I really don’t know why people don’t like Street Fighter, a stylish action-adventure movie based on a popular video game franchise. What did you expect from a premise like this? I know what I did, an entertaining but dumb fun with a lot of fights and shootouts. And that’s exactly what I got. It is definitely a bit campy and over-the-top but it manages to keep your attention throughout. I think that its weakest point is the script. Those awful one-liners can sometimes really irritate you. However, you simply know that the next cool action scene is just around the corner.
I remember watching Street Fighter in the nineties and loving it. Perhaps even more than I loved the video game especially since Mortal Kombat felt more visceral and edgy. And you know teenage boys love different, visceral edgy. Now, I know that this might cloud my judgment as we all have those bad childhood movies we love for some reason or another. So, I did watch it again and the results were the same. This was probably my sixth or seventh time watching it and for the first time, I wasn’t drunk or high. Meaning if you’re looking for a cheesy but fun action movie from the nineties you’ve just found it.
You don’t have to be a fan of the video game to enjoy Street Fighter, the movie. Moreover, this will make the whole experience even more ludicrous and hilarious. One of the best things about this movie are the characters. They are diverse, snappy, and played by a solid cast. The cast led by none other than Jean-Claude Van Damme in the middle of his cocaine and alcohol addiction. We also have freaking Kylie Minogue, Damian Chapa (Blood In, Blood Out) and Ming-Na Wen (The Mandalorian). Could this movie be any more nineties? I submit to you that it could not.
General M. Bison, a ruthless drug-lord and all-around bad guy rules the nation of Shadaloo with an iron fist. There’s only one man who can take him down and his name is William F. Guile. After capturing several hostages, Bison demands a $20 billion ransom to let them go. One of them is Blanka, Guile’s friend, so Guile takes this very personally and decides to attack Bison with the help of his martial arts friends.
I know that the plot sounds like some Hulk Hogan children’s movie but it’s intentionally made that way. Director and writer Steven E. de Souza leaned heavily into this preposterous story because this was the movie the studios wanted.
This resulted in great box office earnings and later huge popularity in the VHS market. It spawned a sequel, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li that offers a bit different atmosphere and focuses on just one character. Unlike this movie that crammed almost all of them into the story one way or another.
I consider it a great piece of nineties escapism that will help you forget whatever the fuck is going in your life for ninety minutes. Its bright color palette and swanky outfits help with the somewhat shabby sets. Shabby sets that still have that campy charm. So, let’s forget our worries and dive into the crazy world of Street Fighter. And if you’re looking for similar movies do check out Masters of the Universe starring Dolph Lundgren as He-Man.
Director: Steven E. de Souza
Writer: Steven E. de Souza
Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen, Damian Chapa, Kylie Minogue, Byron Mann
Fun Facts: The movie was dedicated to Raul Julia, who died soon after filming was complete.