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

street fighter the legend of chun-li poster 2009 movie
1.5 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10

Almost so-bad-it-is-good

Pretty much everything

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Street Fighter:  The Legend of Chun-Li

Studio:  Capcom

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Martial Arts

Release Date(s):  February 27, 2009

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

street fighter the legend of chun li kristin kreuk neal mcdonough m bison

Wait…why do you have an Irish accent?

Chun-Li (Kirstin Kreuk) is seeking vengeance and her father who was kidnapped by M. Bison (Neal McDonough).  Not only much Chun-Li find her father, she must learn to channel her anger into her fighting, and a mysterious man named Gen (Robin Shou) could be the key.  Investigators Charlie Nash (Chris Klein) and Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood) have been assigned to find out what Bison is planning.  Bison has a plan for Bangkok, and Chun-Li could be the only things standing in his way.

Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak, Street Fighter:  The Legend of Chun-Li is a martial arts action adventure based on the hit video game series Street Fighter.  The film was released to negative reviews and made many “worst of” lists for 2009.

street fighter the legend of chun-li dance cantana kristin kreuk josie ho

The most un-sexy, sex dance….

Street Fighter:  The Legend of Chun-Li is a legend…it is legendarily bad.  The film often makes the worst movies of all time lists and takes bad video game movies to the next level.  I saw Street Fighter in the theater.  It was bad, but it at least had the star-power of Jean-Claude Van Damme.  Here you get Lana Lang as Chun-Li…and it shows.

For only an hour and a half, the movie drags.  You have the extremely dull subplot of Charlie Nash and Maya Sunee as investigators combined with a classic rescue/revenge story.  I kept expecting a twist (like maybe Chun-Li was actually M. Bison’s good side or something), but the movie is a basic action plot…and a dull one at that.

street fighter the legend of chun li spinning bird kick kristin kreuk

Spinning bird kick in real life…is lame

It isn’t aided by the actors.  While some of their acting can be blamed on the script (they have all done better things), they don’t help the cause.  You have the incredibly blasé performance by Kreuk who just does “angry stare” through most of the movie (and monotone voice over which really does feel like a video game).  Chris Klein couldn’t act his way out of a bag here and doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing, and Maya Sunee isn’t very helpful for him.  Robin Shou isn’t bad as the generic mentor and I like Taboo as Vega though his part is weak.  Michael Clarke Duncan is a good Balrog (but like the other characters he doesn’t do much).  Neal McDonough is a question mark as M. Bison since his character is Irish and despite being orphaned as an infant and raised on the streets of Thailand has an Irish accent…guess it is hereditary (sarcasm).

street fighter the legend of chun li fireball kikoken kristin dreuk

Please…Finish it!

The visuals are weak like the script.  The fighting is anemic and lifeless.  It is always fun when video game movies feel they have to put the video game moves in the picture.  You have the Kikoken as Chun-Li’s finishing move but the spinning bird kick shows the ridiculous nature of the film instead of its power.

Street Fighter:  The Legend of Chun-Li is a bad movie with a clunky title.  It is close to being “so-bad-it-is-good”, but in general is just bad.  With Street Fighter, the movie went all-out video game and at least it had a vision.  Street Fighter:  The Legend of Chun-Li has no focus even if its lead character does.

Related Links:

Super Street Fighter IV

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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