With the new Street Fighter game hitting shelves (and very good it is too) and a new shiny ‘reboot’ of the movie hitting cinemas intoo, now is the ideal time to dust off and give the Blu-ray treatment to the much maligned mid-90s shambles that is the first US cinematic outing of Street Fighter.
Unlike its ‘beat-em-up to film’ cousin, Mortal Kombat, which, quite frankly, ripped off and copied Enter The Dragon and played it safe, Street Fighter decided that all it needed to do was show the stars of the game and that there is no actual need to have them, say, actually street fight.
When, of course, they do fight, hilarity ensues. Whether its Balrog Vs Honda in a slap-fest that would make the choreographers of World Of Sport blush or pretty boy Vega not actually using his foot-long blades in any way, the list of non-starting scraps is endless. Just because we can see Chun-Li on celluloid just isn’t enough…make her do something.
For those fans who were looking to see a Hadoken or two with Ryu and Ken, this is the wrong place to look; we all know that this movie was just a thinly disguised Van Damme vehicle (back when he was famous) and whether it was the movie studio or the director who thought it would be a great idea to do away with any actual fighting, instead concentrating on having cameos of all your favourite Street Fighters in roles that, at times, are laughable, they should hang their heads in shame.
So, if you really want to see Eddie Honda as a news cameraman, or Dhalsim as a speccy scientist without a fireball or bendy body part in sight, or Blanka looking a bit like I did last Halloween, then this is the movie for you; if not, Street Fighter fans, you are going to be very disappointed.
Added to this, and I am sorry if I seem to be moaning but really there are so few redeemable things to this movie that’s its tricky to say anything nice, we have the great Raul Julia, whose mere presence in both Addams Family movies makes him a movie icon and, dare I say it, ‘man-crush’ material. He’s so wasted in this flick being forced to dress up in sub Power Rangers gear to gurn his way through the hour and a half of tedious pap. That it was his last film is even more tragic.
And really all this underwhelming action is a surprise, as the writer/director of the film was none other than Steven E de Souza, the writer of such films as The Running Man and Die Hard that are rammed to the rafters with any number of kick-ass moments. Luckily, as penance for producing such a pile of cinematic doggy-doo, he now resides in Hollywood hell, making a living directing low budget movies and hacking up Lara Croft’s latest big screen outing.
So, will the review be a complete negative and will the extras save it? Well, sadly not as all we get is a trailer, a few minor deleted scenes and, most exciting, a preview/trailer for the new Street Fighter game and accompanying anime. Did I mention the word ‘cash-in’?
Visually the film is fine, with the transfer and upscale across (for once again, this is all it is) to 1080 is fine too, but when you think about the subject matter you can really understand why nothing more was done to it; why go back and restore the original negatives when the movie on those negatives is so very, very poor?
Even with the addition of Kylie, the movie does the franchise absolutely no favours and for the price of a Blu-ray disc you are better off saving your money and investing in the game. Or if you already have that, then check out instead the far superior Street Fighter anime movie from the late 90s.