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Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

A 2009 action movie directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak

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My verdict on The Legend of Chun-Li: Wait for the DVD

  • Feb 27, 2009
Rating:
+2
As a child, Street Fighters was one of my favorite video games on Super Nintendo, and as one of few female in the game, Chun-Li was by far my favorite fighter, so when The Legend of Chun Li came out, I just HAD to see it.  I ended up catching the midnight screening, and, well, I was underwhelmed.

The movie started out strong, giving insight into Chun-Li's earlier life and showing her privileged childhood in Hong Kong, where she trained to be a concert pianist and was taught martial arts by her father.  Everything is great until her well-connected father is kidnapped by the evil M. Bison and his henchmen.  Chun-Li ends up attending Julliard and does live her dream of being a concert pianist in Hong Kong.  However, after her mother passes, she becomes lost and feels like there's something more for her.  Eventually, she is guided to Bangkok, where she trains with Gen.  Her new goals in life are to find her father and to take down M. Bison and his evil empire, who have wreaked havoc on the streets of Bangkok for much too long.

Overall, the movie was cheese-tacular and there was much second-hand embarrassment felt while viewing (especially during the night club dance scene between Chun-Li and Cantana, too awkward to watch).  The dialogue was bad as was much of the acting (though I guess it falls into line with Street Fighter games as the fighters always say something boisterous and cheesy after winning fights).  Futhermore, parts of the movie made no sense.  For instance, if Chun-Li lived in Hong Kong since her childhood and had Chinese servants, why didn't she ever learn to read Chinese, and instead, must rely upon others to read it for her now?  There are larger discrepancies, but I don't want to give the story away!

The audience laughed at scenes that weren't meant to be funny, and several people actually got up before the movie ended and booed while leaving (okay, I didn't think it was that bad).  I shouldn't have expected much.  Afterall, it is an action movie based on a video game that doesn't really have much of a point other than to beat the heck out of each other.  I should have known that this wasn't going to be a cinematic masterpiece.

Saving points: Neal McDonough made for an evil M. Bison (even though he wasn't as muscley), and Taboo made a surprisingly good Vega.  Oh, and Kristin Kreuk was hot.  That's about it.
The Legend of Chun-Li

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July 10, 2011
how did I miss this review before? I thought I had commented on this one. Nice one again, Dev!
July 11, 2011
We've talked about this review before, and I totally thought you commented on it before, too! :P
 
July 10, 2011
They don't do a whole lot of beating the heck out of each other.
July 11, 2011
Yeah, there was too much dancing, one-person artsy martial arts, and flying through the air.
 
July 04, 2010
It still amazes me how people can adapt a video game and not even get costumes right and that you would think more of an effort would be made to put the characters in roles they're supposed to be in. Thats like taking Mario the plumber from Super Mario Brothers, not giving him coveralls or the mustache and making him a sea captain, BUT the audience will still belive it's Mario cause he eats mushrooms or cause he said "Mama Mia!" If people can't get the simplest things right, then don't make the movie. Nice review.
 
April 05, 2010
It is a shame that the curse of the Video Game Film Adaptation still follows us into the new millennium. I can probably count the number of good video game films on one hand without dropping my coffee mug.
April 05, 2010
Maybe we just need to stop watching video game inspired movies :P
 
June 07, 2009
I didn't see this movie. The first Street Fighter was bad, and fighting games don't make compelling stories, so why bother with this one. I liked the review, there's just one disagree: I don't believe "wait for the DVD" is a good recommendation. Granted, this is a quirk of mine, but I've never believed that something was worth watching more or less if you decided to watch it on video. I feel either the film is worth seeing or it isn't. Otherwise great write-up.
June 08, 2009
I know what you're saying, but when I hear that film's really good, I prefer to watch it in theaters just to see it on the big screen with surround sound, like Dark Knight, but if I've read bad reviews about a movie but am still curious about it, I'll still find some way to watch it eventually, whether renting the DVD, streaming it on the web, and even seeing it on TV years later!
 
