Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie
Street Fighter is based on the video game that started the entire one-on-one street fighting craze: Street Fighter II. A plot summary would really be a formality here, since you arenít going to watch this one for the story. Nevertheless, the story centers on the "main characters" of Super Street Fighter II: Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, and Guile, although every character in the game has at least one small fight scene, even the four "Super" add-on characters.
Anyway, for those of you who donít know, M. Bison (Vega in Japan) is in charge of an evil empire called Shadowlaw and plans to take over the world. Bison plans to do this by capturing the best fighters on earth and converting them into mindless terrorists through his Psycho Power. Ryu, being the best (although I personally beg to differ, being a Chun Li fan myself), is targeted by Bison, who captures his best friend Ken to draw him out. Chun Li and Guile also hunt for Bison through Interpol with the hopes of shutting down his empire. Lots of fighting happens along the way and also as a result.
Letís ignore the plot for now, which while better than most martial-arts flicks of its type, is simply an excuse for the fighting. Suffice to say, though, that the story is light-years ahead of the wretched excuse of a movie the live-action Street Fighter was, and a lot more faithful to the original character designs, too (what did they DO to Ken and Ryu? Argh!)
The animation and art are simply astounding. One watches this movie for the action sequences, and one definitely isnít disappointed. From the beginning to the end, the fighting and action is fluid, lightning fast, and smooth. The fighting styles of each character are done with remarkable detail and attention; an avid fan of the game can actually recognize "normal" moves (you know, ones that donít need a special joystick motion to activate) unique to each character in the sequences. Even the "special moves" (the ones where you have to mangle to joystick to execute) are done realistically and believably. Youíd think you really could do a Hurricane Kick, if you just practiced enough.
The soundtrack is a bit disappointing, though. The American release took the liberty of toying with the original track, substituting Alice in Chains and the like (no joke) for a lot of the music. Not bad, but not as good as it could be. And the dubbing is BAD. Really really bad. Some of the worst Iíve heard outside of Clash of the Bionoids.
Overall, not bad at all, although the lack of plot keeps it from being a Great. Want pure martial arts action? Street Fighter, man. Substance? Go elsewhere.
Recommended Audience: Lots of realistic martial arts violence, so probably not one for the kiddies. Thereís a thirty-second shower scene (of Chun Li, or course) thatís snipped in some versions of the movie.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie © 1994 Capcom Co Ltd
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