Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li (Unleashed and Unrated Edition) (2009): Breakdown by Rantbo
Robin Shou teaches a questionably hot girl to make energy balls and fire them at a corrupt business criminal in revenge for kidnapping her father.
If Clive Barker and Ang Lee had a butt baby together, and it decided to follow after its fathers’ profession, it would make this movie. Which sounds either awesome, or like the worst idea ever. And I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ll give you the bad news first…
This entry is interesting, as you can clearly see how action has been pussified over the last 15 years.
STREET FIGHTER (1994)
Lead Character: Jean-Claude Van Damme. Former European karate champion and nineties action icon.
Story: Special Forces Commando and his elite team of fighters take on a crazed drug lord-turned Private Army General, bent on world domination.
STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI (2009)
Lead Character: Kristin Kruek. Former girlfriend to teenage Superman and hard-body dancer in EURO TRIP.
Story: Concert pianist learns to wire-fight and tap her inner half-circle-forward punch to defeat a white-collar criminal that messed with her family.
Probably the best proof is in the character of Vega. The actor playing him, went from a ripped beefcake to the creepy guy (not Fergie) of the Black Eyed Peas.
It just got ‘retarded in here!’
The worst thing about this film though, has to be the embarrassingly annoying catering to morons. Lets begin with the terrible and unnecessary stupid fucking voice over. Which literally tells you EXACTLY what’s going on, the moment the words are spoken. It’s fucking HORRIBLE! Then, after the 1st act it all but disappears (thankfully) and doesn’t come back till just before the end credits, making me believe that it was an afterthought added in post by some dumb-ass studio exec that couldn’t handle the visual ambiance telling the story. Think the original cut of BLADE RUNNER, only much dumber. Sadly, the voice over isn’t the most insulting aspect–no, no, we get flashbacks for that.
Again, only in the first act and right before the end credits, the filmmakers decided to use flashbacks for some of the most insultingly apparent shit from literally 5 minutes before and again from 30 seconds before. Literally, 30 seconds pass and we get a flashback so us dumb fuck audience members can see what we SURELY missed LESS THAN HALF A MINUTE AGO! Arghhh!!!
Though all is not lost with SF:TLOCL.
The settings are gorgeous. I always thought Thailand looked like a shithole, and it does–But, the way in which it is captured in this film, it looks like slightly less of one. I looked up the director, and sure enough it turns out Andrzej Bartkowiak was/is a cinematographer for some pretty slick looking action movies: LETHAL WEAPON 4, FALLING DOWN, U.S. MARSHALS. But recently he’s been into directing: EXIT WOUNDS, CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE, DOOM–this piece of shit… Needless to say, I think this guy should stick to holding a camera.
And then there’s Neal McDonaugh as Bison…
I don’t particularly care for the actor, and as far as being “Bison”, he is in name only, but–this guy is written as one evil mother fucker. Wow. We’re talking Emperor Palpatine from JEDI and Scar from THE LION KING immorally vicious type fuck-head. He does a bunch of shitty-shit, the nastiest of which I’ll discuss later, but for the most part, you just have to watch him in action. And as if his deeds were not sinister enough, every time he moves, (when in a fight), a lion roars, so you know he’s a bad mother fucker. Bison makes this laughable garbage uncharacteristically dark and unnecessarily funny all at the same time.
So, in the end. I’m glad I watched this one. It’s pretty awful, but there are too many unintentionally funny moments and gonzo-wacky shit going on to make me regret my time spent. I think I might even have to own a copy of this, if for nothing else than to show other people so they can understand what I’m talking about.
[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]
Kristin Kreuk is Chun-Li
“I had to lose myself to the pulse of the streets. I had to become one, with the people of Bangkok.”
“This was all so new to me!”
“I felt lost–chasing a ghost, I might never find.”
That’s an example of her voice over. ~Shudder~ So, I already hate her for that reason, and the level of her badassitude doesn’t help out so much, as it’s all ridiculously goofy shit.
-You watch her grow throughout the opening credits and she manages to go from being 100% Asian to being maybe 10% by the time she is a teenager. They didn’t show her undergoing any surgeries, so I have to assume that it’s one of her special moves. Or an alternate costume (she pressed select!).
-Able to defy gravity by float-jumping off of 100 foot drops, a lot.
-Can snap necks with her ankles. Think about that–that has to take talent.
-Has the power to look strikingly sexy one moment and like a total bridge-troll the next.
Chris Klein is Interpol Agent Chuck Nash
The new God of shitty action cops. The guy listens to crunk music, has never showered–so far as I can tell–and acts/talks like a sassy teenage cheerleader. He’s hysterical.
Also, he’s a total fucking scum bag. For instance, at one point to avoid being seen by Michael Clark Duncan, Nash grabs Moon Bloodgood and starts snogging her hardcore. The best part is, there is no way that they would have been noticed. Wait, I take that back–THE BEST part is, after Duncan drives off, Nash says this: “That had to be done.” And that’s not even his best stuff, check out this dialogue gold:
“Call me Nash.”
“I LUV this job!”
“You don’t want a ticket to this dance–detective!”
“Of course. [OF COURSE!] It’s a front for Shadaloo. Bison’s bringing crime into the neighborhoods to drive the land value down. And then he’s buying it back up wholesale!–We gotta move on that.”
“Nash–out.” My favorite. He says this gem twice during the film after getting off a cb radio. And it’s said with such seriousness and conviction, I laughed out loud both times.
