REVIEW: STREET FIGHTER: ASSASSIN’S FIST

CAST

Christian Howard (Green Street 3)
Mike Moh (Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight)
Togo Igawa (The Last Samurai)
Shogen (Tori)
Hyunri (Flare)
Hal Yamanouchi (The Wolverine)

For the past 2 decades, pretty much every movies based off a video game; flops. Usually, this is due by the complete disregard to the original creation. While some comic books and novels did get a great feature film, Street Fighter has always been stuck on the short end of the stick. Hollywood latest attempt to monetize the franchise was nothing short of extremely bad. From terrible casting, bad fighting scenes to a genuine lack of passion and respect to a franchise that has impacted our world in more ways than we could ever imagine. So why is Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist any different? Why is this particular series able to break the vicious circle of failures?
Well, for a starter, Street Fighter: AF was produced by passionate fans for the fans, but passion is only the starting point. While it is a great driving force, a good script is required and that’s where SFAF shines. For new comers to the franchise, the series presents a well written story that carries an intriguing lore, which gradually reveals itself through each episode. The premise is simple and focused on two iconic characters; Ryu and Ken. Both learning a mysterious martial art in a secluded part of Japan in the mid 80s. Through each episodes, we get to discover and learn about past students and the darker secrets behind the art.NE0y9EkmWt0O35_1_bTo reinforce the script, we are presented with an incredible selection of actors that really poured their hearts into this production. For fans, the characters were authentic and as real as they could get. Mike Moh and Christian Howard are pretty much the perfect Ryu and Ken. Both can act the part and perform physically. Togo Igawa and Akira Koieyama really felt like masters of an ancient art while still offering a very human side. The careful balance between being a surreal character with a human touch is very hard to maintain but these actors did and it payed off. The intensity of certain scenes could rival some of the best triple A productions out there.
maxresdefaultSpeaking of authenticity, Street Fighter: AF nails it in pretty much every possible way. From choosing the right shooting location, to the fighting style of each characters to the incredible costumes. Ryu and Ken are in simple words, perfect. Even through the action scenes, the combat stances, special attacks and general movements were simply jaw dropping. As a huge fan of Street Fighter, I couldn’t stop reciting the sequence of every moves such as Ryu performing a great focus attack.
Street-Fighter-Assassins-Fist-Ryu-vs-KenAs for the music, usually in independent productions, the music is often very generic and unoriginal. However, I got to say that in this case, the soundtrack is quite good and in most situation, it strongly delivers. For the fans, there’s a few pleasant surprises. In the end, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist is an incredible independent production that values and respects both fans and new comers alike. It has heart and knows its own limits. The story is focused, the actors are well balanced, the action is short but intense and the overall production is strong.

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REVIEW: STREET FIGHTER 1 & 2

CAST

Jean-Claude Van Damme (Universal Soldier)
Raul Julia (The Addams Family)
Ming-Na Wen (Agents of SHIELD)
Damian Chapa (Under Siege)
Kylie Minogue (Sample People)
Simon Callow (Ace Ventura 2)
Byron Mann (Arrow)
Andrew Bryniarski (Batman Returns)
Wes Studi (Mystery Men)

M.Bison vs Guile

In the Southeast Asian nation of Shadaloo City, civil war has erupted between the forces of crazed military dictator General M. Bison (Raul Julia) and the Allied Nations, a multinational military force, led by their regional commander, Colonel William F. Guile. Bison has recently captured several A.N. relief workers, and via a live two-way radio broadcast, demands Guile secure a US$20 billion ransom in three days or else face responsibility for the hostages’ deaths. Guile refuses and vows to track Bison down, but his assistant, Sergeant Cammy (Kylie Minogue) is only partially able to pinpoint Bison’s location to the river-delta region outside the city. One of the hostages is Guile’s close friend, Carlos “Charlie” Blanka (Robert Mammone), who Bison orders taken to his lab for his captive witch doctor, Dhalsim (Roshan Seth), to turn into the first of his supersoldiers. Though Charlie is severely disfigured by the procedure, Dhalsim secretly alters his cerebral programming to maintain Charlie’s humanity.

