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Look out for more coverage of
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

THE STARS:
Kristin Kreuk • Chris Klein • Michael Clarke Duncan • Neal McDonough • Taboo • Robert Shou • Moon Bloodgood
DIRECTOR: Andrzej Bartkowiak

THE CONCEPT:
The forces of Evil, led by Bison (McDonough), a crime boss of seemingly limitless power, is taking over the slums of Bangkok, a task overseen by Balrog (Duncan) and Vega (Taboo). As Bison instigates a war of violence, a team of heroes emerge, including Chun-Li (Kreuk), who gives up a life of privilege to become a street fighter, her kung fu master, Gen (Shou), Interpol cop, Charlie Nash (Klein) and gangland detective, Maya (Bloodgood).

U.S. RELEASE: February 27 2009, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

ASHOK AMRITAJ (Producer):
“When you have a franchise like Street Fighter, the game company’s very protective of the characters, so when we were developing the screenplay we chose the Chung-Li character to start what will hopefully be a movie franchise of its own. We had to be very careful and go back and forth with Capcom quite a bit to make sure that while we were separating the game from the movie, the legend and history of the game was still kept intact.”

PATRICK AIELLO (Producer):
“And this is an origin story, so we wanted to start off with a group of people that we could manage, and we began with Bison’s story as we do with Chung-Li’s, and we’ll grow from there. Now we are into the world of Bison, we’ll see what comes of it from that point.”

KRISTIN KREUK:
“In this story, I think it’s really important to be earnest with the characters, because you want people to relate to them while they go through the movie. I think it’s really important that the fighting is really good, but you want to be able to root for the individual, and that means that the character has got to be relatable in someway. And if they’re really over-the-top, it’s harder to relate to them in this style of a movie.”

CHRIS KLEIN:
Chris Klein“I think the only way to ever know guns is to actually participate in some form of the military, which I never did. The only training that I had up until rehearsals for this movie was making We Were Soldiers a couple of years ago, but this film was totally different. Charlie Nash is a run and gun guy, and I have very limited experience with handguns. I don’t own a handgun, it’s not a hobby of mine personally, so upon arriving in Thailand I trained with some Thai and Australian special forces that the producers brought in to teach me the appropriate way to use a handgun. For any dude to do something like that is pretty darn fun.”

NEAL McDONOUGH:
 Neal McDonough“I love every character that I play, and I played Bison like he didn’t have an evil bone in his body. I based him after Richard Branson, a world traveler with great clothing, he had the best schooling, this guy did whatever he needed to do, and if you saw him walking on the street, you’d be like, ‘I want to be like Bison.’ He sticks to the corporate greed of life and he enjoys it. I had a wonderful, delicious time playing him, that’s for sure.”

MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN:
Michael Clarke Duncan“I didn’t want to be the stereotypical big heavy who is mean and growling. I believe that the person who is more scary in a room is a person that smiles a lot. I’m already big, I have the size, but if my boss tells me to go do something I do it with a smile, it’s way more sinister. I was having fun beating people up and destroying stuff.”

TABOO:
Taboo“The cool thing about the movie for me is that I was able to do what I do with Black Eyed Peas and that’s present a martial arts mystique in the group. When people see me on stage I always have stances to represent that, and now to be able to represent it on the big screen was a natural progression for me, and I want to continue making action films.”

AMRITAJ:
“I think there has been enough time since the last Street Fighter, and that was such a different movie. Jean-Claude Van Damme played Guile, and Raul Julia was a slightly different kind of Bison, and it had all of these different characters that were very close to the pop feel that the game has. This one is quite different, the look, the feel, the visuals, all of it is very different.”

McDONOUGH:
“I’d never seen the original Street Fighter film, and when they asked me to do this I really didn’t want to see it, because everyone spoke so much about Raul Julia’s performance and how fantastic it was, and can you live up to that? I [decided] to make a new spin on it, and I think it worked. I still haven’t see it, but as soon as the film comes out I’ll go watch Mr Julia’s performance, he was an amazing actor.”

KREUK:
“Chun-Li starts off in this movie very young and she loses both of her parents, and becomes very angry and wants to go and get revenge on the guy who took her father when she was a young girl. And then, she ends up on this spiritual path, where she seeks out a master, and she learns to let go of her attachments so that she can see a greater good, because her attachments are blinding her sight. That way, she can go out and actually fight for something, and understand what it is she’s fighting for.”

KLEIN:
“My favorite sequence in the film was when the Port Authority office blows up and all hell breaks lose, that was incredible. I remember right before we did the jump stunt, where I’m blasted out of that building, I looked at Patrick and said, ‘It all starts right now, this is going to be three nights of mayhem.’ And he said, ‘Don’t get hurt.’”

AIELLO:
“We actually blew it up, but we did it in two steps, we blew Chris out of the door with the smoke and debris, and then we did an additional explosion.”

KREUK:
“I had done wirework on Smallville, but only minor, and I only had seven hours to really practice that stuff, which is nothing. Five weeks even felt like nothing, for what we did. Doing wires well isn’t easy. I think that all the hand-to-hand stuff is challenging as well, but to make the wire work look good and natural, it’s a whole different way of figuring out how to make your body move. I learned so much on this, that I only got bits and pieces of on Smallville, where I would get the choreography and they’d be like, ‘Okay, action!’”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li site
Images above © Twentieth Century Fox
Feature © 2009 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #701, December 2008 cover

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