Friday, May 20, 2011

Street Fighter

Roger Ebert might argue that video games can never be art.  Fans may argue which adaption from a video game came the closest to capturing what made the game so compelling (for my money that would be "Silent Hill"), but for my money the one adaption that was the most fun is "Street Fighter."  It gleefully doesn't make a lick of sense.  It shambles, rambles, runs a full tilt boogie from one silly situation to another trying to shoe horn in every character from the game. 

It's great.

Does Jean-Claude Van Damme successfully play an american soldier?  Not even.  Does it matter?  Not at all.  Even Mr. Dour here can't stop the fun as Colonel Guile.  The good Colonel is leading a UN style force into the asian nation of Shadalo.  The reason is to stop the mad, mad, mad M. Bison played with zest by Raul Julia.  In between this rock and a hard body is everyone else from black marketeers, con men, and cute journalists seeking revenge. 

The actual kung fu is of only middling quality.  The mix of actors really couldn't allow for Jackie Chan style craziness.  But the characters square off nicely and there's a nice balance and flow.  What really anchors the film is Julia who brings a sort of crazed dignity to a character who thinks its sound fiscal strategy to plan to kidnap the Queen of England.  Definitely a guilty pleasure I don't feel a shred of guilt in watching. 

We sorely miss you Mr. Julia.

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