Massawyrm Tiger-Uppercuts STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN LI and calls it the must see bad movie of the season!
Published at: Feb. 27, 2009, 9:08 a.m. CST by merrick
Hola all. Massawyrm here.
Some movies are so terrible that they transcend the mortal realm of what was intended and instead become something so spectacular that you dare not blink for fear of missing a second. They are movies that make you cry out in glee and howl at the screen as each attempt at being cool or funny or inventive instead fails, tripping over itself time and again in a series of blunders so magnificent that it defies every expectation. And as you’ve probably guessed by now, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li is just such a picture. A moist, gaping hole of sanity, this film is repeatedly fucked by its own incompetence, its mind numbingly awful script, and its complete and utter inability to even sustain its own logic.
In other words, it is one of the greatest things I have seen on screen all year.
Never boring for a minute, SF:TLoCL strives to break away from its source material – to find a story outside of the story in some vain hope of creating something better than it is adapting. Take everything you know about the STREET FIGHTER series of games and set it aside. No seriously. Take it out of your skull, put it in some of that Tupperware you keep in the bottom drawer and bury it in the back of your freezer never to be seen again. Because that’s exactly what the filmmakers did here. And it’s the only way to make a lick of god damned sense out of it. Let’s be clear on one thing: this ISN’T a god damned Street Fighter movie. There are streets. And there is (occasionally) fighting. And the main character is named CHUN LI – played by SMALLVILLES Kristin Kreuk. And that’s about where the similarities end.
There is no tournament fighting of any kind in this film. I repeat. There IS NO TOURNAMENT FIGHTING anywhere in this film. Not a single street fight for money. I counted 5 characters from the game, INCLUDING the film’s namesake – six if you count someone who has a name but not even a passing resemblance to the character he may or may not be based upon. NONE of these characters make any sense in the setting in question. You'd think being set in Bangkok, they might include one of the handful of Thai characters from the games in the film. But no. Not even Sagat. M. Bison, a blonde Irish man born and orphaned as a baby in Thailand (0_o) but mysteriously possessing an Irish accent that is apparently hereditary, is buying up waterfront property in the slums along with his man servant Balrog (played by Michael Clark Duncan.) Bison kidnaps Chun Li’s father and Chun Li, believing he’s dead continues on with her life…that is, until she receives a mysterious scroll. Don’t ask. It doesn’t mean shit. It just manages to put Chun Li in the right place at the right time to be told to go to Thailand and wander around aimlessly until a secret kung fu master decides she’s ready for training.
So she wanders aimlessly. Kung Fu master Gen finally finds her. Training in martial arts, blind fighting and causing a big glowy ball of CG bullshit to hover above your genitals ensues. But don’t worry. Despite a complete and utter lack of any physical traits that make her resemble Chun Li at all, she is incredibly hot, and will perpetually distract you from most of the boring crap this movie has to throw at you. If there’s anyone I’ll watch wander aimlessly for five minutes through the slums, it is Kristin Kreuk. In fact, the one scene they actually make her look like Chun Li at all, wearing the blue dress with her hair in those adorable buns, she looks mind numbingly awesome. She does this lesbian dance scene and strikes poses that connect with primal instincts that cannot be described in terms without using phrases like “exploding dicks” and “self generated lubricant.” The films ONE single, intentional note hits perfectly here. And then returns to its regularly scheduled suck.
Sure, what follows is this whole revenge plot and some fucking McGuffin with a girl that is supposed to be M. Bison’s weakness but instead gets left behind when the plot doesn’t need to get everyone in one place any more. But you don’t (and won’t) care about any of that once you lay your eyes upon the film’s REAL star. Chris Klein. Oh yeah – THAT Chris “American Pie” Klein. He plays Charlie Nash, who many of you will remember as Guile’s Vietnam war buddy killed by Bison only to return in the prequel. But what the fuck did I tell about that shit? Put. Your brain. Away. This Charlie Nash is an Interpol agent on the trail of Bison and his crime syndicate Shadowloo.
Charlie Nash possesses two things. The first is a magical plot thread finding computer that instantly can give him news stories Sherlock Fucking Holmes with Google and a fistful of clues couldn’t find. And the second is ATTITUDE. Serious, real, honest to god 80’s attitude. Imagine every bad cop movie you saw in the 80’s and try to remember every Don Johnson impression you ever saw in those movies. Now multiply that by the biggest number you can think of. I’m talking government bank bailout big. THAT’S how fucking awesome Chris Klein is in this. He strikes poses. He hangs up his phone with a whip of his head and the phrase “NASH OUT!” He effortlessly puts together complicated plot lines, then manages to oversimplify them to the point that a mewling idiot could understand it – all while managing to sound surprised and shocked at his own brilliance with a Keanu Reeves like level of film confusion. He then bumbles and stumbles his way through the plot, completely ignorant of the fact that he actually doesn’t have anything to do. So he FINDS things to do. Even if it doesn’t make a lick of god damned sense.
Every moment he’s off camera the film is lacking for it. He doesn’t have a place anywhere in this movie, and yet, you cannot take your eyes off of him. I want so desperately, SO DESPERATELY, to believe that Klein was doing this intentionally. That he read the script, saw the zeroes on the check and said “Fuck, it. If they’re gonna offer me a shit sandwich, I’m gonna eat it with a fucking smile.” Seriously. When you’re done here, google some photos of him from the film. Note the ever present stubble, the look of unbridled, determined intensity. No way does anybody think that looks cool. Not anyone that didn’t just wake up from a coma, that is. That said, I’m not denying that this film might have been made to capture the all too oft neglected “coma patient” demographic. It certainly feels like it’s playing to them.
This is shit. Really, really, really bad shit. And I don’t think a single one of you is surprised. It lacks a single, genuine, perfectly executed moment that doesn’t come across as completely ridiculous. Written as if they were quite literally making it up as they went along, it is the dumbest fucking thing I’ve seen since IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE. And it certainly falls into the category of must-see terribleness along with it and its predecessors THE COVENANT and TORQUE. This movie made me giggle and cackle with glee. It was incredible. A mind altering, fit inducing, asstastic mess of epic proportion. If you ever believed they could actually make a good Street Fighter movie, this movie will make you weep bitch tears. But if you enjoy a bad movie – I mean a really, truly awe inspiring, god awful piece of shit – then this is your midnight movie. Get some beer. Some friends. And get ready to have your ass handed to you by one Mr. Chris Klein and one miss Kristin Kreuk.
They will rock your fucking world. And you just might understand why I love the hell out of this drooling moron of a motion picture. Put away your “Come out from behind the curtain wizard,” and get ready to “NASH OUT!” Just don’t expect anything resembling a Street Fighter game.
Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.