Meanwhile, travelling con artists Ryu Hoshi (Byron Mann) and Ken Masters (Damian Chapa) attempt to swindle arms dealer Viktor Sagat (Wes Studi) by providing him with fake weaponry. Sagat sees through the ruse and has Ryu fight his cage champion, Vega (Jay Tavare), but the fight is interrupted when Guile bursts in and arrests everyone present for violating a curfew. In the prison grounds, Guile witnesses Ryu and Ken fighting against Sagat’s men, and recruits them to help him find Bison in exchange for their freedom, since Sagat is Bison’s arms supplier. They are entrusted with a homing device and win Sagat’s trust by staging a prison escape and faking Guile’s death. However, reporter Chun-Li (Ming-Na Wen) and her crew, former sumo wrestler E. Honda (Peter Tuiasosopo) and boxer Balrog (Grand L. Bush), all of whom desire vengeance on Bison and Sagat, stumble across the plan, and, over Guile’s objections, attempt to assassinate Bison and Sagat at a party. In order to maintain Bison’s trust, Ryu and Ken stop the assassination and reveal Chun Li, Honda, and Balrog to Bison.

Upon returning to his base, Bison inducts Ryu, Ken and Vega into his organization and orders Honda and Balrog imprisoned and Chun-Li taken to his quarters. Ryu and Ken break Balrog and Honda out of confinement and rush to confront Bison, who is fighting Chun-Li, but Bison manages to escape and unleash a sleeping gas, sedating them all. Meanwhile, Guile plans his assault on Bison’s base. He is briefly impeded by the Deputy Secretary of the A.N. (Simon Callow), who informs Guile that the decision has been made to pay Bison the ransom, but Guile takes no notice and proceeds with the mission on his own. At the base, Dhalsim is found by a security guard, and a fight ensues in which Charlie is released and he kills the guard to protect Dhalsim. Guile arrives shortly thereafter and sneaks into the lab, where Charlie begins strangling him. Charlie stops when he recognizes Guile. Horrified at what his friend has become, Guile prepares to kill Charlie, to end his suffering, but Dhalsim stops him. Because the ransom was never paid, Bison prepares to kill the hostages by unleashing Charlie on them, but Guile emerges and a gunfight ensues with Guile only barely holding his own until the remaining A.N. forces arrive. After ordering Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Honda and Balrog to find and rescue the hostages, Guile engages Bison in a one-on-one duel. As Guile and Bison fight, Ryu and Ken are confronted by Sagat and Vega, and only barely manage to defeat them. Bison’s computer expert, Dee Jay (Miguel A. Nunez Jr.) steals Bison’s trunk of money and escapes, joined by Sagat. Bison’s bodyguard, Zangief (Andrew Bryniarski), engages Honda in a vicious fight until learning from Dee Jay that Bison was the true enemy, and decides to join sides with Ryu and Ken.
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Guile eventually gains the upper hand against Bison and kicks him into a bank of hard drives, delivering him a fatal electric shock, but a revival system restores Bison and he reveals that his suit is powered by electromagnetism which enables him to fly and fire electricity from his knuckles. Bison takes control of the fight and eventually moves to deal the death blow, but Guile counters with a well-timed roundhouse kick that sends Bison crashing into his gigantic monitor wall, but also causes the base’s energy field to overload. The hostages are rescued, but Guile stays behind to convince Dhalsim and Charlie to return with him, though they refuse, Charlie unwilling to return to society in his condition and Dhalsim wishes to atone for his part in mutating Charlie in the first place. Guile escapes just as the base explodes and reunites with his comrades, while Sagat and Dee Jay realize the trunk was full of useless “Bison Dollars” that Bison intended to use once he had taken over the world. As the base collapses, the fighters strike their winning poses from Street Fighter II: The World Warrior.

In a post-credits scene, Bison’s computer is reactivated from solar power and the revival system restores Bison again. His fist smashes through the rubble and a computer screen is shown selecting “World Domination: Replay”. This scene was omitted from the theatrical release “out of deference to Raul Julia”.

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This is such a classic film. It is funny and fairly light hearted and takes your memory for a walk down memory lane. Don’t expect the latest special effects or cgi’s as some people do even though it is an old film but this makes it an excellent film, no flashy displays and showing off of technology.
It is just pure, simple and fun.

CAST

Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and The BEast)
Chris Klein (American Pie)
Neal McDonough (Arrow)
Robin Chou (Mortal Kombat)
Moon Bloodgood (Terminator: Salvation)
Josie Ho (Open Grave)
Michael Clark Duncan (Sin City)
Krystal Vee (The Scorpion King 3)

Chun-Li moves from San Francisco to Hong Kong with her family. While practicing to be a concert pianist, she learns Wushu from her father, businessman Xiang. For a while, her life is perfect until one night, Xiang is attacked and abducted by M. Bison’s henchmen in front of Chun-Li.

