Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is one of the better attempts to adapt videogames for film. It doesn’t quite make it, but it is entertaining and the ton of features shows that they were trying really hard to get it right…
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-li is a movie that features some of the wittier martial arts choreography to be filmed in the last few years, and there’s a clever – even wistful – parallel father/daughter arc that shows Chun-Li [Kristin Kreuk] to be treasured by her father [Edmund Chen], and Bison’s [Neal McDonough] daughter used solely as a repository for the last of the goodness in his soul.
Unfortunately, the film falls into the usual origin story knee-deep exposition and too little actual martial arts sequences. Performance-wise, the cast is pretty good. Kristin Kreuk is at least adequate as Chun-Li; Robin Shou gives Gen [her mentor] a combination of gravity and humor that works really well; Neal McDonough is suitably psycho as Bison, and the sly chemistry between Interpol agent Nash [Chris Klein] and Bangkok cop Maya [Moon Bloodgood]definitely adds to the mix. Only Michael Clarke Duncan [Balrog, Bison’s number one enforcer] doesn’t fit – more because of the script than Duncan.
Andrzej Bartkowiak’s direction is crisp enough but he simply has too much material to cram into the film’s ninety-six minutes. The result is a movie that does entertain on a basic level, but is missing the kind of pure excitement that it needs to reach the next level.
Features: Audio Commentary by Director Peter Aiello, Producer Ashok Amritraj and stars Neal McDonough and Chris Klein; Fourteen Deleted Scenes; Marvel vs. Capcom 2 – Sneak Peek; Becoming a Street fighter; Chun-LI: Bringing the Legend to Life; Making a Scene: The Alley Fight; Recreating the Game: Arcade to Film Comparisons; The Fight in Black and White: The Storyboard Gallery and Behind the Fight: The Production Gallery.
Grade: Street Fighter – The Legend of Chun-Li C+
Grade: Features: A
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Eclipse Review by Sheldon Wiebe
Posted on June 30, 2009