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DVD Review: Street Fighter – The Legend of Chun Li

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Video games are a billion dollar industry and every so often someone decides to try to make a movie out of one of them. They usually aren’t very good and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li doesn’t do anything to break the cycle.

The movie attempts to tell the origins of Chun Li (Kristin Kreuk), a little girl who adores her father. He is a successful businessman; Chun Li isn’t too sure of what he does. He gets kidnapped by M. Bison (Neal McDonough) and Balrog (Michael Clarke Duncan) for their own purposes with Chun Li witnessing the brutal event. Years later, after a piano performance, she receives a scroll which tells her to go to Thailand. She drops everything and makes her way to Bangkok.

The scroll somehow has ignited the desire in Chun Li to find her father and learn why he was taken years ago. But first she must train with Gen (Robin Shou), who will teach her the one move that can take down Bison. Added to the nonsense is Interpol agent Charlie Nash (Chris Klein) who is trying to find the Shadaloo syndicate which has eluded him for some time, but is headed by Bison. Moon Bloodgood is Detective Maya Sunee, who is teaming up with Nash to find the syndicate. Bloodgood is good, but Klein is stiff and wooden. Even McDonough and Duncan, who are usually very good, don’t convey the villainy they should and seem to just chew the scenery during their screen time, especially Klein.

Along the way Chun Li gets into a few fights using her moves seen in the games. There’s even a brief fight with my favorite Street Fighter character Vega (Taboo), before the final fight with Bison and possibly setting things up for more Street Fighter movies.

There are a number of extras on the DVD. Kicking things off is a commentary (unrated version only) with producers Patrick Aiello and Ashok Armitraj and actors Neal McDonough and Chris Klein. The commentary is dull and lackluster at best as all involved are too serious throughout. Another complaint is Kristin Kreuk's absence — she is the lead character in this film. Couldn’t she be bothered to participate? Maybe she wanted to distance herself from this bomb.

There are 14 deleted scenes in various stages of completion as well as an alternate ending which didn’t add to the film. "Becoming a Street Fighter" is the making of featurette where everyone involved is enthused about making the film, but it doesn’t come across in the final product. "Chun-Li: Bringing the Legend to Life" talks about the movie version only, which is a shame since the video game character should have been touched on here.

"Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Scene" shows what it took to make the various fight scenes throughout the movie.

There are several galleries where the video game characters are placed side by side with their movie counterparts; those galleries are "Recreating the Game: Arcade to Film Comparisons" "The Fight in Black and White: Storyboard Gallery," and Behind the Fight: Production Gallery".

On the second disc (which wasn’t provided for review) there is an animated comic book movie called Street Fighter: Round One – Fight! This sounds interesting, but not having seen it, I can’t comment.

There are plans for another Street Fighter movie, which will tell the origins of the character Ryu. Hopefully it will be better than this film. In the meantime, if you want a good Street Fighter story, go play one of the video games.

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