A Case For The Defence: Street Fighter The Movie

A Case for The Defence is a semi-regular look back at those movies, games or whatever that have always been labelled as the lowest of the low. Well, we’re here to dig about in the rubbish, have another look and maybe prove that some things need to be treated more fairly.

Street Fighter The Movie. Street Fighter. The Movie.

As a near teenager, those words did not inspire me with confidence. Even at that point, just starting out in my career as a serious movie watcher, I instinctively knew that something wasn’t right.Street Fighter 2 was, essentially, the last really big arcade game. It was everywhere where you could find a jamma cabinet. It was huge.

What it wasn’t, however, was a decent story. You had person A who wanted to punch person B in the face really hard. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s difficult to expand to around 90 minutes.

Or is it? Let’s be honest, the genre of action films in the 80s was pretty much that. It’s pretty much every Kung Fu film made. In actual fact it’s a perfect fit.

So what went wrong? Why does every one hate this film?

Because it misses the point of Street Fighter. The film spends so much time moving pieces around the board, justifying why Blanka is green, dragging it’s heels that there isn’t that much fighting in it. For a film called Street Fighter, this is a problem.

Compare this film to the superior anime of 1995. The anime has about 5 minutes of plot during the whole film so it can devote the rest of the film to what people want to see.

Fighting.

The film also sticks too closely in places and deviates too far in others. The hoops the film jumps through in order to get the characters into clothes like in the video games is painful to watch. Then they make Ryu and Ken thieves. No fireballs, half assed attempts at overhead flash kicks.

You can tell that the people who made the film were too aware they were making a film based on a video game. They knew were ashamed and it shows.

It’s not all bad. Raul Julia is a giant in this film. His (final) performance is probably worth the entry fee alone. JCVD is, well, JCVD. He’s at his peak in this film, physically at least.

The film is very much of it’s time. It is the worst film ever made? No. It’s campy fun that deserves a place on your shelf. No, really.

Really.

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