Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li

Release Date: February 27, 2009

Kristin Kreuk discovers she doesn't get to shower again today.

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Position Staff In Brief
163/169 Max Braden Chris Klein's slow drawl makes for a lousy cop, and Neal McDonough's character went overboard on being a brutal villain. But Robin Shou's moves were pretty good.

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There was a time in the early 1990s when Nintendo ruled the videogame world and their most popular third party title was Street Fighter II. Almost two decades later, we have come full circle as Nintendo has reclaimed their throne as the videogame console of choice. Joining them in reliving past glory is Capcom, whose latest title in the franchise, Street Fighter IV has received glowing reviews for recapturing the lost glory of the franchise.

Continuing the theme of reliving successes from the 1990s comes Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. In 1994, useless Belgian muscle-head Jean-Claude Van Damme was still his enjoying his short-lived success as a minor box office draw and huge seller on home video. Taking on the character of Guile (sonic boom!), Van Damme carried the first movie version of Street Fighter to $33.4 million against a budget of $35 million. While that may sound like a money loser, the film became a staple of late night premium channels after a lucrative run on home video. Simply having Street Fighter in the title made the movie appealing to a lot of people, even if it was a train wreck. The 1994 release currently has a rating of 3.2 out of 10 on IMDB, squarely placing it in the bottom 5% of all movies ever made. So, the idea would be to make a movie that capitalizes on the good name of Street Fighter while making a film that isn’t, you know, a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie.

Enter Kristin Kreuk.

Yes, the above statement makes sense to some casting agent. The actress best known for being unable to figure out that Clark Kent is in fact Superman has been cast in the role made unfamous by Ming-Na in the 1994 version. This time, Street Fighter will focus on the Chun Li character from her unfortunate childhood to the day that she finally catches up to the monster who destroyed her life, M. Bison. Since Raul Julia is unfortunately no longer with us, he has been replaced by a personal favorite of mine, Neal McDonough. Counteracting his positive is the presence of Chris Klein as her presumed love interest, Charlie Nash. Fans of the videogame series will be amused by this since Nash is this strange dink of a character who has yet to master the technology that allows for the buttoning of shirts. Other members of the cast include the Mortal Kombat movie franchise’s Robin Shou as Gen, Daybreak’s Moon Bloodgood as Maya Sunee, Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog and Taboo of the Black-Eyed Peas as Vega.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li is a concept whose success will hinge upon whether fans maintain interest in a franchise that had peaked by 1994. Will the renewed excitement from Street Fighter IV be enough to reinvigorate the movie franchise as well? It all depends on how much people are excited by the prospects of Kristin Kreuk. Color me skeptical. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li
Main Cast Kristin Kreuk, Michael Clarke Duncan, Neal McDonough
Supporting Cast Taboo, Chris Klein, Moon Bloodgood, Edmund Chen, Josie Ho, Robin Shou
Director Andrzej Bartkowiak
Screenwriter Justin Marks
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Official Site
Screen Count 1,136
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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