Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is a 2009 American martial arts action film based on the Street Fighter series of video games. It follows the quest of Street Fighter character Chun-Li, who is portrayed by Kristin Kreuk. Its story follows Chun-Li's personal history and her journey for justice. The film co-stars Neal McDonough as M. Bison, Chris Klein as Charlie, Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog, and Black Eyed Peas member Taboo as Vega. The Legend of Chun-Li was released on February 27, 2009 to mostly negative reviews and poor box office numbers.
|Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andrzej Bartkowiak|
|Produced by||Patrick Aiello|
|Written by||Justin Marks|
|Based on||Street Fighter|
Michael Clarke Duncan
|Music by||Stephen Endelman|
|Edited by||Derek Brechin|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$12.8 million|
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. The family lives a normal life until they are attacked one night by thugs working for the criminal organization Shadaloo, with Xiang being abducted in front of Chun-Li. 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, crime boss M.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 him.
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, with Nash determining Shadaloo perpetrated these crimes. 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 unconscious, and Gen appears and takes her to his home. Gen tells Chun-Li that he was once a comrade of Bison, and knows how to find her father. 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 a property owner being 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 murdered the next morning by Bison. During lunch, Gen reveals more of Bison's originstory, growing up an orphan and living his life as a thief. He killed his pregnant wife and transferred his consciousness into their prematurely born daughter. After telling Chun-Li to go and fetch some food, Gen is attacked by Shadaloo troops and Balrog blows up his house. Chun-Li runs off when she is attacked by Vega, whom she defeats and leaves hanging by the side of a building.
Chun-Li interrogates a harbor employee who tells her the arrival time of the White Rose. She returns to the shipping yard that night, but is captured by Bison and his soldiers. Tied up and taken into an undisclosed house, she is reunited with Xiang, only for Bison to murder him. After Bison and Balrog leave the house, Chun-Li uses her skills to defeat the guards and escapeduring which she is shot in the arm 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.
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. Chun-Li enters a ship and meets a Russian-speaking girl who asks 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. 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.
Chun-Li returns to her home in Hong Kong and settles down, then Gen pays her a visit. He shows her a newspaper advert 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.
- Kristin Kreuk as Chun Li
- Katherine Pemberton as young Chun-Li
- Neal McDonough as M. Bison
- Brendan Miller as Young M. Bison
- Chris Klein as Charlie Nash
- Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog
- Moon Bloodgood as Detective Maya Sunee
- Taboo as Vega
- Robin Shou as Gen
- Edmund Chen as Huang Xiang
- Josie Ho as Cantana
- Elizaveta Kiryukhina as Rose
- Cheng Pei-pei as Zhilan
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2009)
Rick Yune was originally cast as Gen but was replaced by Robin Shou, who played Liu Kang, the lead character in the Mortal Kombat films. Shooting locations included Hong Kong, China; Bangkok, Thailand; Vancouver, Canada; and Reno, Nevada and Herlong, California, United States.
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 30, 2009. The special First Run release included a bonus DVD of the Udon Street Fighter Comic Series: "Round One FIGHT." The film was not cinematically released in Australia but was released straight to DVD on January 14, 2010.
The film opened at #9 at the American DVD sales chart, selling 92,830 units in the first weekend. About 258,000 DVD units have been sold so far in the United States, bringing in revenue of $4.7m. This figure does not include DVD rentals/Blu-ray sales.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, like the previous live-action film in the series, received mostly negative reviews and was not pre-screened for critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 5% based on 61 reviews. It was ranked 44th in Rotten Tomatoes' 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with the critical consensus "The combination of a shallow plot and miscast performers renders Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li a perfectly forgettable video game adaptation." At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 17, based on 11 reviews.
Film historian Leonard Maltin seemed to agree, stating that "The 1994 movie was one of the worst films ever inspired by a video game; it should have been titled Four Hundred Funerals and No Sex. Yet this bomb makes it predecessor seem like Gone With the Wind."
Among the film's more positive reviews, Rob Nelson of Variety wrote: "Neither the best nor the worst of movies derived from video games, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li at least gives action fans plenty to ogle besides the titular heroine (Kristin Kreuk)." Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times wrote that the film was "reveling in the vivid Bangkok locations, Geoff Boyle's photography is crisp and bright, and Dion Lam's action choreography unusually witty."
Negative reviews focused on the screenplay and fight scenes. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "other than a few reasonably well-staged fight sequences, the proceedings are dull and visually uninspired. Justin Marks' solemn screenplay lacks any trace of wit."Jeremy Wheeler of TV Guide wrote: "Fight scenes, while admirable for shaking off the shaky-cam aesthetic of their big-screen brethren, neither inspire nor find a good balance between martial arts and FX-laden power punches." Jim Vejvoda of IGN gave the film 1.5 stars out of 5, writing: "There's better staged and more enjoyable brawls between Peter and The Chicken on Family Guy." Ryan Davis of Giant Bomb described it as "a re-envisioning [of the source material] by people who can't see."
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- Jeremy Wheeler. "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li". TV Guide. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
- Jim Vejvoda. "IGN: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li Review". IGN Entertainment. News Corporation. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- Ryan Davis. "TANG: SF: The Legend of Chun-Li". Giant Bomb. Whiskey Media. Retrieved July 2, 2009.