So, here we are again, delving into the hot mess of gaming movies. The good thing is that as we progress through the years, it’s getting better. Only slightly better, but better nonetheless.
Street Fighter probably sits proudly alongside Super Mario Bros as one of the most awful movies ever made.
It’s an accurate perception in many ways and even though there are some half decent moments, it’s still a bit of a bomb. Largely, this is down to the effects and the decision making that went into making it.
Firstly, the casting was just terrible. The whole budget went on Jean-Claude Van Damme and Raúl Juliá and boy does it show. As far as I’m concerned, when people think of Street Fighter, they think of Ryu and Ken but they were a massive let down. Not only with the casting, but with the story arc they were given too.
I mean look at Ryu below. He’s an absolute monster. What we get in the movie is a skinny martial artist that almost surprises you when he actually takes someone down.
As for his character, Ryu is meant to be a proud Japanese warrior, not a Robin Hood style chancer. You see some of that come through in the end but it’s far too late and it’s hard to erase the memory of his miss-management throughout the movie.
The other aspect that was almost completely ignored is the parting of Ryu and Ken. From the games, we know that they were former pupils at the same dojo and firm friends before they fell out and their rivalry was created. Whilst there’s one scene that kind of starts this, they quickly reunite and the little bicker is forgotten.
I almost want to forget that Ryu and Ken were in the movie at all to be honest.
As for the movie as a whole, Steven E. de Souza said he wanted Street Fighter to be a mix between a war movie, Star Wars and James Bond. You can kind of see where he’s coming from but the result means it has no real identity of its own. It’s a ridiculous predicament to have put itself into too. Instead of keeping things simple, it tries way too hard to tick too many boxes and because of that, it fails miserably.
I mentioned effects earlier and there’s one particular character that I’m referring to. Blanka is one of those gaming entities that no-one really understands but he has a little bit of magic about him and has become a bit of a cult character. After watching the movie though, I just wanted him to be put out of his misery. Not because I felt sorry for his plight but because he looked worse than Lou Ferrigno in the 1978 Incredible Hulk TV series. So thanks, de Souza, there’s another character almost ruined.
The final nail in the already buried coffin is the Emperor Palpatine style lightning hands at the end. I mean, come on. It’s already dead. You don’t need to kick it in the head.
I was all set to give Street Fighter 2 stars out of 5 but after writing this, I can’t bring myself to do it.
1* - Ryu doing this to me? Just make it stop!