Studios: Capcom, Legend Films, Adlabs Films, Hyde Park Entertainment
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Suggested Age Range/Target Audience: Pg-13 +Unrated material. I would go age 14+ largely for the violence.
Target Audience: I think they were trying to go for crime drama and video game fans.
Kristin Kreuk, famed for being in Smallvill, plays Chun-Li, a Wushu and piano prodigy who is trying to find her kidnapped father, stolen from her by bison when she was only a little girl. With the help of the martial arts master Gen, played by Robin Shou, she sets out to save her father, and right the wrongs in the world
For the most part, this is an interesting case of it had so much potential. It's not completely bad, but it falls so short of the goal it's sickening. Again, it's not as horrible as people say it is, but it agains could have been so much more.
The plot tends to be water thin, that has a lot of potential, but it feels more like a cop drama for the most part, and less like the Street fighter Games. In-fact, outside of a handful of scenes, there are very few iconic game movies, and only a couple that involve throwing fire balls. I understand the need to add story to a game based upon a fighting game as they tend to not be the most story driven games available, and apparently as far as the DVD extras are concerned, they tried to add in facets of the game into the film, but it it's not quite there.
This leaves little to no orrigionalaety and clichés are abound as they try to go between original material and staying true to the game and neither gets translated very well onto film, at least this time around.
However the fight scenes are amazing. If there is anything cool about this films, it's definitely THIS!!!
As for acting and characters, it's a mix bag. The characters feel more like tropes, and very few get a chance to stand out, and unlike the Street Fighter movie with Raúl Juliá, none of the characters realy look like their game counterparts (something they at least got right in the Mortal Kombat movies and the First Street Fighter film). This is the first thing you have to get past, and once you do that the acting is actually really good.
Neal McDough plays a wonderful M. Bison, playing him as this bloodthirsty crime lord, and he has some of the best lines in the film. While he's not like the M. Bison from the game, he definitely plays the role of the big bad and end boss pretty well. Seriously, he plays the sophisticated evil character very well, and can hold his own in a fight.
Michal Clark Duncan is another surprising role as Balrog. He is bigger than the character he is based off of and has much greater depth than the Mike Tyson expy. Playing M. Bision's second in combat, and is this juggernaut in battle.
Kristin Kreuk is a good actress, and her abilities in gynastcs are brought out to the forefront in this role. She does a good job, but her main problem is she doesn't look like the character, and she can't pull off Chun-Li's trademark ox horns (put your hair in pig tailes, then put them in cloth buns, you know she looks in the games).
Robin Shou is another one. He is another great actor, and defiantly still has his chops for but kicking from when he played Leu Kang in the Mortal Kombat films, however this is again a case of doesn't look like the character, though he is still a good actor, a great portrayal none the less.
However, I wasn't too impressed with the look of Vega. Yes the one fight scene he's in has all the over the top fun you'd expect from a kung fu-film.
So how close to the source material is this? Not very. Out of a scale of 1-10, 1 being got to be kidding me, and 10 being dead on, I'm giving this a 3. It just doesn't feel like it was based upon the Street Fighter Games, despite the choreography.
My Final Score is 69/100. It's not the worst film you will ever see, nor is it the worst game adaption out there, but it's in a long list of nice tried but no prize.