The 5 worst things about Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

2009’s crappiest videogame movie is filled with problems – here are its biggest

How is Bison’s daughter his “weakness?” It’s hard to tell. Other than the fact that he’s sort of looking at her when he’s killed near the end of the movie, there’s no revelation of any “weakness” other than that Bison loves Rose and would probably do anything to keep her from harm.


Above: Awwwwww

So let’s recap: Bison murders his wife in order to transfer all of his goodness into his daughter, goes to a lot of trouble to illegally transport his daughter to Thailand 17 years later, and it all amounts to... nothing. Villains don’t need supernatural help to be evil. In fact, Bison’s relatively petty, mob-boss brand of evil would have been more believable without magical augmentation, because he never seems to benefit from it. Meanwhile, the whole sub-plot about daughter-weakness doesn’t seem to have any bearing on anything that happens in the film, so as it stands it’s a whole lot of setup with no payoff.

And then there are the fireballs. To the film’s credit, it’s the first live-action Street Fighter movie to actually feature someone throwing a fireball, which is funny when you consider that fireballs are one of the things Street Fighter is best known for.


Above: Gen, as played by the way-too-young-for-the-role Robin Shou

Ultimately, though, these don’t serve any real purpose either, other than to be a thing for Chun-Li to fail at and then suddenly master by the end of the movie, just in time to knock Bison off a rooftop.


Above: With a crappier special effect this time, no less

But at least it does something. Unlike, you know, Rose.

2. The evil plan is lame

This is Bison’s evil plan in the Street Fighter games:

And this is Bison’s evil plan in the movie:

That’s right: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li turns M. Bison, unstoppable leader of Shadowloo (or “Shadowlao,” as it’s pronounced in the movie) and would-be emperor of the world, into an evil real estate developer. Evil Developer is a hoary old villain archetype that hasn’t really been in use outside of children’s movies from the 1980s, and for good reason.


Above: “D’you like my diorama? I use it to be eeevil

Normally Evil Developers could be defeated by finding pirate gold or hosting a dance-off to save the rec center, but Chun-Li bypasses all that nonsense in favor of simply murdering the incapacitated Bison in cold blood. Right in front of his daughter.

Bison kills Chun-Li’s dad, Chun-Li kills Rose’s dad. Do you see a potential pattern emerging?


Above: “Oh my God, she killed Dad! REVENGE!”

Meanwhile, Bison’s transition from Evil Dictator to Evil Developer has us wondering what could be in store for future fighting-game-movie villains. Will Shao Kahn try to short-sell stocks on Wall Street? Will Heihachi Mishima run email scams out of his mother’s basement? Will Dural be recast as a school bully? The mind reels at the possibilities.


He’s an actor who’s been in movies. Real movies, with names like American Pie and Election, in which he was pretty OK. So it’s hard to understand what possessed him to barrel his way through this movie as Charlie Nash, doing what appear to be alternating impressions of Keanu Reeves, Christian Slater and Clint Eastwood. But we’ll let Klein show you, in his own inimitable way, why he is the single worst thing about Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li:

Also, there’s this:

And now that that’s out of the way, we’d like to take one final, parting potshot at the movie:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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