Sunday, March 15, 2009

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Kristin Kreuk is really pretty and she plays Chun-Li. She plays the daughter of a prominent Chinese businessmen. He is kidnapped by a criminal element hiding behind an international corporation. This sinister group is sort of like Cobra in the GI Joe story line. Neal McDonough from The Minority Report and Flags of Our Fathers is at the helm of this evil organization. His name in the movie is Bison. This organization is known as Shadowland and they do not believe in justice nor the righteous. This story line is based on a video game so one is not expecting an Oscar consideration.

This movie begins in San Francisco, then moves to Hong Kong, and then transcends to Bangkok. Most of this movie occurs in Thailand. Apparently, Hollywood likes it there. Nicolas Cage's latest movie, which was horrendous, takes place there.

Michael Clarke Duncan plays a villian again. He is not unfamiliar with this role. He was the Kingpin the dud Daredevil movie. It was not a dud because of him though, Ben Affleck destroyed
that movie. A gay Daredevil just does not excite movie goers.

The backdrop is Kreuk is searching for her father. She finds a map in her home or some sort of ancient written artifact which is some sort of manuscript. This takes her to Bangkok where she lives in the slums and is taken in by the local people. She narrates these scenes. But it is not logical. She is flat out gorgeous and someone that looks like her would not starve or sleep outside in almost any society. Perhaps in North Korea or under the backwards and anti progress groups like the Taliban. She Kreuk fights for the weak, in contrast to Shadowland who exploits them. Shadowland also buys off susceptible politicians including the commerce department so they can smuggle in and out shipments that are illegal.

Her father is killed by Shadowland right in front of her. In fact, it is Bison. But Kreuk recovers from this setback, escapes from her seemingly unescapable situation, and obtains her revenge.

The sexy Moon Bloodgood is in this movie and she plays Det. Maya Sunee. Bloodgood is mixed ancestry and will also be in the blockbuster movie Terminator 4, Salvation. It is too bad she used to be associated with the Las Angeles Laker's. She was a cheerleader. She was also in the Paul Walker movie Eight Below. She was covered up in the movie, she is appears to have grown 2 inches in this Street Fighter film.

Shadow land is in the real estate business. They want to create mayhem, drive good people out, decrease the land prices in Bangkok and then buy it wholesale under a fictitious name. Sounds like a good plan for the immoral and greedy.

This is a martial arts movie. This movie is not original. It has been done before many times. This movie is designed for Asian youths, video game players, and males. The movie does have a select audience, it was not a terrible movie, but there is nothing unique or special about it. The movie is not memorable. A couple cool characters and it is not boring. But watching someone train for a special fight or conquest is just not impressive any more. Kreuk is beautiful but watching her train and the later in the movie saving her master from potential doom is typical. This script is another regurgitation with some new faces. Neal McDonough fighting like he is Jet Li is almost as farfetched, improbable, and dubious as Spiderman.

This movie is not completely unoriginal though. Kreuk is a self taught street fighter but is given special and powerful guidance from a hidden master towards the end of the movie.

Chris Klein from the American Pie movies makes his reappearance into the starlight here. He is a detective in Bangkok, how or why is not explained? I am sure he knows Tai. I have not seen him since Mel Gibson's excellent Vietnam war epic We Were Soldiers.

Western audiences have been inundated with Asian fighting arts, it is just not worth spending any money on to see. New faces and some modern music does not mean squat. This movie is just a little more believable than Mortal Combat.

The cat fight in the woman's club bathroom is just so fake. "The school has grown up," this is Kreuk and that was pretty much her line. Atleast they have some cook hip hop music because the jumping and flipping is just pure fantasy. One of the woman is hanging onto a faucet pipe for dear life. Why? She can fight and her enemy is not going to eat her, she has the same build and just wants to punch her a few times. She acts like she is pulled into a black hole knowing she would never return.

I am still not sure why the Bangkok police force is American and speaks English. Atleast Bloodgood knows Tai. Bloodgood tries to find out who Kreuk is since Kreuk beats down one of Shadowland's strongest female assailants. The local citizens support Kreuk, they see this person fighting for them against the forces of evil.

This movie has a happy ending, they sort of hint at something looming in Japan at the end, a possible sequel? The music flows with the events on screen, the cinematography is half way decent. For reasons I have already discussed, I would not ever sit through this movie again. But it is still much better than Cage's Wicker Man.

I allocate this movie one star.*

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