A regular ‘so bad it’s good’ movie is Street Fighter: The Movie. Yes the one with Jean Claude Van Damme & Kylie Minogue in it. It was on TV a few weeks ago so I thought I would give it a watch for the first time in years & see if it really was as good as I remember.
It is shockingly bad for a game to movie adaption but it does have some redeeming features. Rather then write a conventional review for it I thought I’d give you 5 reasons it’s a terrible movie & 1 reason it isn’t.
Sorry, I thought about doing 5 but I couldn’t think of anymore then 1.
5 reasons it’s terrible…
5 – The terrible duo: Blanka & Dhalsim
Whoever came up with the idea for the Blanka transformation & the incredibly boring Doctor Dhalsim role needs a slap. It was a horrible idea to imply watching violent images all day, every day would transform Guile’s friend, Charlie into Blanka which included turning his skin colour green & hair orange with a laborious explanation by M.Bison.
The less said about the end of Blanka & Dhalsim, the better….and we never got to see him stretch his arms.
4 – Capcom…
Street Fighter was their baby & they wanted to make it into a movie franchise as well. They set dates & put the director under incredible hardship with some of their demands. That they had already signed a deal with Hasbro to market a line of toys in the vein of GI Joe based on the movie is hilarious in retrospect. They wanted the movie ready for the Christmas period & were even willing to let Hasbro influence the impact & look of the movie. It was to be a family friendly, big budget action blockbuster just in time for the holidays.
3 – The Fights…
Ugh…the Street Fighter fights make the Mortal Kombat ones look like gold in comparison. There are too many & most barely last any time at all. In an attempt to get a low rating many fights were later edited to remove blood.
A total lack of Hadoukens is unforgivable though…moves like that are as part of Street Fighter as anything.
2 – Bad casting….
Terrible doesn’t sum some of the cast choices…Jean Claude Van Damme is at his worst here with far too many lines (especially considering he is supposed to playing the all American GI) but Kylie Minogue & some of the bit-part players were just awful. For it to be a video-game movie you have to respect the source material & casting a guy who had never heard of Street Fighter to play Ryu was insanity.
I only found out recently that Van Damme had a coke problem during the shoot & was boffing Kylie as well.
1 – Street Fighter in name only…
So how exactly is this related to Street Fighter? I mean I can see you’ve shoe-horned in as many character names as possible but beyond that…Some muddled story about Bison being the leader of some sort of terrorist organisation at war with Guile’s peace-keeping UN soldiers. In between all of this are small side-stories about other famous Street Fighters characters such as Ken & Ryu & Chun-Li. There are so many name-drop that it actually becomes difficult to keep up.
It is well known that each character added meant just 6 minutes was dedicated to a character throughout the entire movie, some got even less. Madness…
1 reason it’s great…
1 – Raul Julia
Bad casting all round & I do question hiring a classical actor who was recovering from stomach cancer but in the end it was a great choice. He really lifts the movie as a whole & is the best actor by far. His interactions with many of the poorer actors (Chun-Li, Dee-Jay etc.) make for compelling watches.
Seriously…his “for me it was Tuesday” response to Chun-Li’s accusations is a killer moment & I think his ‘god mode’ speech to Guile at the end should be etched on my gravestone!
It is not a ‘so bad it’s good’ movie in my opinion especially if you’re familiar with the source product. Cheesy acting is one thing in the case of Van Damme but bad acting is not something I want to see. Raul Julia lifts the movie somewhat but it just feels like a bloated mess by time you reach the end credits.
Street Fighter: The Movie