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Rated PG-13
Copyright 1994 Capcom Entertainment Inc.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 5 June 2005

The Characters:  

  • Col. Guile - Jean-Claude Van Damme! He is about as understandable as a low quality sound clip.
  • Chun-Li - Reporter and ninja. I think that description stands on its own nicely.
  • Ken & Ryu - Scam artists who learn a very valuable lesson.
  • Balrog and Honda - Both had their careers (boxing and sumo wrestling) ruined by Bison and now they assist Chun-Li in her quest for revenge. Honda apparently went on a diet after leaving his sport of choice.
  • Zangief - The bearded Russian wrestler is painfully stupid and frighteningly strong. He wants to be one of the good guys, but is too brainless to figure out which is which.
  • Blanka - Bison's experiments turn Guile's buddy into Carrot Top (if the "comedian" were stung in the face by bees).
  • Sagat & Vega - An arms merchant and his pretty boy pit fighter.
  • General Bison - Raul Julia with lots of padding! I guess that he does a good job of portraying a megalomaniac, but Raul Julia? Killed by exploding televisions.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Open with a tense news report about a civil war in the fictitious Southern Asian nation of Shadaloo. The megalomaniac warlord General Bison has trained and equipped a private army. Despite intervention by the "Allied Nations" (AN), it appears that the situation will only grow worse. In fact, it already has. General Bison's forces have captured a large number of hostages and a few AN peacekeepers. The hostages are tossed into what looks like a giant metal ashtray, but the peacekeepers are killed by Bison. (Except one, who is taken away to undergo mental and physical experimentation.) As this occurs, Bison watches news reports on his giant multi-television array. The news is mostly Guile raging about how he is going to kick Bison's ass.

We are already in dangerous territory here, folks. Not only is the fantasy country of "Shadaloo" annoying for some intangible reason, but it is also devoid of South Asian people. Genocide? I think not; they were just too lazy to put any work into the setting. The easily identifiable as, but name changed for some unknown reason, UN forces are another mystery. Just call them the United Nations for crying out loud! Then we have Van Damme as Col Guile, leader of the AN forces. Woooooowwwwwwww. (Imagine me shaking my head back and forth.)

Elsewhere in Shadaloo, Ken and Ryu manage to get on Sagat's bad side. Sagat is an arms merchant who also runs a illegal club with a fighting pit. That is where Vega practices dicing people with his metal claw. A big bonus in this scene is that the spectators actually appear to be from Southeast Asia. Anyway, Ken and Ryu tried to sell useless weapons (unless you are ten years old) to Sagat. He discovered the ruse, which means the two hustlers find themselves in the pit with Vega. Before any blood can be spilled, Guile crashes through the wall and places everyone under arrest. Ignore the fact that the Colonel uses an APC with large missiles on its sides (maybe they are pontoons) to smash through a wall.

The plot needed Ken, Ryu, Sagat, and Vega in prison at the same time so that Guile could pick the scam artists for a secret mission. He stages a prison escape (endangering the lives of dozens of the AN troops in the process) that puts Ken and Ryu into Sagat's trust. Bison's too, because the Commander is apparently shot during the escape. Do not worry, Guile is not dead. They were just squibs; the UN always embarks a few squibs. The news makes the evil general so happy that he pauses from designing his new capitol city. Specifically, he was thinking about enlarging the food court.

Chun-Li gets wind of the plan to go after Bison and uses the opportunity to attempt her own revenge. She tracks Sagat to a massive flea market for weapons, then pushes a vehicle full of explosives into the general's tent. The ploy does not work, but Chun-Li, Honda, and Balrog are all captured. Oh, I should also mention that the VBIED distracts Sagat and Bison from a nasty argument. The gun runner had delivered a shipment, only to be paid in "Bison Bucks." The dispute was on the edge of becoming a shooting match when the truck crashed the party.

The captured trio are taken back to Bison's secret lair, where the men are subjected to torture and Chun-Li is dressed out in that absurd outfit and hairdo she wears in the game. I have to say that Chun-Li's appearance in the game being the result of some weirdo fetish of Bison's was quite funny. However, the writers commit an absolute crime during the bedroom encounter between the wronged woman and the megalomaniac. Chun-Li monologues her entire story, laying out why she hates General Bison. Boy, that is lazy writing. Gah!

