I broke up a bit of the monotony yesterday by watching that Street Fighter movie. Holy crap, was that bad! Remember before how I said Super Mario Bros. had nothing to do with the video game, but it was good and fun anyway? Well...I'm going to have to revise that statement. Super Mario Bros. at least had something to do with the video game. Street Fighter didn't. Pretty much the only thing that tied this movie to the game were the character names. Just the names, not even the characters. That, and the fact that, on occasion, they would fight each other. Since people fighting each other is not exactly a rare find plotwise, we're pretty much just left with the character names. And without that, basically what we're left with is just a crappy-ass movie. Unfortunate.
I actually spent a lot of time comparing and contrasting the Super Mario Bros. movie with the Street Fighter movie, mostly just thinking about how they fared as adaptations. Neither one appeared to take that much interest in the original video game worlds or plots. In a sense, I guess I held that against both of them, but whatever. Super Mario Bros. did itself a service, though, by apparently not taking itself too seriously, and at least having a little fun. Street Fighter tried to be...I guess a serious action movie, but was hindered by gross and recurring absurdity. Whether or not that owes to its video game roots, I'm not sure. I mean...there wasn't anything particularly video gamey about the absurdity. Just...crazy shit went down. Probably also sad for the Street Fighter case was that they made an effort to cram a whole buttload of the video game characters into the movie. I guess I can understand the impulse, but why they would even bother when the characters end up not matching their portrayals in the video game...well, that's anyone's guess. Bad guys and good guys are switched around, occupations and backstories are all munged up...even nationalities were changed, which...I dunno, I feel like nationality was such a big deal in the game. I dunno. I would have been a lot happier, I think, with fewer characters and a more game-like storyline. (And on that topic...this whole experience prompted me to read up a little on the upcoming Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. And despite the experience I've just had with a Street Fighter film, I can honestly say that this new one sounds awful.) In any case, the crowning disappointment of the Street Fighter movie was that...well, it didn't involve a fighting tournament. I mean...what the fuck?!
Anyhoo. Notable appearances in the film include: of course, Jean-Claude van Damme as the lead, playing Guile, so that gives you probably the biggest clue as to the quality of the film. (God, even now I grit my teeth as I can't let this quibble go: you're making a movie, Jean-Claude van Damme is the lead, it's called "Street Fighter," for Christ's sake, and you can't make it about a fighting tournament?! Argh!); Sagat played by Wes Studi, who I enjoy in many films, but probably will cherish most as the Sphinx from Mystery Men; Chun-Li played by the Asian doctor chick from E.R.; and Kylie Minogue as Cammy (who, by the way, I'm pleased to report reproduced on film my favorite move from the game, Cammy's "head scissors throw," which I affectionately call the "Beaver Pelt.") Other than that, the movie threw in a few game references here and there, but overall just really wasn't worth the effort. The majority of the movie was a drag. Things definitely picked up toward the end, and honestly I did enjoy myself during the final act, but overall the film as a whole just didn't deliver. Sorry, Street Fighter, no points for you. And I am seriously unenthused about your upcoming Legend of Chun-Li offspring. Bummer.
So. And because there's something wrong with me, this whole experience has led to me spending much of the afternoon reading about Street Fighter character backstories. This has filled me with a simple joy, much moreso than watching that movie did, anyway. Also I got to thinking about the difficulties involved in adapting fighting games as movies anyway. I mean, I felt Mortal Kombat actually did a decent job (though the sequel was kinda crappy), but mostly you have the problem of having way too many characters around with not enough to do. I got to thinking, though, about other fighting games, and if any of them would make good movies. I actually have no clue about character stories, but I felt like Bloody Roar would make a good movie. I think I mainly just want to see Busuzima on screen in live action.
Any video game adaptations you guys would want?