Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009) - Unleashed and Unrated

Genre(s): Action / Martial Arts / Thriller
Fox || Unrated - 97 minutes - $29.98 || June 30, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-06-30


Buy this DVD from Amazon.com!
.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Writer(s): Justin Marks (adaptation)
Cast: Kristin Kreuk, Chris Klein, Neal McDonough, Robin Shou, Moon Bloodgood


Theatrical Release Date: February 27, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 5 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Production Gallery
  • Animated Feature


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Surround 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!


.::THE FILM::.

Iíll be put this bluntly: video game adaptations normally suck. I can cite (House of the Dead), after cite (BloodRayne), after cite (Street Fighter) until my arms grow tired from typing all the crap that has been put on the big screen. The movies normally flop and donít attribute much to the movie industry or the fans of the games they were meant to mimic. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li was a box-office disaster, but in all reality itís actually a pretty kick-arse movie that I found to be entertaining.

Chun-Li (Inez Yan) as a child is under the care of her father until one day when Bison (Neal McDonough) shows up along with his bodyguard Balrog (Michael Clarke Duncan) to kidnap the father. She is told to go upstairs, and never sees her father again. Flash forward to many, mnay, many years later. Nah just kidding, itís like twentyish. Chun-Li (Kristin Kreuk) is now a dancer or a piano player or something like that, and one day after a show she receives an odd care package with a scroll in it. She doesnít know exactly what it means, but on the way home from her show she spots a man getting beat up by thugs. She helps Gen (Robin Shou) up to his feet and notices a strange web on his hand, but he runs away before she can ask more questions.

She decides to go back to her hometown, as her mother just passed away, to find out more about the scroll that was mailed to her. She tries questioning the locals in Japan about the scroll but they tell her to find a man called Gen. Instead of telling her to find him, they simply say that he will find her. So he does after a few days of her living on the street and helping beat the crap out of thugs in the area. Gen decides to train her in the art of fighting, mainly the kicks that she uses in the video game, to help stop the enemy known as Bison from taking over the world with his crime syndicate.

Oh, thereís also a cop who enters Japan named Charlie Nash (Chris Klein) who wants to stop Bison and his thugs, since a bunch of other crime lords were just found dead in a cargo container. They were killed by one of Bisonís henchmen, Vega (Taboo), and itís a message from Bison saying that he now controls the entire area of Japan. He befriends Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood) and the two set out to stop Bison once and for all, and also maybe get a little help from Chun-Li in the process.

While normally I loathe video game flicks, this is one is better than the past thirty or so Iíve seen recently. The action sequences are pretty well done, as Kreuk and Duncan are great fighters in the scenes they are in. The finale between Chun-Li and Bison is also put together great, as I was on the edge of my seat wondering who would win. Yeah, I know, itís obvious who would win, but come on, I suspended some disbelief and intelligence for this one, so be nice. The acting is also (dare I say it) done to an extent of where I actually believed the cast were the characters.

The problem lies with how short the film is, and also how there was a scene that could have been violent and bloody that was cut. In the start Vega is sent to kill a bunch of the crime lords. Instead of showing the scene, you just hear the screams in the distance. How lame is that? We want to see this stuff! Even in the unrated cut, which is only a mere minute longer, we get to see nothing that was different in the original version that I could tell. I think a scene or two was longer, but nothing I would say that makes the two versions different in viewing in a big way.

That being said, there are two versions available. The unrated cut is only a minute longer and I noticed nothing different in all honesty between the two. A scene may have been longer here and there, but other than that, either version is appropriate. This isnít a bad movie itís just one that has a ton of action and a ridiculous storyline that you need to suspend any sort of intelligence to see. But thatís my type of movie!



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary by Patrick Aiello, Ashok Amritraj, Chris Klein, Neal McDonough: This is a phenomenal commentary, as the cast and crew join forces to talk about the movie. They point out how the film was influenced by the game and how important the game was to the kids of yester year. They also point out why Balrogís character doesnít wear boxing gloves as he does in the game, and also crack jokes and praise their cast mates. Itís a shame though that Duncan or other cast members arenít available on this track, but none the less, this is a commentary that deserves a listening to. **Unrated Cut only**

Deleted Scenes (15 minutes): Available here are a ton of scenes that are either extended or werenít in the movie at all for your viewing pleasure. As I said, there are a lot to see here, but the downside is that they are pretty poor quality which hurts to see. They donít add that much to the story, and there isnít much action involved with them, but if you enjoyed the movie then youíll probably like watching these too.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Sneak Peak (1 minute): The long-awaited game is hitting the PSN and Xbox Live marketplace at the end of June, and this provides you a look at the game. I personally canít wait...

Becoming a Street Fighter (17 minutes): The cast and crew talk about the influences from the game and how they trained for their action sequences. The Vega scene is fairly entertaining, and the cast is quite insightful in their roles and talking about them. This, like the rest of the special features, is well-worth a look.

Chun-Li: Bringing the Legend to Life (10 minutes): This is dedicated to the background of Chun-Li and Kreuk. The cast and crew talk about how the character differs from the video game, and also about how the character develops strongly as the movie progresses.

Fox Movie Channel Presents Making a Scene (9 minutes): The scenes where Chun-Li awakens and kicks the crap out of three guys harassing another poor guy is shown how it was made and the training that went into it.

Arcade to Film Comparisons: Presented here are various screenshots from the video game characters to the filmís versions of them.

Storyboard Gallery and Behind the Fight Production Gallery: Both are exactly what they sounds like, and not that entertaining.

Disc 2:
Animated Film (4:23): Nothing really too special here, and unless you just have to watch this short flick then Iíd recommend passing on it. Even as a fan of the Street Fighter video game series and the films, itís not worth it.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

I had high hopes for this release, and my hopes were met but not to the extent I wanted. Color levels are great, as there werenít any issues with flesh tones not looking accurate or anything along that scope. The problem I have is with the contrast of the film, as a few of the scenes I could barely make out what was happening. When this occurred it pained me to squint to see what was going on in the movie, which was a shame. Grain was also apparent in multiple scenes, specifically the dark ones. This is actually a great transfer, but not even close to demo material due to the contrast and grain issues.

The Dolby Surround 5.1 track is loud and engaging, but not to the point of where I would consider it demo material. The action sequences sound phenomenal, as surround use is used properly and fairly well-done. I didnít struggle to hear the kicks and punches that were being thrown, or the gunshots that went off. I was pleasantly surprised at that part, but the part I was dumbfounded with was the low dialogue that plagued the movie throughout most of it. I struggled to hear some of the characters lines and at times had to rewind a few scenes just to hear what was going on. Never the less, this is a great track for the action sequences, just not so much for the dialogue.



.::OVERALL::.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li isnít going to win any awards for its action scenes nor for its acting, but itís a great Friday night rental for the upcoming hot nights. The audio is great, and the special features package is huge. Iíd suggest nothing more than a rental though, as you might not enjoy it as much as I did. This is one fight to partake in.