While Chun-Li is reciting her life story, Ken and Ryu blow their cover by attempting to free Honda and Balrog. This results in hilarity, because the prisoners have already freed themselves and put the would-be rescuers in headlocks. All four go looking for Chun-Li. They find her kicking Bison's butt, until the warlord activates an intruder suppressant system. Everybody falls to the floor, unconscious, as Bison chuckles.

The AN forces are mustering for their assault on Bison's secret hideout (revealed by the tracking device with Ken and Ryu) when a diplomat arrives to negotiate with the insane warlord. The envoy also carries orders to relieve Guile of command. Well, just guess what happens. Come on, this is easy. You got it! The colonel disregards the orders, inspires his men with a quick speech (boy, that was the worst inspirational speech ever), and climbs into his super stealth attack speedboat. The AN negotiator is left on the dock, quite flustered.

Perked your interest with the super stealth attack speedboat, didn't I? Not only is it invisible to radar and possibly to the naked eye (the latter capability is a little uncertain), but it also carries a gatling gun that fires explosive rounds! Guile uses the gatling gun to destroy Bison's river scanning radar, though he alerts the bad guys that something is out of the ordinary. Bison responds by using a sonar system to pinpoint the speedboat and attacking it with mines. In a nod to video games, the mines are controlled by an arcade-style setup. Little quirks (I refuse to call them jokes) like that made me resent this film. Sometimes movies can get away with it, like almost anything starring Leslie Nielsen. Hey, there is an idea! Leslie Nielsen should have played the part of Bison. Makes as much sense as Raul Julia and some of the jokes might have turned out funny.

No need to worry about the AN commander and his team. The super stealth attack speedboat is destroyed by a mine, but they all bail out (the writer thought of the idea while watching "GI Joe"). Guile sneaks through spider and snake infested tunnels before emerging into Bison's secret genetic laboratory. Why do they not have a pest problem in the lab? No idea, because big hairy tarantulas should be crawling out of that grate every now and then. Maybe the general bought one of those ultrasonic pest control devices.

There is a brief encounter between Guile and his old friend, now the mutated creature called Blanka. Nothing much comes of the meeting, so Van Damme goes topside to personally beat the bejeezus out of Bison. The fight is lackluster until our archfiend activates his glowing anti-gravity boots. That allows him to fly back and forth, in an easily predicted parabola. The tactic proves incredibly effective, until Guile realizes that he is fighting a piñata. Bison is thrown into a huge wall covered with televisions, causing the entertainment devices to explode. Time for the happy ending.

Meaning all the characters hugging and looking happy that the battle is over, not the type of "happy ending" other military types might associate with Southeast Asia.

You know, I always seem to notice the movies that are based on video games. This is probably due to the fact that they are pretty much doomed from inception, but they do not have to be. "Street Fighter" suffers far worse than it should have. Whoever did the casting is not without blame, because I was completely floored by some of the choices. However, the writer is who absolutely massacred the film. As a video game movie, the production was already a baby playing with an electrical outlet, but the script floods the room and gives the child a fork. One redeeming factor was that some of the characters did attempt to emulate moves from the game. Granted, they were using artistic license, but the results were not all that bad (well, except for Bison flying around).

I am still waiting for the live action "Dig Dug" movie. A little dude in a biohazard suit inflating giant moles until they pop, what fun!

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Never sell tennis ball guns to the mob.
  • Safety glass is bullet-proof.
  • You can get some really great deals on complex weapon systems if you shop the flea markets.
  • Sumo wresters are immune to pain.
  • Halon gas systems are intended to suppress fires, but they can also suppress intruders.
  • There is a mysterious connection between Martin Luther King and dolphins.
  • One hero with a pistol can hold off thirty bad guys with assault rifles.
  • Multiple CRT displays are extremely volatile.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 5 mins - "Way to highlight me. Thanks a lot, sir. I am so freaking dead..."
  • 11 mins - You have to wonder what company manufacturers those IV drips for "DNA MUTAGENS."
  • 18 mins - The results of this GNC test were never published.
  • 42 mins - Please, please, please, please - let the boat's captain be Hulk Hogan.
  • 50 mins - Just how many farmers has this guy killed?
  • 69 mins - He wants to sniff butts in greeting.


