[31/31: The Movie | Part 3] Street Fighter (1994) - Critical Kate Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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[31/31: The Movie | Part 3] Street Fighter (1994)

I hadn't seen Street Fighter since it was in the theater, so it was strange watching it again. I recall enjoying it more when I was younger. Watching it now, it isn't bad...it's just not that good. Perhaps most surprising to me is that it somehow managed to be...boring?

First, I've gotta give them credit for actually doing a decent job of introducing around a dozen characters in about as many minutes. But then, I was already familiar with all the characters, so I'm not sure how lost someone who's never played the games would be. Regardless, the director wasted no time jumping right in.

But after that, most of the movie ends up being people standing around delivering monogues, broken up with occasional action sequence. And the action sequences are so poorly edited that they end up about as comprehensible as a Christopher Nolan Batman action sequence (don't get me wrong – I love Christopher Nolan movies, but his action scenes are a mess). The action sequences are filled with all sorts of stuff happening...but the action never seems to build anything. There is no rising action, or rising tension; it just remains constant until the action suddenly ends and they go back to another monologue.

The worst monologue is Chun Li's, who goes on for ten minutes (or at least it feels like ten minutes), delivering a dull speech that functions mainly as the set-up for Bison to deliver a punchline that happens to be the one great line of dialogue in the film:

"For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me... it was Tuesday."

Thing is, we're supposed to be rooting for Chun Li during this speech, but the director breaks the #1 rule of film: "show, don't tell." Instead of cutting away to a flashback of the memory Chun Li is describing, we just watch her walking around the room the entire time while she monologues. As a result, every time it cuts away to Bison's bored expression, we share that bored expression. We're not supposed to be relating with Bison.

The only real highlight of the movie is Raul Julia going full out cartoon villain in his performance as Bison. Van Damme's Guile is also entertaining, but entirely in an unintentionally humorous way, as a result of his awkward delivery of almost every line. The best is when it's time for him to deliver his own monologue, in the form of an inspirational speech to his soldiers. But the speech is so weak and poorly written, I could only tell it was meant to be rousing and inspirational because they were playing the "inspirational speech" music while cutting away to reaction shots of the soldiers.

Street Fighter was both the first and last theatrical film directed by Steven E. de Souza. Afterwards he went back to writing screenplays for movies like Beverly Hills Cop III and Judge Dredd.

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