May 26, 2009
I've never been a fan of even the idea of making movies out of video games. This is the first time I've heard of people actually booing as they left the theater. I think that speaks volumes.
May 27, 2009
I had never heard people booing in a theater either till then!
May 27, 2009
It sounds as if it really deserved it. That alone almost makes me want to see it though!
May 27, 2009
I must warn you though, this isn't one of those movies that's so bad that it's good; it's so bad, that it's just bad!
May 27, 2009
I've got ya on that part, still something epically bad needs to be experienced on a personal level--and I did say ALMOST.
 
March 03, 2009
Trying to give a fighting video game a realistic adaptation just never works out when you fill in the character details with stuff like: Chun-Li is a concert pianist. At Julliard. haha
 
1
More Street Fighter: The Legend of ... reviews
review by . March 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
It's true that the 1994 Street Fighter movie from Steven De Souza was a crappy, transparent attempt to cash in. But at times like this, it's important to remember the good things about it. You have to give credit to De Souza for being able to recognize the fact that his movie was piggybacking a popular video game franchise in the hopes that gamers were as nerdy and stupid as his fourth- or fifth-hand knowledge of the medium told him. He was honest enough about it to write so that everyone would …
review by . July 04, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Dvd cover
   The awesome “Street Fighter” video game franchise was first brought to life by Hollywood in 1994 featuring a “cartoonish” Jean Claude Van-Damme, Ming Na-Wen, Kylie Minogue and Raul Julia as the despot named Bison. The movie was a disaster and it was no wonder why it failed miserably in the box-office. Hollywood should’ve taken pointers from Japan for “Street Fighter: The Animated Movie”, which was undeniably the best movie adapted from the franchise …
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
posted in MovieSucktastic
Bad casting, bad use of characters that are nothing like they're video game counterparts, not a lot of action and not enough characters from the series are used. Maybe thats a good thing since they too would have been mangled. More proof that if you want to adapt a comic or video game to a movie, know the source material first.
review by . August 29, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
For whatever reason, film adaptations of video games tend not to make good movies. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li follows this rule all to closely. The plot is pretty weak - basically Chun Li (Kristen Kreuk) fighting to save her father from Bison (Chris Klein), who oddly enough is an evil corporate gangster in a three-piece suit in the film - not the guy in the red military uniform from the game. Furthermore, Bison's alleged powers come from having transfered his conscience to his daughter …
review by . June 28, 2009
I very rarely do this with my reviews, but to save you the time of reading about everything wrong with this movie, I'll give you a couple of words to sum it up at the start. This was just awful, really awful. In fact, it was so awful I would rather sit through a 1 and a half hour Matthew McConaughey movie. Now that brief hatred is over, I'll begin to tell you just exactly what I hated about this movie in separated paragraphs. Sort of like bullet points, only filled with 50% more hatred.    The …
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devora ()
Ranked #4
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li gives insight into Chun-Li's (Kristin Kreuk) life before becoming a fighter.  It shows her privileged childhood in Hong Kong, where she trains to be a concert pianist and is taught martial arts by her father.  Everything is great until her well-connected father is kidnapped by the evil M. Bison (Neal McDonough) and his henchmen.  Chun-Li ends up attending Julliard and does live her dream of being a concert pianist in Hong Kong.  However, after her mother passes, she becomes lost and feels like there's something more for her.  Eventually, she is guided to Bangkok, where she trains with Gen (Robin Shue).  Her new goals in life are to find her father and to take down M. Bison and his evil empire, who have wreaked havoc on the streets of Bangkok for much too long.

The origin story of the characters from Capcom’s popular Street Fighter video game is detailed in The Legend of Chun-Li, a live-action martial arts thriller from Doom helmer Andrzej Bartkowiak.Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk gives a spirited turn in the title role, a concert pianist turned global crime fighter who cracks her share of heads while in pursuit of the mobsters who have kidnapped her father. Neal McDonough and Michael Clarke Duncan glower effectively as Bison, the nefarious mastermind behind the abduction, and his henchman, Balrog, respectively. The film’s offbeat cast, which includes Chris Klein and Moon Bloodgood as ...
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Details

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Release Date: February 27, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009
Runtime: 1 hr. 37 min.
Studio: 20th Century Fox Distribution, Twentieth Century Fox
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