Hey kids, it’s Dash here. So…this has been a pretty interesting month so far, hasn’t it? I mean, I’m sure I’ve pissed off a lot of fans out there who actually still enjoy the ‘Mortal Kombat’ movie, as well as some other people with my most recent Dash News. Well…I think it’s safe to say that I’m on a roll, time to make some more people mad. What can I say? I aim to misbehave.
Hey, at least this movie can work with a PG-13 rating!
‘Street Fighter’ is a 1994 action/adventure movie loosely based on the highly successful Capcom fighting game ‘Street Fighter II’, written and directed by Steven E. de Souza; who is mostly known for writing ‘Commando’, ‘The Running Man’ and the first two ‘Die Hard’ movies. While the movie was a hit in the box office with almost $100 Million, the film was universally panned by critics and fans alike. Like most movies of this caliber, however, ‘Street Fighter’ managed to gain cult status over the years; finding new life as a guilty pleasure.
I’m just gonna come out and say this right now. Like many kids in the 90s, I grew up with ‘Street Fighter II’ and the MANY updated versions of the game. In fact, ‘Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers’ was actually the very first video game I’ve ever played. So of course I became a fan and wanted more. Somehow the film’s release flew under my radar and I didn’t get the chance to see it in theaters. But, when I finally saw it on a rack at Blockbuster sitting right next to the much superior animated version…I just had to get both!
As I’ve gotten older, I still find myself watching it; despite now noticing everything that’s wrong with the movie. Even as a kid, I kinda realized that there was something a little off about it. Nonetheless, I’ve still enjoyed the movie for what it is. I’m sure I’m gonna get a lot of crap for saying that too. Meanwhile, the same people that would call me out for liking ‘Street Fighter’ are the same exact way with their precious ‘Mortal Kombat’ movie; while that movie was closer to the game’s story, it’s also a much worse movie because of how watered-down the overall film was. ‘Street Fighter’ on the other hand at least tried to appeal more to its fans by including all of the characters from all the games up at that point and didn’t try to take itself too seriously. Speaking of which…
With such a diverse cast of characters, there was bound to be a few from the game that wasn’t portrayed properly in this movie. Most of the acting is hit-or-miss, that is true. But, once again, we were kids! At that time, we didn’t care about acting. We just wanted to see our favorite characters from the games, looking how they did in the games and kicking ass like they did in the games. As adults, however, that’s not so much the case. The actors who played Ryu, Ken, T. Hawk, Blanka, Sawada(the unofficial version of Fei Long, which is actually based off of Bruce Lee) and Dhalsim were terrible. Especially Ryu and Ken, who were not only played by awful actors, and not only did they look nothing like their Capcom counterparts, but the two weren’t even the main focus…and Ken was my favorite character! What the Hell happened?!?
Don’t count this movie out just yet though, the other characters were at least handled a little better than the other guys. The talented Ming-Na Wen as Chun-Li, the gorgeous Kylie Minogue as Cammy, the hilarious Andrew Bryniarski as Zangief, the awesome Wes Studi as Sagat, the criminally-underrated Grant L. Bush as Balrog, and ‘Return Of The Living Dead’ cast member Miguel A. Nunez, Jr. as Dee Jay. Those guys…were perfect! Not only did these actors look the part, but they could actually act. Even the guys who played Vega and E. Honda were awesome. Also, who could hate seeing these characters doing their victory poses from the game?
Now…we’re not quite done with the cast just yet. Let’s talk about the stars of this beloved mess. I mean, the REAL stars! The two men who made this a classic. First up, we have Action Star Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile. Clearly, not the best actor in the world and even in his best movies, he’s often criticized for his acting. Okay, so is Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Seagal, Chuck Norris and Kung Fury, what’s your point? Sure, Van Damme is a Belgian actor with a very thick Belgian accent playing an American soldier…but you look me dead in the eye and tell me that you didn’t chuckle just now. That’s comedy gold and you know it! On the bright side, Van Damme is an awesome fighter which was perfect for Guile…but it was still funny.
Want to know what wasn’t funny? The casting of M. Bison! Played by legendary actor Raul Julia.
Most of you guys may recognize as Gomez Addams from ‘The Addams Family’ movies. This man, was one hell of an actor and an even greater human being. He sadly passed away shortly after this movie’s release. Out of all the movies in the world, he chose ‘Street Fighter’ for his final performance because his children were fans of the game. Not even stomach cancer could stop this man, as he gives one of the greatest and hammiest performances ever. Thank you Raul Julia…Vaya con Dios.
This is yet another mixed bag we’ve got here. Half of the actors were just downright awful, the overall look of the film is pretty cheap-looking, a pretty unoriginal James Bond-esque script, and as much as I hate to say it…it could’ve used some of the fight choreography from ‘Mortal Kombat’, as the majority of the action scenes can get boring at times. However, the other half of the film’s cast were fantastic, it has plenty of hilarious moments, quotable lines, a pretty awesome score and a very enjoyable final act. There’s a reason why this movie has its own drinking game! As much as I would like to play it, I can easily enjoy this unintentional comedy sober. I’d rather have the bad video game-based movie that makes fun of its franchise, than the bad video game-based movie that tries to dumb it down for the masses. If you want a more faithful adaptation of the ‘Street Fighter’ games, I’d recommend ‘Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie’, ‘Street Fighter II: V’ or ‘Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist’. But, if you looking for a movie that’s so bad that it’s amazing, look no further than this movie. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go get some friends to play the ‘Street Fighter’ Drinking Game with me. I’d suggest you do the same. Wish my liver good luck!
Until next time, Gotta Dash!
Written by Shane Moose
Street Fighter(1994)(owned by Universal Pictures)
Futurama(owned by 20th Television, 20th Century Fox Television & The Curiosity Company)
Doctor Who(owned by BBC)