in the games.

    Might as well make a movie about Mike Tyson”s Punch Out with King Hippo or Soda Popinski as the main character>

  33. hamslime – yeah I noticed that too. Weird.

  34. King Hippo would probably be a more interesting character than Mike Tyson. Imagine if they stole King Hibbo’s tiger instead of Mike Tyson’s in The Hangover.

  35. BTW, I tried to play KNOCK OUT on the Wii…

    and fuck, I hate Wii. Dear Lord I felt like I looked like I was a spasm or something trying to play those dumb controllers. I might as well been play faux-lightsabre fighting (i.e. swinging wildly).

  36. RRA – You’re right, I should clarify and expand. Dark Knight is perfection. I wasn’t referring to that kind of gritty/realistic movie. Even the Bourne movies are good despite the use of shaky cam. Also Taken.

    I was referring more to the joyless crop of modern action movies, where I’d prefer some silly nonsense that’s just trying to have a good time. I see why Street Fighter doesn’t even qualify for some, but it has a special place on my shelf.

  37. FTopel – Alright fair enough, sorry if I went off like a dick there.

    I dunno, I liked LOSERS earlier this year. Didn’t exactly take itself seriously, nice cast chemistry and decent humor. Oh and explosions.

    Or basically A-TEAM but better, cheaper, and not bomb as bad.

    Did anyone here have the balls to sit through JONAH HEX besides? Man I like how Akiva (Hackiva?) the producer apparently thought it was a great idea to turn a mutilated fugly badass cowboy and make him fuck WILD WILD WEST. And Megan Fox’s talentless ass.

    I mean I once thought “how can you fuck up something simple like HEX?” Akiva found a way. Poor Josh Brolin.

  38. Arriving late to the party – but if we’re on the subject of creating complex stories out of nearly plotless games I have to bring up The Protomen’s concept album Act II: The Father of Death based on the Megaman series. It’s just a level of musical and storytelling artistry completely unexpected for such a high concept thing. Here’s an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP2NePWJ2pQ

    There’s also a pretty decent album based off of Street Fighter 2 by a band I think are amateurs called man factory. Not as good, but some of the songs are fairly catchy. Never saw Street Fighter or played the games, so I can’t say how closely it sticks to their plots though. Incidentally, it’s available for free here: http://manfactory.bandcamp.com/album/street-fight-round-one?type=email&sig=a731159a610ec14742c87db4762cfc04&auto=mp3-320&payment_id=4016953585

  39. I always found this movie very confusing and frustrating:

    – Van Damme doesn’t fight (much) — why?

    – Kylie Minogue doesn’t sing (if she did just whistle a ditty or start a song that was immediately interrupted, then I didn’t notice) — then why have her in the movie at all?

    – The green guy with the orange hair is supposed to be dangerous, but comes off as rather pathetic

    – There is none of the promised street fighting (maybe they should’ve renamed the movie (A LITTLE BIT OF FIGHTING)

    – The movie just ends with the heroes standing in silly poses, as if someone had just asked permission to photograph them for his family album — then, without any good explanation, Bison appears to rise from the grave just after the end credits have run.
    (Doubly frustrating and downright OFFENSIVE since we all know poor Raul Julia sure as heck didn’t rise from the grave).

  40. I think the movie struck something special with Bison. The Chun Li speech, Bison dollars, casually mentioning his next plan… Like a less goofy and annoying version of Doctor Evil.

    It’s the kind of character, who would be the most awesome guy if he was real.
    I seem to recall him making a speech “Crazy… they call ME crazy, just or trying to create an army of supersoliders and take over the world???!!”

    I would love to see a movie with a Bison type villain kicking the ass of the real world that’s caught off guard by supervillain antics.
    Analyst 1: How much money he wants for the Queen?
    Analyst 2: He doesn’t want money… he wants us to use his. Bisondollars.
    Analyst 1: Is that his face on it?
    Analyst 2: Of course.
    Analyst 1: This man is awesome. I’m changing sides.

  41. A. R – Oucha.

    Kylie – she was an actor once. In “neighbours”. This was her big cinematic breakthrough. (You gotta feel a little sorry for her for that one.)

    FTopel – Agreed, but I think you’re making my point about “ambition” in a different way. At least this movie TRIES for something, even if it comes off as – well, corny as hell. Dumb fun is better than no fun.

