By: sebastian zavala | 06-17-17
The first film of street-fighterstarring The Muscles of Brussels (that is, Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a quasi-classic of B-series cinema, an action film so absurd it’s funny. It features a great performance by the talented Raul Julia, who almost makes Bison his own character, megalomaniac and very entertaining (remember that it was his last role on screen, chosen by his children who were video game fans), and it is full of moments stupidly hilarious.
Capcom couldn’t leave the franchise in the limbo for a long time, though, so they decided to team up with 20th Century Fox and Hyde Park Entertainment to release Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Lia new adaptation of the popular fighting game. With a bigger budgetbetter level actors, and a director with some experience in the world of blockbusters millionaires (Andrzej Bartkowiak, director of the film doom… oops), The Legend of Chun-Li it had the potential to be a decent action film.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. While the first movie was so bad it was hilarious, this one is just terrible. The Legend of Chun-Li it’s a martial arts movie with combat scenes poorly choreographedwhich tries to develop a plot that just doesn’t make sense, and features actors of considerable talent (and others who wouldn’t do well in a school play…) who seem unsure of what they want to do with their characters. I’m sure the intention was to surpass its predecessorbut this tape turned out to be even worse than the first street-fighter.
The origins of Chun-Li
The most obvious problem of the film is in the decision to put kristine kreuk like the fighter Chun-Li. Kreuk is not a bad actress—in fact, she gained quite a bit of popularity on TV series like Smallville—, but it is obvious that she is not an expert in martial arts. That, and Chun-Li is supposed to be Chinese; Kreuk, however, is Canadian with some Asian descent. It goes without saying that many fans—and even specialized critics— expressed their dissatisfaction with this choiceperceived by them as one more case of “whitewashing”.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li It begins by showing us the childhood of its protagonist. In this prologue, we see how Chun-Li (Inez Yan as a child), a prodigious pianist belonging to a millionaire family in Bangkok, sees as a powerful criminal named Bison (Neal McDonough) kidnaps his father with the help of his muscular henchman, Balrog (Michael Clarke Duncan).
As an adult, Chun-Li (Kreuk) has sworn revenge on Bison, so he seeks the help of a Kung-Fu master (robin shou; Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat) to become a powerful warrior. To accomplish her goal, she will receive the help of the Nash agents (Chris Klein) and Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood), but they will also have to face enemies like Vega (Tabooof the Black Eyed Peas).
As exciting as watching the step grow
One would expect that a film based on street-fighter is full of intense and well-choreographed hand-to-hand combat. Okay, one would be wrong. Instead of honoring his title and presenting realistic, urban fights, without exaggerated choreography or stunts that have clearly been performed with the help of cables… Bartkowiak does exactly the opposite.. The clashes in The Legend of Chun-Li they looked outdated 8 years ago, and they look stupid and implausible today. An action film is supposed to be exciting and tense for its audience; The problem of The Legend of Chun Li is that fails to cause any kind of reaction to anyone.
And that is, I think, the main problem with the film. at least the first street-fighter it was laughable, and one could make fun of its multiple deficiencies. In short, she had personalitywhich unfortunately is impossible to find in this new production. The Legend of Chun-Li it is bland and predictablethe ultimate proof that even the worst of movies can be more fun than a production flooded with absolute mediocrity.
Really? The kind of american pie?
I must admit, however, that the tape has two actors giving him some energy to the proceedings, making some scenes more hilarious than monotonous. The first is Neal McDonougha very capable supporting actor, who nonetheless decides to play Bison as a… tycoon-style? Donald Trumpf with an Irish accent? Since when is Bison an Irish character? And why is it that his accent sounds like a cheap imitation of someone who thinks the Irish speak like leprechauns with pots of gold? This is a really entertaining performance; terrible, yes, but at least not boring.
The second is Chris Klein. Yeah the tall guy american pie. Some casting director thought that he would be the perfect actor to play a tough police officer… and we have to thank him wholeheartedly for his unexpected decision. Yes, Klein is terrible as Charlie Nash; his lines of dialogue are incomprehensibly stupid, and his attitude resembles that of an abusive teenager who wants to look tough in front of the popular girls at school. He is not convincing at all, and the way in which the character of Moon Bloodgood (great name, by the way) seems to be falling for him…or something.
The great Michael Clarke Duncan (RIP) is totally wasted as just another henchman for the main villain; Robin Shou only reminds us that we could be seeing a better adaptation of a video game (the first Mortal Kombat) instead of this nonsense, and Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas does…something with his character. I guess he helps the one most of the time is wearing a mask.
How to yawn…
The Legend of Chun-Li It’s certainly a slightly more realistic film—at least visually—than its predecessor, but trying to make everything darker, everything less fanciful, lacks a lot of personality. Worst of all, he had the potential of being better; after all, the first street-fighter It is not a masterpiece, far from it, so there was a lot to improve. Unfortunately, neither director Bartkowiak nor his cast were up to the task, so the end result is a trivial disaster. I hope the third gonna be the charm…
We want to give thanks to the author of this write-up for this amazing material
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009) – not even Van Damme did that badly
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