It’s even worse than you remember. This is the reason movies sucked in the 90s. And why Van Damme disappeared off the Hollywood map.
Raul Julia gives his last screen performance. Its fun to see some of your favorite Street Fighter characters come to life. Other than that, it doesn't have aything going for it.
The acting, the action, the story, you name it, its all awful. This was one of the first video game adaptations, and it makes absolutely no sense. They tried to give us a good story. But they failed. Most of the action is incoherent.
In anticipation of this week's big screen outing Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Universal has released an extreme edition of the 1994 Street Fighter film starring Raul Julia and Jean-Claude Van Damme. While you might want to pick it up for nostalgic reasons, it's best to leave this stinker on the shelf. It's even worse than you remember. The original Capcom video game never had much of a storyline. It was just two opponents, beating on each other. Here, they turn Bison (Raul Julia in his last big screen performance) into a tyrannical dictator set on overtaking the world. He basically paces around in his evil layer while the rest of the arcade brood advance through one lame fight after the next. Van Damme plays an elite squad commando out to stop Bison and his minions, but he never really seems to be accomplishing anything. Its neat to see Kylie Minogue as his sidekick, but she hardly has anything to do, either. The weak plot has nothing to do with the new Street Fighter hitting theaters, and it actually sticks closer to what we remember from the game. Ming-Na plays Chun Li here, but her backstory is vastly different. In the new version, she is a pianist searching for her lost father. In this version, she is a roving reporter turned tournament fighter. It's actually kind of weird. Other popular characters making an appearance include Balrog, Ryu, and Vega. The climactic end fight scene is one that has to be seen to be believed, and it's almost worth the price of the DVD. Van Damme fights a cancer riddled Julia in what can only be described as a super lame feast for the sleepy eye. What were they thinking? I have no clue. This is just bad, bad, bad.
For an extreme edition, this is pretty lackluster. We get a boring audio commentary from director Steven de Souza, a look at the upcoming video game Street Fighter IV, some old archival footage from the set, and a storyboard presentation. None of it is worth your time.
The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1. In color. The run time is one hour and forty-two minutes.
The film is presented in English and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, as well as French Dolby Digital 2.0. Subtitles are in English, French, and Spanish.
The old poster art was a lot cooler. This package just reconfigures a couple of heads and Photoshop's them onto a blue background. They have thrown in an image of Julia and Van Damme fighting, which is funny. And Vega gets prominent placement in the far left corner. He is sure to attract some attention. The back cover has a nice collage of characters from the film. It's not so obvious how bad this movie actually is. It looks kind of neat. I would probably buy it if I didn't know any better.
THE FINAL WORD
This might just be the most incoherent video game adaptation ever made. The fight sequences are stagy and lame. The acting is atrocious, and there is no story to speak of. If you think you want to own it, you really don't You're just remembering something you thought was cool when you were a kid. This is awful stuff.