Saturday, February 28, 2009

Movies: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li

Have you ever seen an action movie? Have you ever see a martial arts movie? Are you a twelve year old boy? Then congratulations you could have written "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li." But you are still incapable of enjoying it.

The crack team behind this cinematic marvel is director Andrzej "Doom" Bartkowiak and Justin "I'm in demand for no reason" Marks. Marks is the "It" screenwriter at the moment. Having penned "Green Arrow: Escape from Super Max," "Grayskull:Masters of the Universe," "Voltron," and "Hack/Slash." If "Street Fighter" is any indication those projects are in big trouble.

The movie's look is pedestrian most of the time and flat out ugly in instances. Bartowiak does manage to put together some entertaining if run of the mill fight scenes. Chun Li fighting the bums on the street definitely worked for me. Though all that is erased by the fact that the movie looks like it was shot on a camcorder.

The script is beyond inane. It ignores not just the first rule of screenwriting but the first rule of storytelling, "show don't tell." When people talk about bad voice over this movie is what they are talking about. It says things like "I was angry" while the character makes an angry face and "I have to investigate" while a girl Googles a crime syndicate.

I've gotten ahead of myself though. What is this "movie" about.?

Based on the storyless "Street Fighter" video game franchise. "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li" tells the story of Chun Li (Kristen "Smallville" Kreuk) and her quest to avenge her father's death at the hands of crime lord Bison (Neil McDonough). While Interpol Agent Nash (Chris Klein) with help of Bangok detective Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood) try to take him down as well.

I spent more time thinking up that synopsis than Marks did writing the entire script. But I've harped on Marks long enough let's move on to some more awful things.

Kreuk as Chun Li is fine. Which is maybe the best thing I can say about the film. She is really pretty and as long as she's not emoting she is suitably athletic for the action scenes. I don't believe any of her strife at all but in the end it didn't hurt my soul when she was on screen.

McDonough plays a man from the slums of Bangkok who is white and has an Irish accent. I have nothing more to say. I just wish he was still young enough to play Captain America.

Chris Klein is epically bad here. He has always been the poor man's Keanu Reeves but here he becomes the homeless man's Keanu Reeves. He spends most of the film walking purposefully into rooms and screaming, "Get down!" And when he is not doing that he is hitting on and cracking (un) wise to his partner played by Moon Bloodgood who is hot and has a name that leads me to believe she is a vampire. However, she dresses less like a hardcore policewoman and more like a common whore.

In the last scene of the film Chun Li gets a flier for a street fighter tournament that takes place in China. She is told that a young man named Ryu shows real promise. It left me wondering why the movie didn't just start at this point. Because in a movie called "Street Fighter" I expected some actual street fighting. Call me crazy. I guess we will have to wait for the sequel. Fingers crossed.

If you want to feel like you've been skull fucked by a mentally deficient monkey "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li" is the movie for you.

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