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Street Fighter (Collector's Edition)
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International action superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme teams with Raul Julia for a thrill-packed adventure on an epic scale from the screenwriter of Die-Hard, 48 HRS. and Commando. Based on the best-selling video game, the film hurtles beyond imagination with explosive action, humor and amazing special effects.Van Damme is Colonel Guile, the Allied Nations commando who leads an elite team of street fighters against the forces of the mad General M. Bison (Julia). Bison, who has hatched an evil plan for world domination, takes dozens of relief workers hostage and gives the world only 72 hours to respond to his twisted demands. In that time, Guile must find the captives and confront Bison in an electrifying battle for the fate of the free world.Featuring sizzling songs by Ice Cube and Hammer, Street Fighter is an exciting, no-holds-barred action film for the whole family.
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Street Fighter: The Movie came out in 1994, a year after the release of Super Mario Brothers. Let's just be upfront in saying it's no where near being an Oscar worthy movie. It's probably not even really "good", at that. It's a somewhat cheesy or campy movie (but not as much as SMB and no where near as much as Double Dragon). But I've always really enjoyed the movie.
So what is the plot of the movie? This is one place I think it hurt itself with a lot of Street Fighter fans. As was once said, for a movie called Street Fighter....there's a glaring lack of street fighting, much less a tournament. I could have easily seen the movie be your standard martial arts film in that sense had they made it a bit more like the games. However, in the movie, Bison is as he is in the games: a power mad dictator out for world domination. Opposing him is the Allied Nations with Guile commanding the army. And that's basically the plot. Bison has taken a large group of people hostage and has given the world 72 hours to hand him $20 billion in ransom while the main characters set out to stop him and rescue the hostages (though they don't all come together until towards the end of the movie).
Many of the major characters from the games out at the time are in the movie as well. Ryu and Ken are a couple of con artists who rip off criminals, Sagat and Vega, both former cage fighters, operate as arms dealers for Bison, Chun Li, out to avenge her father, Balrog, who is one of the more major departures from his game counterpart, and E. Honda work as reporters, and Guile, like his game counterpart, is after Bison partially to avenge his friend Charlie who is combined with Blanka from the game as in the movie, Charlie IS Blanka. Zangief, though not like in the game, works for Bison.
I bought the blu-ray "Extreme Edition" version of the movie. Admittedly I never owned the DVD so I can't compare. But I thought the image quality was nice. I have no complaints there. There's several special features but so far I've only watched the deleted scenes. There's unfortunately only two of them and both center around Chun Li.
The only "big name" people in the movie are Raul Julia as M. Bison and Jean Claude Van Damme who plays Colonel William F. Guile. Both give good performances (as good as it can be given the circumstances). Raul Julia definitely takes the cake though as my favorite performance of the movie. It was clear he was enjoying himself with the role. It's only sad because Raul Julia died not long after the movie came out. I remember always seeing the "For Raul. Vaya con dios" at the end but never realizing what it meant (both with RJ's death and I didn't know Spanish at the time--it means go with God). Now that I do, I felt a twinge of sadness as it appeared and the credits rolled.
Another thing I've heard people didn't like about the movie is they changed the central character. In the games, Ryu is the central/main character while in the movie, it's Guile. While Guile is my favorite character (in both the games and movie), I can understand.
All in all, can you really say Street Fighter is a "good" movie? Probably not. But something about it I can't quite put my finger on has always made me really enjoy the movie. Truth be told, it's probably my favorite video game movie.
One big clue: A movie named Street Fighter has almost NO fighting in it. Criminally few fight scenes, but we do get a LOT of Raul Julia (RIP) chewing up scenery as M. Bison and really having fun with his role. Everyone is doing the best with the horrible script and lack of direction they've been given, and by the end of the film, at least most of the characters are in costumes that are analogs for their video game attire.
If you enjoy bad movies, and can deal with a lack of fighting in a movie based on a fighting game, SEE THIS FILM.
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