Street Fighter live action movies have a reputation. For being horrible. The first, released in 1994, was directed by Steven E. de Souza. The film grossed almost triple its budget (probably because of Jean-Claude Van Damme being a part of the cast), however, it was not well-received by audiences. GameTrailers rated the movie as the eighth worst video game movie adaption of all time.
Then in 2009, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li was released. Personally, I didn’t even go see it. It met the same reception as it’s predecessor, being called the 44th of 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s by Rotten Tomatoes. Fast forward to a few days ago. The three minute movie for Street Fighter: Legacy was released. Is the third attempt a charm?
Actor Joey Ansah seems to think so. He’s even directed it. Ansah starred in The Bourne Ultimatum. Having experience with such a successful action movie, he is at least creditable. He even has a love and passion for Street Fighter. On his website, he has expressed his disappointment in the previous failed attempts.
“As an actor, film maker and a fan, I have been repeatedly disappointed by the many diluted, unfaithful and outright butchered movie adaptations of fighting video games. It was clear to me, that given the way the movie industry worked, we would never see a super faithful, darker toned and more adult themed (or just plain good!) incarnation of Street fighter unless a die-hard fan director or film-making team with the game canon knowledge, film making know how and connections stepped up to the plate to helm such a project.”
Sounds believable. After hearing a real fan say he is going to step up to the plate, I got a little excited. He insists he is trying hard to please the fans. After seeing two of the teaser trailers, my hopes were still high.
The movie starts with Ryu apparently dreaming or having a flashback. Akuma is destroying him for a quick second. Suddenly, Ryu jumps awake. He seems a bit on edge, but walks it off through a forest, probably on a journey, or running from something. Ken comes out of the trees behind him, they change clothes, and battle. At this point, it still looks decent to me. The actors seem fitted for their characters, even if Ryu looks like he needs to take a few more steroids. The combat isn’t too shabby. Then Ryu uses his Hadouken. And Ken uses his. It starts to rain, and they charge towards each other. And it ends. I will let you judge for yourself what to think of it.
Even though I never saw Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, I know that Street Fighter: Legacy is superior. My only gripe is the animation and slow-mos. It reminds me of watching Kamehameha Waves from Dragon Ball. Very cartoonish, and doesn’t seem to flow right during the combat. However, I have survived a lot of great movies with horrible special effects. I will not let some silly fireball attack ruin this for me. But why does it have to end? Even though it is only three minutes long, I think Street Fighter: Legacy is the greatest thing to come to live action for Street Fighter. Do you agree?