  • Bison: "Tell you what. After I've crushed my enemies, we'll see about getting you published. That should cheer you up, hmmm?"
  • Dr. Dhalsim: "It was Bison's scientists who warped his body. I did what I could to preserve his mind, to keep him human."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note streetfighter1.wav Sagat: "This money isn't worth the paper it's printed on!"
Bison: "On the contrary, every Bison Dollar will be worth five British Pounds. That is the exchange rate the Bank of England will set, once I've kidnapped their queen."
Green Music Note streetfighter2.wav Soldier: "A single boat against everything he's got? The pilot would have to be out of his mind."
Guile: "Luckily, Bison has driven me crazy, so I'm going to do it."
Green Music Note streetfighter3.wav Guile: "What will prevent him from taking more hostages next month and asking for fifty billion, one hundred billion?"
AN Envoy: "Colonel, have you lost your mind?"
Guile: "No, you've lost your balls."
Green Music Note streetfighter4.wav Cammy: "Stealth mode compromised, sir! We're busted. They know we're coming."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipstreetfighter1.mpg - 2.7m
Jean-Claude Van Damme going manno-a-manno with Raul Julia. Yeah, that sounds like a fair fight.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 [3] 4
Street Fighter
Reply #17. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Hadrian Wolff
O.K. guys. We're all here because we like bad movies. I'm going to rent it at some point and enjoy every minute of this B movie gem.

Re: Street Fighter
Reply #18. Posted on December 07, 2007, 07:22:08 AM by asimpson2006
Needless to say, I enjoyed the film myself.  It's corny, but you have to laugh at the corny ness that this film offers.  If you take films like this seriously, you miss the enjoyment out of it.
Re: Street Fighter
Reply #19. Posted on April 27, 2008, 02:10:18 AM by John
"a combination of Apocalypse Now and Ben Hur"

Maybe he took the whole pig after pig, cow after cow thing too seriously!    TeddyR
It was a bad campy corny movie that is worth a watch. I enjoyed it in all it's ignoble glory!
Re: Street Fighter
Reply #20. Posted on June 07, 2008, 02:52:58 PM by Castroph
This movie was terrible, though it made me laugh a couple times when Van Damme spoke.
Re: Street Fighter
Reply #21. Posted on February 20, 2009, 09:50:00 PM by Kooshmeister
Recently I finally saw this and I didn't think it was anywhere near as bad as everyone says it is. Then again this is probably because I've never seen or played any of the games (although I did own an M. Bison action figure as a kid for some reason). Just a few things:

-I had absolutely no problem understanding what Jean-Claude Van Damme said. Yes, he has a thick accent, but I found him 100% intelligible.

-According to the DVD commentary (more on this in a second), the reason they called them the AN and not the UN is because Capcom stupidly asked the UN if they could use their logo/name in the film; according to De Souza, you don't need the UN's permission, or the permission of any army or government organization, to depict them in film, fictionally or otherwise.

Nevertheless, because Capcom asked, the UN balked at the idea of them being used in a violent action film (nevermind that it portrays them in a mostly good light, what with rescuing hostages and dethroning an evil dictator and all) and sent a "strongly worded letter" (if I remember De Souza's wording correctly) to Capcom. As a result, they had to repaint all of the U's in "UN" on all the uniforms and vehicles to become A's for the fictional Allied Nations.

-Whoever said Cammy is "too old and fat" is a shallow a***ole. Sorry, but even though I'm not heterosexual, the words "old" and "fat" do not come to mind when I look at Kylie Minogue. That's just...well, as I said, shallow.

