Street Fighter (1994)

Rating: *
Fight Choreography: Benny Urquidez
Cast: Jean Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming Na-Wen, Kylie Minogue, Byron Mann, Wes Studi

An extremely poor adaptation of the popular Japanese video game "Street Fighter II." The biggest problems are that the character histories and personalities are all messed up and that the only martial artist in the entire cast is Jean Claude Van Damme who plays Guile. (Ken and Ryu are con-men, Chun Li is a TV reporter, Honda and Balrog are Chun Li's assistants, Bison is a lunatic, DeeJay is a computer specialist, Dhalsim is a medical scientist, Blanka is Guile's army buddy, Bison and Sagat are enemies, and Guile, Cammy, Fei Long, and T-Hawk are all American military personnel.) And it figures that an American film would make Guile the central character when it's well established that the entire Street Fighter mythos revolves around the struggles of Ken and Ryu. And there's not even a lot of fighting in this movie about a group of tournament street fighters, and what little there is is done rather poorly. In fact, the final showdown features several members of the Street Fighter cast attacking Bison's stronghold with a stealth boat and machine guns! The only real highlights are seeing a brief and spirited exchange between Chun Li (Ming Na-Wen) and Bison (Raul Julia in his final role), and seeing Kylie Minogue with a pistol (the only one in the group to sport spandex fatigues). A word to the filmmakers - when making a film about well-loved and well-established characters, don't re-invent them as something else. Additionally, a movie about fighters and a fighting tournament should focus on the fighting, not anything else (especially if it has "Street Fighter" as the title).

Notes on the special edition: There are a couple of great deleted scenes that focus around Chun Li obtaining a couple of crates of dynamite and having a nice little cat fight with Cammy. These really should have been left in, because they're actually quite good.