Street Fighter (1994): Breakdown by Rantbo
An eccentric douche, in a red leather jumpsuit and cape, tries to take over the world. Is foiled by a French guy disguised as an American guy and a rag-tag team of goofy looking gay buttholes. Of course!
I don’t understand why so many people hate this movie. I’ll agree, it’s pretty bad, but not nearly enough to warrant the amount of negative bile spewed when it’s brought up in conversation. It’s a movie, based on a game, that so far as I can tell, has no storyline outside of FIGHT! And in my opinion, this movie is on-par stupid with the game. Street Fighter 2 has a ludicrous premise, silly-ass characters, a shitty (non-existent) story and over-the-top nonsensical fighting–just like the movie! So what’s there to complain about? And personally, I’d much rather watch the movie than play the game, because in the movie you get to watch Van Damme tussle with Gomez Adams.
As far as shitty videogame adaptations go, this one is one of the least shittiest. While it’s not quite as not-shitty as DOA, SILENT HILL or LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER, it’s still less-shitty than MORTAL KOMBAT 2, all 3 RESIDENT EVIL‘s, DOUBLE DRAGON, SUPER MARIO BROS., WING COMMANDER, LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER 2 (also written by de Souza), MAX PAYNE, HITMAN and everything Uwe Boll’s done. And I’d say it’s on the shittiness par with the original MORTAL KOMBAT and DOOM. But I rarely hear people making fun of those movies (Uwe Boll withstanding).
STREET FIGHTER is an action comedy targeted at teenagers and kids from the early 90s that frequented arcades and were fans of Van Dammage. If you don’t fit into that crowd, you probably won’t get too much enjoyment out of this one. I, however, find it thoroughly entertaining. There’s a couple fun action scenes, a few funny jokes, a bunch of laughably bad ones: Raúl Juliá flying around in a leather-daddy cape with Mario’s power boots, the incredible Hulk’s little brother and pop-sensation Kylie Minogue blowing shit up with a rocket-launcher. How can you not get some enjoyment out of that?
[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]
“He was a brave man, a true warrior.”
Jean-Claude Van Damme is Colonel William F. Guile, The Repo Man
-Single-handedly drives an army tank, with twin warheads attached, into a warehouse and through shear badass intimidation alone, convinces a couple hundred people to turn themselves in for arrest without conflict.
-When outnumbered 20 to 1, against a squad of machine-gun wielding automatons, not only does Van Damme not give up, he pulls out a knife.
-Sports an Old Glory tattoo on his bicep
-Able to pole vault without a pole and could easily win gold in the Olympic long jump event, as he is able to pull off a 20 yard long, 15 foot vertical, jump kick.
JCVD: [Solemn] Troopers, I just received new orders. Our superiors say the war is canceled. We can all go home. (Raúl Juliá) is getting paid off for his crimes, and our friends who ave died here will have died for nothing. But, we can all go home. Meanwhile, ideals like peace, freedom, and justice, they get packed up. But, we can all go home. [Angry] Well, I’m not going home. I’m gonna get on my boat, and I’m going upriver, and I’m going to kick that son of a bitch Bison’s ass so HARD that the next Bison wannabe is gonna feel it! Now, who wants to go home–and who wants to go with ME!? [Troopers Cheer]
[THE BODY COUNT: A VERY SURPRISING 32]
32 deaths in a PG-13 Street Fighter movie!? Oh, wait–this was directed by the writer of COMMANDO, DIE HARD and 48HRS. The world makes sense again. Van Damme caps an impressive (again, for the movie) 11 kills and even more impressive is his sidekick Kylie with 4. Pretty good for a skinny little midget. And backing them up was Team U.S.A. with 15 commie(?) corpses. The remaining 2 stiffs belong to Raúl Juliá, which I’ll discuss in the next section.
[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKINGS & DEATHS]
It’s a two-fer one this time. Shortly after the opening credits, Raúl Juliá proves his badassitude by allowing a couple of his captured American soldiers to try and kick his ass.
“You came from across the world to fight me, soldier. Now’s your chance. [Swing–miss–neck-snapped] Pathetic.” [Next in line steps up] “Yes! Your turn now! [Lunge–miss–neck-snapped]”
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
Almost all the male characters are paired off in this film.
Ryu and Ken: clearly together, these two bicker like an old pre-prop 8 couple.
Balrog and E. Honda: there is a scene in which this pair are trapped in a torture chamber and the following conversation takes place…
Balrog (who’s chained to a wall): “Honda, gimme your hand!”
Honda (who’s tied to a torture rack): “We’ve only been in jail two hours. Maybe next month.”
Balrog: “Gimme your hand, fool!”
Dhalsim and Blanka: Since Van Damme is too shallow to accept Blanka’s new look (until later, after realizing he still loves him) Dhalsim steps up to un-break Blanka’s heart.
Sagat and Vega: Just look at these two and try dispute me?
Dee Jay and Zangief: A clear cut case of Cub and Bear.
I believe the pairing up of the male characters, was to suggest to the audience that the matched up men are sexual partners, as there is too little time to delve into their relationships with such a large ensemble cast.
And then there is Van Damme.
“He doesn’t like women does he?”
Van Damme wages a war, for the sole reason (at least for himself) of getting revenge on Raúl Juliá for kidnapping his buttbuddy, Chuck Blanka. I think it’s clear that Raúl never watched KICKBOXER, as he would have learned: You just don’t fuck with Van Damme’s lovers.
JCVD: “Dis is deh collection agency (Raúl Juliá), your ass is 6 months overdue–and it’s mine!”
Van Damme eventually does end up coming to the rescue of his lost love, but after seeing how warped Raúl Juliá’s chemicals have made Chuck look, he feels he has no other choice but to kill him and end his misery as he is no longer as sexually appealing as Van Damme. It’s here that Dhalsim takes a stand for fugly men everywhere and jumps on the grenade that is Blanka’s disfigured body. I guess Van Damme will just have to choose a new partner from the line-up of good looking single men at the end of the film. As if he wouldn’t have anyways.
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
A military staff meeting, on how best to locate and disarm Raúl Juliá, is interrupted with an assassination attempt by a waiter. Brandishing a knife, the killer runs across the table to strike at Van Damme, but has his feet kicked out from underneath him and before he can even try standing back up, is struck in the throat with a judo-chop and thrown to the floor like a discarded candy wrapper.
JCVD: “Any other, new business?”
And though that above line is pretty funny, I still like the following more.
[Upon finding out the Van Damme has “died”]
Dee Jay: “Dat’s great news General, congratulations!”
Raúl Juliá: “On the contrary, I mourn.”
Dee Jay: “OhK.”
Raúl Juliá: “I was hoping to face (Van Damme), personally on the battlefield. One gentleman warrior, to another. In respectful combat–Then I would snap his spine. Argh, the road not taken…”
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
I miss Raúl Juliá. Vaya Con Dios.
[THE VAN DAMMAGE: 3 outta 5]
[ ] An Entire Fight, Sans Shirt
[X] Close-Up Screaming
[ ] Dancing
[X] Jump-Kicks A Guy, Through Something
[X] Special Move Involving Either The Splits or A Spinning Round-House Kick
[THE CHECKLIST: 17 outta 25]
[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor” [JCVD]
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[ ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[ ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[ ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[ ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[ ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[ ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel [Sort Of…]
[ ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice
Chun Li: My father saved his village at the cost of his own life. You had him shot as you ran away. A hero at a thousand paces!
Raúl Juliá: I’m sorry–I don’t remember any of it.
Chun Li: You don’t remember?
Raúl Juliá: For you, the day [Raúl Juliá] graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me–it was Tuesday.