When Kristen Kreuk was cast to play Chun Li in the latest Street Fighter movie, I was pretty stoked. But could she fight? Could she act? Would the battered Street Fighter brand be finally redeemed on the silver screen? These were some heavy questions everyone was asking, including myself. But really – and I think I speak for a lot of men people here – my main interest was seeing this stunning half-Chinese, half-Dutch girl donning the Chun Li outfit, looking sexy, and making angry-cute faces at the bad guys!
To summarize my thoughts, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li is one of the worst action films I have ever seen, and will hopefully sound the death knell for live action attempts at the series.
The fight sequences, and there aren’t as many as you might expect, are barely a cut above daytime television standards. The wire-fu is particularly egregious, with excessive edits and fast camera pans unable to mask the lack of athletic ability of the cast. For a good reference (if not the golden standard) of what can be performed by a group of well-trained and choreographed actors, see Zhang Ziyi versus Michelle Kwon in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon for a martial arts masterpiece.
I could go on and on about what makes Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li such a bad film, but that would be giving far too much attention to a movie that nobody should have to see. Unless, of course, you are a Kristin Kreuk fan!
Yes, there are plenty of interesting shots of Kristin Kreuk in this film, and she shows her complete range of acting emotions, notably: anger, sadness and anger-sadness. Or, pretty much exactly what she delivered on Smallville for all those years.
Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to wear any sexy outfits during this outing – not even the high cut skirt worn by Chun-Li in the videogame that is infamously popular among the otaku crowd. It seems that the makers of the film deliberately tried to downplay Kristen’s sex appeal, perhaps to make her a better role model for young women. This was obviously a mistake.
So, if you are a diehard Kristen Kreuk fan, and can stomach the terrible plot, script and acting in this film, at least you can enjoy staring at this magnificent beauty for a solid 90 minutes while you simultaneously try to scrub the rest of the show from your bleeding senses. Also, there are a couple cool tracks by rapper Ace Hood to give the soundtrack a bit of gangstaness, although it’s hardly enough to save the film.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li gets a 2/10. One point for Kristin Kreuk’s adorably strange facial expressions, and another for featuring Ace Hood on the soundtrack.