Street Fighter II, the 1990s arcade game that swallowed more of our quarters than we care to count, holds a very dear place in our hearts. And Chinese kung-fu master Chun Li, being the first playable female fighter ever, was especially dear to at least one uber-geeky Shanghaiist editor.
So when we got wind of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, we steeled ourselves for what we figured would inevitably be a cold blow to all our sweet childhood memories. Sadly, it looks like we made the right move.
The movie opened this weekend to a less-than-lackluster reception, earning even less its first week than that 1994 Van-Damme flop.
Some of the more cringe-worthy reviews below:
From the Globe and Mail:
“…there’s not much else here that’s likely to please even the most fixated action fan. Director Andrzej Bartkowiak’s fight scenes are choppy and sloppy, and the acting is even more chaotic. In her Lara Croft-lite role, Kreuk (Smallville) is low-key to a fault. In contrast, co-stars Chris Klein and McDonough, cut loose from the basic demands of realism, chew scenery in a way that’s more painful than any of the movie’s kicks and punches.”
“Yet another video game crashes and burns upon its translation to the big screen with this cinematic rendition of the venerable franchise… Kreuk never quite manages to convince as the kick-ass Chun-Li. Even worse is the weathered-looking Klein, straining so hard for macho effect that one begins to imagine him giggling uncontrollably between takes.”
From Entertainment Weekly:
“Don’t be fooled by the low grade: This sequel-in-spirit to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s 1994 dud doesn’t even succeed in being memorably bad. Instead, it’s an anonymous soup of pan-Asian action clichés slopped into the story of a fast-kicking hottie (Kristin Kreuk) out to avenge her kidnapped father.”
“Kreuk looks like a gawky, stiff ostrich when she attempts to bust out kung-fu moves. She’s narrating the majority of the time, and her intellectually bankrupt sentences accompanied by her soulless dictation should spur the legalization of guns in movie theaters so you can shoot yourself with them.”