  42. what I enjoy about this is the 90’s vintage cheesiness of it

    I think I first saw it on USA way back when, which was pretty much the perfect place for it

    “QUICK CHANGE ZE CHANNEL!”

  43. Am I the only one who likes this movie more than Mortal Kombat? I guess I do prefer silly cheese over semi-serious cheese, but I always thought this got a bad rap since it’s obviously supposed to be more campy, while everyone seemed to think Mortal Kombat was the bomb (until they decided it was cool to hate on Paul Anderson, etc. etc)

    As for Van Damme not doing much fighting, I wasn’t disappointed because I did read beforehand that he only worked on this movie like 7 days or something, and it was made to be more of an ensemble piece with him as the lynchpin. It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World of video game fighting adaptations, if you will.

  44. You know what, man? Chris Klein can act!

    I wrote the dude off, which really wasn’t a hard thing to do — but then I caught a not-all-that-great-but-still-perfectly-watchable movie directed by 50-year-old-manchild Frank Whalley called NEW YORK CITY SERENADE and the entire time I’m going, “Who’s this dude? He’s good!” — then came the credits and I did a double take, followed by a spit-take, and a “get the !@#% outta here!”

    Check it out, along with Whalley’s bizarre THE JIMMY SHOW about an amateur stand-up comedian with anger issues, and ponder, who, exactly, he is making these movies for, and you know, “why?”.

  45. ooops, ^that was meant for Chun Li page — my bad

    HUNCH

  46. Paul, well said. Some of the most interesting movies are ones that tried something big and failed outrageously. This isn’t one of those, but it makes your point. Ambition is a factor.

    RRA, I did sit through Jonah Hex. I’m frankly impressed that someone allowed them to make a Hollywood movie with that face hole in it. Also that it’s only 75 minutes long. At least it just gets right to the action and has no pretense.

    Yeah, Losers and A-Team were both fun. I was most underwhelmed with Robin Hood, Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans and Green Zone this year. Knight and Day is actually fun and Jonah Hex/Karate Kid/Airbender. Splice is pretty wild if you guys are into that.

  47. I thought Jonah Hex and Airbender were decent in a very “B Minus” kind of way. Nowhere near being the disasters the reviews and anti-hype indicated.

  48. Stereotypical guy in business suit: “Col. Guile, have you lost your mind?”

    JCVD: “NO! You’ve lost your balls!”

    I love this awful movie.

  49. I read an interview with de Souza 15 years ago about the movie. He said that he had to write a screenplay in 12 hours to impress the CEO of Konami or Capcom (I don’t remember who made the game). He had to impress him, he was in town for 24 hour, in order to conclude the deal for the movie.

    After watching the movie you agree that the screenplay sucks but at the same time you find it amazing for something that had been written in less than 12 hours.

  50. That is pretty nuts. I could never do that. Like maybe my fingers could produce a 90 page long string of words in 12 hours but I’m sure the result would be utterly worthless. John Hughes was famous for writing his screenplays really fast. BREAKFAST CLUB took 48 hours or something.

  51. Surely the screenplay would have been re-written after that though? I mean he could have even completely re-written it as long as he’d got the deal in the first place, unless I’m missing something.

  52. Usually nobody ever films a 1st draft, so you can bet whatever part of your body you want that it had been rewritten after this.

  53. I know it must have been rewritten i just thought the anecdote was funny…

  54. Don’t get me wrong it is funny, especially if “in town” meant he was in Japan (as I assumed it did for some reason). I love the idea of de Souza sitting in the back of a cab in Tokyo writing “and then that Bison guy…he looks dead but, er… his suit revives him”.

    And remembering that de Souza wrote this (even though I kind of like this) and DIE HARD does give you pause for thought when you feel disappointed that the new DIE HARD is supposedly being written by the guy who wrote SWORDFISH, WOLVERINE and HITMAN.

  55. caruso_stalker217

    February 1st, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    That was a very well-written post, spambot. Keep up the good work!

  56. Here is a very interesting article about all the shit that went down during the making of this movie. (And it will make you respect Raul Julia’s performance in it even more!) http://www.polygon.com/features/2014/3/10/5451014/street-fighter-the-movie-what-went-wrong

  57. There was an Asian SF rip off called FUTURE COPS, the Guile character was called Broom Man, no joke!

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