Years later, Chun-Li grows up and becomes a talented pianist. At the end of her concert, she receives a mysterious scroll written in ancient Chinese text. Shortly after, she loses her mother to cancer. Meanwhile, at Shadaloo headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, Bison announces his complete control of the organization before he has the other shareholders executed by one of his henchmen, Vega. It is also revealed that Xiang is still alive and working for Bison. The next day, Royal Thai Police detective Maya Sunee meets Interpol agent Charlie Nash, when both are called to investigate the murder of several crime syndicate families in Bangkok. Nash informs Maya that the Shadaloo perpetrated these crimes. Back in Hong Kong, an elderly woman translates Chun-Li’s scroll and tells her to travel to Bangkok and find a man named Gen. Chun-Li then leaves her home and travels to Bangkok, living homeless and searching for Gen for several days. A fight with local gangsters one night leaves her exhausted and unconscious, and Gen appears and brings her to his home.

Gen informs her that he was once comrades with Bison and he knows how to find her father, and for the next few days, he teaches her his style of martial arts. Chun-Li also learns more about Bison, who is operating Shadaloo publicly, and is holding the families of property owners hostage in order to force them to sign their property over to him. While spying on Bison’s henchman Balrog, she overhears that a property owner is asked to hand over the rights to a docking harbor, allowing the shipment of the “White Rose”.  Later that night, Chun-Li confronts Cantana, one of Bison’s secretaries, in a nightclub. She obtains information on the location of the White Rose before escaping from Shadaloo’s thugs and Nash and Maya. As a result of this incident, Cantana is used as a punching bag by Bison the next day and killed.

Gen tells Chun-Li more of Bison’s origin. The son of Irish missionaries, Bison grew up an orphan and lived his entire life as a thief. Many years later, as a means of becoming completely evil, he killed his pregnant wife and transferred his conscience into their prematurely born daughter. After telling Chun-Li to go and fetch some food, Gen is attacked by Shadaloo troops before Balrog blows up his house. Chun-Li runs off when she is attacked by Vega, whom she soundly defeats and leaves hanging by the side of a building.
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The next day, Chun-Li interrogates a harbor employee into telling her the arrival time of the White Rose. She returns to the shipping yard that night, only to fall into a trap as Bison and his soldiers capture her. Tied up and brought into an undisclosed house, she is reunited with Xiang, only for Bison to kill him by breaking his neck. After Bison and Balrog leave the house, Chun-Li uses her skills to defeat the guards and escape. During the escape, she is shot in the arm by Balrog while trying to protect a child. Angered Thai locals then pelt Balrog and other Shadaloo henchmen with fruits, food, and other merchandise. Chun-Li is reunited with Gen, who heals her wounds and continues with her training.

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Despite being taken off the assignment, Nash is secretly asked by Chun-Li to back her up in taking down Bison. Nash and Chun-Li, along with Maya and her SWAT team, arrive at the shipping yard, where they engage in a shootout with Shadaloo forces. Maya is wounded in the shootout, but her SWAT team manages to dwindle Shadaloo’s numbers. Meanwhile, Chun-Li enters a ship and meets a girl who speaks Russian asking for her father before leaving her to continue her search for Bison. In another part of the ship, Gen faces off against Balrog, ultimately impaling him with a liquid nitrogen pipe. Bison takes the girl, who is revealed to be his daughter Rose, and flees the scene by helicopter.

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Chun-Li, Gen, Nash and a SWAT officer arrive at Bison’s headquarters, where Nash and the officer take Rose out to safety while Chun-Li and Gen face Bison. After a long battle, Chun-Li hits Bison with a bamboo pole and drops sandbags on him, stunning him. She then charges up a Kikoken and shoots it at him, knocking him off the scaffolding before she jumps and twists his neck with her legs. Nash tells Chun-Li to leave the scene as Thai police arrive.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Chun-Li returns to her home in Hong Kong and settles down when Gen pays her a visit. He shows her a newspaper ad for an upcoming Street Fighter tournament, telling her that a Japanese fighter named Ryu might be a recruit for their cause. She declines the offer, telling him she is home for now.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Despite what critics and general opinions say The Legend Of Chun-Li isn’t a bad film. In fact I rather enjoyed it as a movie in it’s own right! It’s polished, well presented and the cast perform their jobs adequately. If it had a better story, some better tailored fight action and they didn’t have the gaul to change and add so much stuff to suit American audiences it could possibly have been a tremendous step forward for game films but although it falls flat on it’s face it does have a lot of saving graces which given how cheeky it all is, is a bit of a feat.