Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kristin Kreuk, Chris Klein, Neal McDonough, Robin Shou, Moon Bloodgood, Josie Ho, Taboo, Michael Clarke Duncan
Written by: Justin Marks
Directed by: Andrzej Bartkowiak
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence and martial arts action, and some sensuality
Running Time: 96
Date: 02/12/2009

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

1 Star (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director Andrzej Bartkowiak doesn't screw up his latest action film as badly as he has in the past, mainly because he uses a lot more slow motion here, so it's easier to see the martial arts fighting. Kristin Kreuk stars in the title role, a tough girl who wants to rescue her father from an evil, Irish land developer (Neal McDonough) but first must stop by Bangkok for some kung-fu training with Gen (Robin Shou). Unfortunately, Chris Klein is also on hand as an ineffectual Interpol agent, and his job is to read all his preposterous dialogue in a bad Jack Nicholson voice. (It may be the flat-out worst performance I've seen by anybody in years.) Moon Bloodgood wears tank tops and black pants around him to make him look good. Michael Clarke Duncan co-stars as the bad guy's hired muscle, who seems to take too much joy in the suffering of others. It's all based on a video game, and hardly any of it makes sense, yet it does occasionally veer into so-bad-it's-good territory. Jean-Claude Van Damme starred in a previous film, Street Fighter (1994), though there have also been other versions.

DVD Details: Fox's DVD comes with an "unrated version," which runs about a minute longer, as well as the 96-minute theatrical version. There's a commentary track with producers Ashok Amritraj and Patrick Aiello, actor McDonough, and -- believe it or not -- Klein! Though it appears to be a pretty much by-the-numbers track, recorded before the film actually came out and flopped. We get about 15 minutes of deleted scenes, other featurettes and trailers, plus optional subtitles.

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