No Legend To Be Found Here
At first, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li evokes false hope for a Street Fighter fan, since it's at least presented as a rather straightforward martial arts action pic, instead of an embarrassing and ridiculous piece of camp like Jean-Claude Van Damme's Street Fighter from 1994. But it doesn't take long for reality to set in.
This new movie is just plain bad in its own way, beset with more traditional issues, such as a dull script full of poor dialogue, fairly uninteresting fight scenes, and across-the-board bad acting. To be fair, Neal McDonough and Robin Shou emerge relatively unscathed, but main star Kristin Kreuk, as Chun-Li, delivers voiceovers both redundant and stiff, while the rapport between Moon Bloodgood and Chris Klein feels like a contest to see who can act less convincingly while displaying absolutely no chemistry (and, frankly, the hammy Klein wins by a mile).
The rest of the movie comes across as just plain listless, with a plot that isn't exciting or suspenseful, and set pieces that aren't terribly inventive. Shou is the only real martial artist in the bunch, so the fight scenes have nothing to show off but a few wire-assisted stunts. In one rather laughable sequence, the built-up face-off between Chun-Li and the supposedly lethal Vega (Taboo) lasts for all of about one anti-climactic minute.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li displays no real ambition or desire to stand out. It's only virtue? Not being really offensive. Street Fighter fans like me will be blissfully playing Street Fighter IV, with this movie occupying our minds as little more than a disposable curiosity. (Capsule review)
(Released by Twentieth Century Fox and rated "PG-13" for sequences of violence and martial arts action, and some sensuality.)
Review also posted at www.windowtothemovies.com.