Street Fighter

English as a second language never
made bad lines sound so... bad I guess.
Well, I threatened to do it, and I like to think if nothing else I'm as good as my awful words, so here it is, a full length review of Street Fighter. Released in 1994, this film was a monument to bad script, poor acting, ridiculous plotting, lame effects, and other general tom-foolery. Jean-Claude Van Damme, renowned around the world for being in stupid action movies where he acts poorly, plays Colonel William Guile, who is heading a task force of Allied Nation soldiers as they attempt to wrest control of the fictional, and EXTREMELY stupid sounding Shadaloo (which granted is Capcom's fault but whatever it's still contributing to the dumb) from the grip of drug lord turned dictator M. Bison (Raul Julia, best known to the current generation as Gomez Addams) who has kidnapped AN relief workers in the hopes of extorting an insane amount of money out of them. Guile has a personal vendetta against Bison, as does news anchor/actually a secret ninja Chun-Li (Ming Na) Also there are like a million other characters from the street fighter franchise, thrown in for good measure and serving only a passing purpose in the film's plot, which outside of the central Bison vs. most everyone else, doesn't make much of anything remotely resembling sense.

I know our hats look stupid, get outta my face!
There are B plots (Though in this movie you might call secondary plots like... Z plots or something) involving Ken and Ryu attempting to scam Sagat, who employs Vega as an enforcer. Among captured AN soldiers is Blanka, who we see almost not at all. Zangief and Dee Jay work for Bison,  while Balrog and E. Honda back up Chun-Li, who is one of the least convincing ninjas to ever grace the silver screen. There could be some more characters that I'm forgetting, but who cares I'm forgetting them because they really don't matter. Then again, not much about this film does.

Street Fighter was Julia's last leading role,
a fact which I personally lament.
So it's terrible, why talk about it? Well it's terrible but it's done so badly that it's actually very entertaining, in a surreal kind of way. Van-Damme's performance as no-nonsense, trash talking tough guy Guile is patently ridiculous, and imagining a world where he is cool is stepping into a very strange world indeed. Due to some deal with Capcom regarding his actor, the very minor Captain Sawada character receives a weird kind of spotlight whenever he is talking (also because his actor spoke little English, he is the only dubbed character in the movie). In addition it's worth noting that it sounds like Sawada's dubber also didn't speak English very well, which seems to defeat the point. The movie is filled to the brim with nonsensical and poorly delivered dialogue, including virtually everything Kylie Minogue says. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that Australian pop sensation Kylie Minogue portrays Cammie in this movie. That was wrong of me. Raul Julia's performance as M. Bison makes the most of a role that is clearly ridiculous, by going for a sort of cross between Hitler and Richard III, if both of them were even crazier. Julia's over the top performance is so bombastically evil and crazy that it is genuinely entertaining to behold, and you have to admire the guy's dedication to the role.

AWW YEAH SUPER TEAM. Nice Cammy pose Kylie.
For all it's overwhelming badness, I got a feeling that the director sort of knew that what he was doing was ridiculous, and rather than try to dial it back, he just turned the knob all the way up to ten. The movie is full of cheesy jokes and one-liners that add to the camp factor, and the director seemed 100% aware of what he was doing. That sort of kamikaze attitude helps the movie to be funny-bad, rather than just plain old bad. This is a movie about a cocky douche from Brussels riding a stealth boat so he can stop a crazy guy who thinks he's god from conquering the world with an army of green caveman super soldiers. No one involved has any intention of apologizing about it. Before I move on to how it grossed I also need to mention that the guy who played Sagat, Wes Studi, was also The Sphinx in Mystery Men. So that's pretty great.

Like all she does in this movie is make funny faces.
While the movie did not play well with critics, and understandably so, it was commercially successful, grossing just shy of 100 million dollars. Given that the movie's budget was only 35 million, that's a pretty good day if I do say so. In particular I'd write that down to the director knowing at least enough to learn from the mistakes that led to the Super Mario Bros. movie. He actually specifically mentioned being careful not to emulate that nuclear waste area of a movie. Good call man.

That's all for today, join me next week when I will review Man of Steel, and possible World War Z. Man Summer is off to a rough start.

In the meantime, enjoy this epic speech, complete with sub-titles.

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