The Curator of Schlock #37 by Jeffrey Shuster

Street Fighter: Yes, It’s as Bad as You Remember

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Street Fighter. Oh boy. Part of the problem with this movie is that has too many characters. It’s like the director was trying to give each fighter from Street Fighter II equal screen time. As such, I can’ figure out who the protagonist is supposed to be. Take a gander at this roster: Ryu, Ken, Guile, Chun-Li, Sagat, Dhalsim, E. Honda, Zangief, Blanka, Dee Jay, Cammy, T. Hawk, Balrog, Vega, Sagat, M. Bison. I guess Fei Long didn’t make the cut.

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It’s just a bizarre task reviewing this movie. Street Fighter II the video game was iconic. It was one of those great Capcom arcade games, a video game that SF2 for the Super Nintendo just so I could have the privilege of getting my butt kicked daily by my older brother and my friends. I suppose the game was so popular that a movie adaptation was inevitable. I saw Jean-Claude Van Damme’s moniker on the poster and my teenage self said no.

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Twenty years later I’m reviewing this travesty and I can’t even think straight. Let’s start with what’s working in this motion picture: Raúl Juliá as M. Bison. It’s a villainous performance for the ages. It’s all about the bug eyes and cape twirling. There’s a scene in the movie where Chun-Li (Ming-Na) confronts M. Bison over the fact that he murdered her father and attacked her village. M. Bison doesn’t remember any of it.

He says, “For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday.” Brilliant.

We’ll continue with what isn’t working in this movie: everything else. I guess the plot is M. Bison wants to conquer the world by challenging the Allied Nations which consists of the United States, Great Britain, and every other country in the world. M. Bison has hostages he’s threatening to kill if his ransom of 20 billion dollars isn’t paid. Bison also commences with bizarre experiments on some of the kidnapped soldiers. His goal is to create an army of super soldiers to help him conquer the world.

I guess the hero of the film, Guile (Jean Claude Van Damme), is a UN soldier…or is it AN soldier? I can’t keep any of this straight. You know for a movie based on a fighting game, there isn’t a whole lot of fighting. We get a lot of explosions. There’s a fight with Guile and M. Bison at the end.

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M. Bison is wearing some sort of anti-gravity boots that allow him to fly. Guile beats him with the help of the other Street Fighters (I won’t repeat their names again). It’s late. I’m tired. And it’s finals week! Don’t watch this movie!

Five Things I Learned From Street Fighter

  1. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
  2. Villains should wear capes.
  3. If you’re turned into a green monster with orange hair, you have no reason to live.
  4. Super villains need food courts in their capital city.
  5. Kylie Minogue shows up in the weirdest movies.

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Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47) is an MFA candidate and instructor at the University of Central Florida.

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