-The DVD commentary is actually nothing more than a carryover of the laserdisc's audio commentary, which was recorded by De Souza shortly after the completion of the film and before it had a chance to be ripped to pieces by enraged fans and critics. This makes it a very unique commentary. Usually commentaries for bad movies (like Batman and Robin) have the director, or writer, or whoever, profusely apologizing for the film, which gets annoying after a while. I don't want excuses and whining, I want the actual reasons behind why such decisions were made, and the De Souza commentary, unpoisoned by the hatred this movie garners, offered a ton of insight, both good and bad.

Complaints about Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile and Raul Julia as M. Bison? They were the first choices for those roles from day one. To hear De Souza tell it, they never had anyone else in mind to play either character. Make of that what you will.

Amongst other things the commentary would seem to explain why it has so many humorous bits and why it doesn't follow the game's storyline. The humorous stuff is certainly a "take it or leave it" situation; De Souza just wanted to make a fun action movie. As for the story, I think it was pretty clear that they wanted to ground the film in reality as much as possible, by turning it from a game about a fighting tournament with superpowers and overly flamboyant characters into a story about turmoil in a small foreign country with what passes for the UN attempting to overthrow an evil drug lord turned dictator. The humor isn't needed and is sometimes a bit jarring, but at least it's not the kind of sick gross-out humor we get in movies today (apart from the thinly-veiled prison sex joke between Honda and Balrog when they're in the torture chamber, and at least that was cleverly written).

Does this work? In a sense, yes. Taken on its own (even with the humor), Street Fighter is a mostly coherent movie with a beginning and an end. Erm, sort of. For me the movie's only real shortcoming is the end, which is abrupt and leaves a lot of loose ends. Why did they show the AN official's helicopter flying to Bison's fortress if they're not going to have him show up? Why does Guile not try harder to make Blanka and Dr. Dhalsim come with him? Why does he get over their apparent deaths so quickly? What happens to Vega, last seen unconscious on the floor? Did Sagat just leave him?

The ending aside however I found the story very easy to follow on repeat viewings (for instance I only noticed on my second viewing that it was a disguised Chun-Li, Honda and Balrog performing in Bison's tent). M. Bison attempts to conquer Shadaloo and is repelled in a coup assisted by Allied Nations troops. He takes some hostages including Guile's friend Carlos Blanka, who he experiments on. Guile with the help of some con men infiltrates the gang of a Shadaloo crime lord who supplies Bison with guns, to learn where Bison has holed up. While this is happening, a news team comprised of people who all have personal vendettas against Bison use this as an opportunity to attempt to get revenge on the evil would-be dictator, but they are captured. In the end there is an all-out assault on the bad guys' fortress, Guile loses his friend, who chooses to remain in Bison's exploding base rather than face the world as a mutated beast, but Guile gets his vengeance by defeating Bison in a ludicrously over the top fight, the hostages are rescued, and everyone is happy.

I fail to see anything wrong with that story as a whole. But, from what little I know of the games, it isn't Street Fighter. Not that I care much. I guess in the end, Street Fighter is a movie that (despite what De Souza claims) is aimed at people who have never played the games. If you changed the names of all of the characters and changed the title, would this film even get the amount of hate that it does? Like Super Mario Bros. (another much put-upon video game movie I happen to enjoy), it's not faithful to the source material, but the story is fun, so if people would get over their petty complaints (like Cammy being "too fat") and just enjoy it for what it is, rather than whining about what it isn't.
Re: Street Fighter
Reply #22. Posted on February 23, 2009, 05:04:00 PM by WingedSerpent
Be interesting to see if the new one aout Chun Li's origin will be much better or worse. 
Re: Street Fighter
Reply #23. Posted on February 24, 2009, 07:16:10 PM by Andrew
There is one part of "Street Fighter" that I think is genius:  Bison talking to Chun-Li about the day he destroyed her village and killed everyone she loved.  He says something to the effect of, "For you, that was the most important day of your life., but for me it was just (a) Tuesday."  I love that line.  It made me laugh at the time, but I have grown a lot fonder of that genius bit of dialog over the years.
Re: Street Fighter
Reply #24. Posted on March 14, 2009, 03:00:24 PM by Chris McAvey
Y'know, if you're still waiting for that Dig Dug movie, I've got something that might interest you:

The scary thing is, Hollywood probably would do something like this.
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