Tie up your hair in ox-horns, because Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is the Greatest (?) Movie EVER!
Review in a Nutshell: Brightly-lit but grimly-scripted, The Legend of Chun-Li is a train-wreck of a film. Watch it just to prove you could.
This movie does not contain:
Lovin the podcast. I thought the movie was mediocre at best. I was just bummed that Vega got jobbed so quick by Chun-Li. That fight would’ve been really good if it was extended. Bison was badass period.
Due to Apple being stealthy about their firmware updates, a week or so ago I inadvertently found myself having to restore my iPhone from scratch following a botched auto-update that never would have happened had I known that’s what they were trying to pull. After a day of restoring all my contacts–thankfully backed up–and all the stuff on my phone, I thought I had everything back to normal…until I tried to download this episode. “Download failed. Could not start saving file.” I ended up having to open a UNIX terminal on the phone, login to my phone as the root administrator, and modify the properties of the “Downloads” folder using chmod to permit full read/write access. Only then were my 3G network podcast downloads directly to my phone able to function once more.
That story I just recounted is more exciting than the film you just reviewed. Personally, I would have titled it “Nash Loves Justice,” but that’s just me.
God… I could not even finish watching this new so called “Street Fighter” film. I actually started updating my CV half way through the film.
Street Fighter 2 was released in 1991. Great! OCD placated, I can now un-pause the podcast and listen to you review…
Hmmm… now I have a conundrum. Do I want to hear you talk about why this really is possibly the Greatest Movie Ever featuring women with vaguely Asian features? Oh heck, why not. Especially with Catherine the Great chipping in.
I actually had to watch this one by myself because my girlfriend refused to watch it. She didn’t refuse because she’s a delicate woman who hates kung fu movies. Rather, she’s a Street Fighter enthusiast who considered the movie an abomination unto the gods of Street Fighter.
This movie was out and out awful. Not only does Kristin Kreuk not look anything like Chun Li whatsoever, Bison does not look like Bison, Balrog does not look like Balrog, and I’m sure unmasked Vega probably doesn’t look like the Black Eyed Peas guy either. As an aside, the Black Eyed Peas are awful too.
Isn’t this movie supposed to be a prequel of sorts to the 1994 Jean Claude Van Damme Street Fighter? If so, isn’t killing off Balrog kind of funny, being that he appears in the sequel?
Who thought this movie was a good idea?
blondie I think you’re putting more thought into this than the makers of this movie. I’ve read both the IMDB and Wiki page and there’s no mention of this being related to Van Damme other than the fact they are both giant piles of cheese featuring horribly miscasted heroes. (Although I love Kylie Minogue in Cammy’s outfit.)
If there’s one thing I can count on you for, Paul, it’s putting more thought into the symbolism (and unfortunate implications, as the case may be) than the film directors. Admittedly, it’s probably one of the major reasons I listen to this podcast.
Didn’t see this movie and probably never will from everything I’ve heard about it, but I liked your commentary. And I certainly agree with you on one point: Hollywood whitewashing needs to stop.
Funny, scrolling through the above pics I though for a second you’d reviewed a remake of Double Dragon.
And for the record Paul, I’ll have you know that Jeff Hardy is a former WWE Champion and current World Heavyweight Champion (for the second time). The days you speak of the Hardys being annihilated by now-UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and doing motion capture for bad Acclaim-produced Playstation 1 games are LONG gone, old timer.
Ugh. This one made the Jean Claude film go from 2.5 stars to 4.5 stars. So, so boring.
This has the most tepid “seduction” scene since Winona Ryder communicated “wanton animal lust” by biting her lower lip while looking on in glassy-eyed disinterest in that Dracula movie.
She’s even less convincing in her fight scenes. Ming-na Wen would crush waify little Kristen between her thighs – and I’d pay to see that movie.
You and me both Keith.
I had forgotten how hilarious that whole “give me your fish old man!” part was!
You’re definitely reading way to deep into the symbolism on this one though but that’s what makes your show unique.
I wouldn’t call the complaints Goob’s been making “symbolism” as I would call it “crappy crappy Hollywood practices that should’ve been long dead, smashed in the face by one of Bruce Lee’s kicks”. Whoever decided that having Lana Lang from Smallville play Chun-Li should have all his clothes burnt and have to go around Hollywood buck naked. For the rest of his life. The skeevy violence and homophobia aren’t helping one bit.
Yeah, this movie has “designed to appeal to foreign investors” written all over it.
My favorite part about Street Fighter back in the old days was that it was this crazy, complicated game where you practically needed a Masters Degree in Street Fighter in order to make it work at all, whereas Mortal Kombat was a button-masher of the highest order.
You know the saddest part about all this is I can remember a day when Kristen Kreuk was supposed to be a new breakout TV star, what Sarah Michelle Gellar was and what Kristen Bell is today.
This movie is much maligned, but no one seems to be able to counter a simple fact: this is the best movie to come out about a Juilliard-trained concert pianist turned hobo vigilante. Period. With his hammy performance and slicked-back widow’s peak, Chris Klein is also well on his way to becoming Nick Cage in Bangkok Dangerous, so I consider this movie a screen test for that eventual remake. God willing, I see Klein in a string of Cage remakes in 10 years, culminating in the next Wicker Man remake, complete with bear suit.
You also neglected to mention the deeper themes in this movie of Asian-American heritage, and of mixed-race children growing up in diaspora. Chun-li’s Asian father pressures her into becoming a virtuoso pianist (it might as well have been the violin), and struggles to fulfill her parents’ expectations like many Asian-American children, even to the point of becoming a professional musician. She repeats this pattern even after his “abduction” by M. Bison. I put that in quotes because it’s clearly a metaphor for the workaholic white-collar Asian father under the invariably Caucasian top management. Her father is never there because he is “always working,” and she grows up with her mother. Only after her death is she comfortable seeking out the more “Asian” aspects of her heritage. When she finally finds her father, he is dismayed not at her literal quest for vengeance, but at her symbolic abandonment of the “good Asian daughter” role he carefully constructed for her before becoming the perpetually absent father. Chun-li’s father is figuratively “killed” by M. Bison, consumed by the western culture he has lived with after immigrating, and Chun-li must defeat him to finally complete her journey in her ultimate rejection of a purely “Asian” or “Western” culture to establish her own racial identity.
Okay, sarcasm tag off, this movie’s pretty terrible in a lot of different ways, and you did a good job of covering it. I also did notice the issue with the lesbian lieutenant of Bison, so I don’t think you’re making that up, either.