Movie review: “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li”

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009) “is the second live-action film based on the Street Fighter series of video games” (Wikipedia). It describes the personal history and quest for justice of Chun-Li (played by Kristin Kreuk).

At the beginning of the movie, Chun-Li is still a young girl; she moves from San Francisco to Hong Kong with her family. Longing to be a concert pianist, she learns how to play the piano, and also learns the Chinese martial art of Wushu from her father Xiang (Edmund Chen), a well-connected businessman. One night, they are attacked in their home by a bad man, M. Bison (Neal McDonough) and a posse of his bullies, and Xiang is kidnapped. It later emerges that Bison is keeping him hostage to work for him, occasionally showing him photographs or video clips of his daughter.

Chun-Li does indeed grow up to become a concert pianist; one evening, after a concert, she is given a strange-looking scroll written in Ancient Chinese (which she cannot read). On her way home, sees a homeless man who is being beaten up by a group of thugs, and rushes to his aid. She sees that he has a spiderweb tattooed on his right hand. Shortly after this encounter, her mother dies from cancer.

Chun-Li takes the scroll to an old Chinese woman, who shows her an image of the same spiderweb tattoo and tells her that she must find a man by the name of Gen in Bangkok. Chun-Li thus leaves home and begins searching for Gen (Robin Shou) in Bangkok. They meet, eventually, and he begins to train her in some advanced martial arts, which he knows she will need in order to free her father and to defeat Bison.

In another line of the story, two detectives – Charlie Nash (played by Chris Klein) and Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood) – are investigating the vicious murder of several heads of criminal syndicate families in Bangkok. It appears that Bison has an evil plan to take over a vast area of the city and to rebuild it. (A full synopsis can be read here.)

Perhaps because we didn’t have high expectations, we really enjoyed watching this. The martial arts action sequences were brilliant, Kristin Kreuk as the astoundingly agile Chun-Li is a seriously hot-looking chick, and good-looking Neal McDonough with his bleached hair makes a terrifying M. Bison, the very-very bad man whom Chun-Li ultimately has to defeat.

4 thoughts on “Movie review: “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li”

  1. You must have had very, VERY low expectations. It was entertaining in a made-for-TV kind of way. Kreuk is easy on the eyes, but that does not make her Chun Li.

    BTW, we did not think mild looking McDonough was the freak Bison is supposed to be. The promise of this movie was not equaled by the result sadly.

    Here is our take on it with lots of pics and a few bits if wit if you are interested:

    http://fortresstakes.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/street-fighter-the-legend-of-chun-li-2009/

    • Hey Fortress Guy – thanks for the link – I *really* like your review, it’s very funny!

      I agree – I had *VERY* low expectations. Apart from that, neither of us had ever heard of the ‘Street Fighter’ franchise before, and hadn’t seen the 1994 Street Fighter: The Movie with Jean-Claude van Damme. We had no idea who the characters were or what the general storyline was supposed to be, and thus couldn’t make any comparison with the originals.

      I too thought that Robin Shou was probably the most convincing of the characters, whereas the two cops were two-dimensional and stereotypical.

I'd love to hear your views

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s