What the hell was this?! I put this film on while I was building a new Lego piece I’d been bought as I thought it would be a nice injection of nostalgia in to the background – after all it’s a film based on what is in my opinion the best of the retro fighting games. When it comes to arcade, it’s still right up there in terms of play-ability, and if I had the right console or emulator I’d still be playing it at home too.
You’d think this might follow suit right?
SO damn wrong!
Where to start… Well let’s not beat about the bush and get right down to the acting. Even if the story and everything else are crap, surely acting can make or break a movie. In this case, we’re going to have to settle for the latter. The acting is absolutely awful!
I’ve never been a huge Van Damme fan. You can’t fault his skill as a martial artist, but I’ve always thought that out of the old school action heroes that Van Damme was one of the less impressive when it came to actual acting skills. This film is no exception, but because of the caliber of the others I think he was the correct choice for the lead role.
Ming-Na Wen who played Chun Li was absolutely awful, although she has gone on to do a hell of a lot of TV work so hopefully she is much better now. I’m a huge Kylie fan too, she’s definitely my guilty pleasure (genuine massive fan of her music too), but in this it showed that she needs to stick to music rather than acting. Who else was there?
Raul Julia (Bison), Damian Chapa (Ken), Byron Mann (Ryu), Andrew Bryniarski (Zangief), Grand L. Bush (Balrog), Robert Mammone (Blanka) and so many more… This film really does have a lot of actors in it, and I cannot think of a single one who did a good job! I know it was meant to be a tongue in cheek action film, but there’s tongue in cheek and then there’s just plain crap. If you’re going to be purposefully bad to be funny you need to be able to execute that well. You can’t just cover up bad acting by saying that it was planned all along.
Bad acting aside, I don’t think they ever really stood a chance, because the writing was also pretty poor. For example the big pivotal inspirational speech given by Colonel Guile goes as follows:
” Troopers! I have just received new orders. Our superiors say the war is cancelled, and we can all go home. Bison is getting paid off for his crimes, and our friends will have died here… will have died for nothing. But… we can all go home. Meanwhile, ideas like peace, freedom and justice – they get packed up. But… we can all go home. Well… I’m not going home. I’m gonna get on my boat, and I’m going up-river, and I’m going to kick that son-of-a-bitch Bison’s ass so HARD… that the next Bison wanna-be is gonna feel it. Now who wants to go home… and who wants to go with ME!”
It’s not quite going to up there with the presidents speech in Independence Day is it? Although again, the execution of the speech isn’t quite up to the standard of Bill Pullman either!
I don’t want to sound like I keep moaning about the actors but I thought to myself, this film is based on a fighting game, so surely the martial arts are going to be great right? Well… Some of the martial artists are really good (although they can’t act at all), whilst they then fight actors (who aren’t great at that either) who can’t fight, which means that by cancelling each other out the fight scenes aren’t carried by the good fighters, but instead pulled down by the crap ones.
Even when you dig deeper in to the costumes, special effects and make up, there aren’t any redeeming factors in this film – none what so ever! It doesn’t look like actors wearing awesome film ready interpretations of the iconic game outfits. In reality it looks like a bunch of amateur cosplayers choosing relatively easy costumes to wear at comic con.
The more I think back about this film the more I realise that 1 star might have been a little bit too generous… let me see if this widget lets me hand out half stars! If you love the game, love movies, love Kylie or love sitting around for 100 minutes doing nothing – don’t watch this film, because it will positively ruin each one of those things for you!
Easily one of the worst films I’ve seen.