Bruce Bennett Short Bio

Bruce Bennett

Bruce Bennett has been the primary contributor to Mad About Movies since it began in 2003. He is an award winning film and theater critic who, since 2000, has been writing a weekly column in The Spectrum daily newspaper in southern Utah as well as serving as a contributing editor of “The Independent,” a monthly entertainment magazine. He is also the co-host of “Film Fanatics” a movie review show which earned a Telly in 2009. Bruce is also a featured contributor at: RottenTomatoes.com

His motto: "I see bad movies so you don't have to."

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

The “Legend” dies with latest “Street Fighter” adaptation

If you are a fan of the classic “Street Fighter” video game, the latest film adaptation is a total embarrassment and the purpose of this review is to do everything in its power to convince you to avoid buying a ticket. At all costs.

Let’s be clear: This film is terrible. From the juvenile screenplay to the uninspired acting, to the plain vanilla action sequences there is nothing to recommend.

Your time would be better spent playing the video game and, good news, a new edition just hit stores. Or, track down one of those old fashioned arcade versions and just stare at it for 97 minutes; you’ll still have more fun than watching this plodding, predictable piece of Bangkok-based insomnia remedy. After last year’s forgettable “Bangkok Dangerous,” maybe we can conclude it’s something in the Thai water.

If you still MUST see this film, here’s a quick synopsis: Chun-Li (Kristin Kreuk-cute and athletic but Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu need not worry) is the beloved daughter of a caring father who teaches his child martial arts. When her papa is kidnapped (reason?) by evil crime lord Bison, (Neal McDonough, using a misplaced, inconsistent Irish accent), a mysterious scroll sends her on a journey to exact revenge and ultimately find her destiny… yada, yada, yada. (Feel free to arrive late, there’s almost no action in the film’s first half hour, always a bad sign for an “action” movie.)

Chun-Li is trained by pony-tailed master Gen (Robin Shou), who has all the personality of a broken nun-chuk. Influences from “The Karate Kid,” “Star Wars” and most every martial arts movie abound, with nary a trace of interesting originality. Actor Chris Klein, who seems to be studying at the Keanu Reeves school of acting (you decide if this is a good thing), plays an Interpol cop along for the ride with his busty sidekick detective (the fantastically named Moon Bloodgood).

Lest you think this review is merely down on the genre, ponder this: for about the same budget (roughly $50 million), last year’s “The Forbidden Kingdom” featured two martial-arts movie icons, a thrilling story, humor and some great fight scenes. Worth checking out.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, on the other hand, has no mojo in its dojo.

Grade: F
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and martial arts action, and some sensuality.

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