'Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li'


Yet another video game crashes and burns upon its translation to the big screen with this cinematic rendition of the venerable franchise. Hardly any better than the previous flop attempt starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li" opened Friday with a minimum of fanfare.

The film's plot revolves around the titular heroine (Kristin Kreuk), a young woman of uncommon martial-arts skills. She's had to grow up on her own as her father has been imprisoned for years by Bison (Neal McDonough), the diabolical leader of the jauntily named crime syndicate Shadaloo.

After some quick blindfolded training by martial-arts master Gen (Robin Shou, who has some experience with this sort of thing, having appeared in "Mortal Kombat"), Chun-Li takes to the teeming streets of Bangkok to kick some bad-guy butt.

Director Andrzej Bartkowiak works hard to supply the appropriate grittiness, but 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, with more than a few of its scenes —like when Chun-Li's wounds are mystically healed in a matter of seconds — eliciting snickers from the audience.
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