March 27, 2009

Fighting Evil … and Bad Filmmaking

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Reasons to go see Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li:
1. Plot: The Legend of Chun-Li centers around a classically-trained, millionaire pianist who receives mysterious scrolls in another language by mail and decides to give up everything to aimlessly wander through a far-off, quite dangerous city for weeks searching for the scroll’s owner, knowing only their first (or possibly last) name.
2. Believability: The Legend of Chun-Li is the kind of movie where said classical pianist looks like Kristin Kreuk, with hair and makeup still fresh after two weeks of living on the street with almost no money and just the clothes on her back.
2B. Believability ctd.: When was the last time Kristin Kreuk was in a feature film? Oh, yeah … Eurotrip. And now that TV’s Smallville sucks, if your Kreuk-meter needs cooking, she does a bunch of spin kicks and stuff.
3. Also on believability: The Legend of Chun-Li is also the kind of movie where the head of the Bangkok police moonlights as a supermodel, speaks flawless English and can’t wait for a man to come in, take over her job and shamelessly flirt with her. Professional, indeed.
4. Romance: This is the kind of movie where the protagonist gets information by dancing erotically, but terribly awkwardly, at a club, to lure the bad girl to the bathroom where she then beats the living shit out of her face against the sink and stall doors. Sexy, indeed.
5. Super skills: This is also the kind of movie where said classical pianist carries no rape whistle or mace and sleeps in random Bangkok alleyways. When thugs attack someone else, she screams “STOP.” When the thugs turn their attention to her instead, she mysteriously whips out Matrix-style kung fu moves and dispatches them all by accident. Who needs self-defense courses?
6. More super skills: this is the kind of movie where with intense concentration, human beings can fire visible bursts of energy at each other. No one screams “Hadouken,” though.
7. Casting: This movie has the nerve to star veteran actors such as Neal McDonough and Michael Clarke Duncan as the bad guys, giving them arbitrary names from the Street Fighter canon, regardless of their lack of resemblance to the characters.
8. Forces of evil: You know the bad guy is bad when he thinks it’s a good idea to rip his unborn child out of his pregnant wife and transfer his goodness into her so he can be even more bad. Wait, what?
9. More evil: Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile) knows he’s in it for the paycheck. It’s apparent that the filmmakers don’t care he’s Oscar-nominated, and that to them, he’s just a huge black guy with a deep voice. Duncan shows it by laughing with the audience through every scene and wasted line. Don’t you wish all bad movies had a character who played Jim from The Office?
10. Continuity: This is also the kind of movie where when the plot stops making sense, someone comes back to life mysteriously, someone dies graphically or a random training montage or fight scene occurs, occasionally involving a man with one set of Wolverine claws and a silver mask. For all the spin-kicks and flips the guy does just to get from point A to point B, you’d think he’d put a breathing slit to make things a little easier?
11. Sequel potential: No movie can be worse than the original Street Fighter from 1994, right? With Jean-Claude Van Damme in a baby blue beret? Right? Right?

Reasons not to go see Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li:
All of the above.