[THE BODY COUNT: AROUND 40]
Holy Hadouken! This movie actually topped it’s predecessor. And WAY more violently, I might add. I didn’t watch the theatrical cut, but after watching the DVD, it’s clear that they shot for an R rating. Which is pretty sweet, when you think about it. The good guys manage to rack up around 23-25 of the evil doers and Chun-Li even manages to get a couple herself, including the goriest, I might add (see next section).
The weird thing is, I don’t seem to remember there being fatalities in the Street Fighter games–or guns. But both are presented here in full, uncut glory. The bad guys obviously rack up the rest of the count, most of which is in a giant shoot out between Nash’s and Bison’s men. It’s pretty well shot, and you can tell the director is a fan of 80s action by the way he sends wave after wave of faceless men after one another, filling each other with lead, never to be seen again. Or before, for that matter.
[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]
The top death easily goes to Bison. Sorry, spoilers. After getting his ass blown off a rooftop with a fireball (MORTAL KOMBAT style), Bison lands crippled on the edge of a scaffolding. It’s at this point that his daughter (who is unaware that he is evil) is trotted out by Nash, just in time to witness Li jump down onto his neck, grasping it with her ankles and letting the weight of her 100 foot fall twist his fucking head around backwards.
His eyes bulge in the light of a streetlamp as blood oozes from his mouth. Pretty wicked, and I have to say, completely unexpected.
[CHICKSWEAT AND FEMCHISMO]
They make no qualms about Bison’s underboss Cantana’s fish-market hobbies, as she is duped into revealing Bison’s secret bad-guy plans after being shanghaied on the dance floor by Li–in one of the most laughably stupid seduction scenes EVER filmed, I might add. They spin around the dance floor looking constipated to some awful ‘Street Fighter’ rap song, before leaving to go clam dive in the bathroom. Oh, and I think it’s worth mentioning that Li also snaps Cantana’s arm like a slim-jim.
It’s an odd kink, to be sure, but it did help loosen that tongue, which is what it’s all about. Isn’t that right, ladies?
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
Bison beats Cantana to death with his bare hands. And we get to see it. It’s completely fucked up and brutal. And if being punched to death wasn’t bad enough, he has her strung up by her fragmented arms. That’s just cruel.
Also, Moon Bloodgood’s character sets professional women back further than Erin Brockovich, by constantly flaunting her titties in super-tight half-shirts and push-up bras. And she’s supposed to be a respectable agent.
But that shit is NOTHING compared to what happened around the 50 minute mark…
One of THE most fucked up scenes, I’ve ever seen. EVER. (Seriously, I actually yelled out ‘What The Fuck!”) This scene happens while Robin Shou is telling Bison’s back story to Chun-Li. It’s a classic tale of unwanted youth, rebelling over his unfortunate situations, but a minute or two in, the random-shit-o’-meter gets buried in the red.
A teenage Bison believes that he needs to transfer the goodness of his soul(?) into his unborn daughter to make himself impenetrable to his own conscience and moral influence. So, Bison lays his beautiful bride down in a sacred cave and carefully undoes her blouse. He gently caresses her swollen pregnant belly and just when I think that a special effect of light and magic will send his “goodness” into her–HE STABS HIS HANDS THROUGH HER BELLYBUTTON AND RIPS OUT THE BABY.
The young woman screams, blood sprays everywhere and Bison roots around in her entrails dislodging the unborn baby which sounded like a boot stuck in mud–only wetter, mixed with the sound effects of the alien chest-burster.
I’m sorry, but I must reiterate–What–The–Fuck!? What the fuck does this sick shit have to do with a fighting tournament? And more importantly, WHY? Why–The–Fuck did they have to show this? I don’t remember this move in the game.
Look, I’m 100% pro-movie violence and gore, all-the-way. But the sheer idea of having a pregnant woman stabbed through the stomach by her husband’s bare hands–in a fucking Street Fighter movie, is as ill-conceived as that poor child. Not too mention fucking sick. They wouldn’t even pull that shit in a Friday the 13th movie. This movie succeeded in doing something no-other has done since I was a child. Grossed me out. Ugh–I feel dirty.
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
Chun-Li finally gets to fight an actual character from the game around the one-hour mark. Thankfully all the bullshit I had to sit through (aside from Nash, who is my hero), is made worth the wait with one amazing logic-defying move. Li kicks Vega in the face and sends him flying, literally FLYING–up, over AND behind her into a gravity defying 4320° upward spin, that Tony Hawk himself couldn’t pull off jumping out of an in-flight airplane. Vega sticks the landing, by the way. So perfectly, in fact, that even an East German judge would give him full marks. THEN, he caresses his MASK where she connected. It’s so fucking dumb, I have to applaud it.
As for the one-liner, there are dozens, literally dozens, of lame-ass pre and post-beat-down one liners, but they are all so, so terrible. But, when I had all but given up hope, one bit of dialogue got me giggling like a munchkin…
Papa-Li [sobbing after being reunited with his daughter]: “You know I tried so hard for so many years–just to keep you safe–to protect you–to make sure you had the good life.”
Chun-Li [trying to emote]: “I would rather have you!”
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
Pinhead ain’t got shit on M. Bison.
[THE CHECKLIST: 16 outta 25]
[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[ ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[ ] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[ ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[ ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[ ] Manly Embrace(s)
[ ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[ ] Unnecessary Sequel
[ ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice
Robin Shou has officially been in 3 separate fighting videogame-franchise movie adaptations. A moment of silence for his career…
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