Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is the second live-action film based on the Street Fighter series. It follows the quest of Chun-Li, portrayed by Smallville star Kristin Kreuk. The film co-stars Neal McDonough as M. Bison, Chris Klein as Charlie, Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog, and Black Eyed Peas singer Taboo as Vega. Rick Yune was originally cast as Gen but has been replaced by Robin Shou, who portrayed Liu Kang in the Mortal Kombat series. The film was released in theaters on February 27, 2009. The movie was not well received by critics or fans; much like the series' first live action big budget Hollywood movie, common criticism included that it was unfaithful to its source material, amongst other complaints.
As a child, Chun-Li moves from San Francisco to Hong Kong with her family. There, along with piano, she learns Wushu from her father, Xiang (Edmund Chen), a well connected businessman. One night, her home is attacked by Bison and his henchman Balrog. Chun Li's father fights them off until Balrog grabs ahold of a young Chun Li, forcing him to surrender.
Years later, Chun-Li grows up and becomes a talented concert pianist. At the end of one of her concerts, she receives a scroll written in ancient Chinese text. On her way home, she sees a mysterious homeless man getting assaulted by street thugs. After the thugs leave, Chun Li tends to him and notices a spiderweb tattoo on his hand. Meanwhile, Xiang is shown working for Bison as a prisoner, only allowed to view pictures of his grown up daughter. Back home, Chun Li's mother finally loses her battle to cancer as Chun Li and her servants mourn her loss at a funeral.
Elsewhere, Nash and Maya investigate the murder of several heads of criminal syndicate families in Bangkok. Chun Li on the side is meeting with a wise old lady in town who studies the scroll and tells her to find a man named Gen in Bangkok, revealing to her an image of the same spiderweb she saw tattooed on the homeless man's hand. With a new goal in mind, Chun Li leaves her home and heads to Bangkok. After days of searching for Gen without any luck, she sees a man being assaulted in an alley by thugs. Chun Li comes to his rescue and fights them. After a long battle ended by finishing them with a Bike Rack Drop Ultra move, Chun Li collapses in exhaustion. There, we see Gen pick her up to take her to his home.
Gen tells Chun Li that he knows how to find her father and that Bison has him, but that she also needs anger management. In response, she goes to an internet cafe to find out more about Bison, who is now holding the families of property owners hostage in order to force them to sign their property over to him. Upon leaving, one of the owners is asked to hand over the rights to a docking harbor, allowing the shipment of the "White Rose". Chun Li overhears this. Meanwhile at Interpol, Nash figures out that Bison's headquarters are right across the street from the Police Station.
Later that night, Cantana, one of Bison's secretaries, goes to a nightclub. Chun Li spies on her and notices her eyeing the girls in the club. Chun Li moves in and seductively dances with her before casually walking away into the bathroom. Cantana follows her and locks the bathroom door. Chun Li beats Cantana until Cantana reveals the location of the White Rose. Cantana's bodyguards come back and Chun Li escapes after fighting them off. The next morning, we see that Bison had used Cantana for a punching bag and beat her to death. Bison then ordered Balrog to contact Vega.
We are then told of Bison's origins. He is the son of Irish missionaries. He grew up an orphan having to steal fish from people in Thailand. In order to lose his conscience, he forced his daughter out of the womb of his wife prematurely. This transferred his conscience into her, thus Bison no longer had or has a conscience. Back at Gen's home, Bison's henchmen come after Gen and Chun Li. Gen fights them off until Balrog blows up his house with an RPG. With Gen gone and nowhere to be found, Chun Li runs off. She is then attacked by Vega, who she defeats soundly and hangs upside down over the side of a building.
Chun Li then heads to the harbor and interrogates an employee into telling her the arrival time of the White Rose. Later that night, this turns out to be a trap as several Shadaloo soldiers capture her. Chun Li is then taken back to Shadaloo headquarters and is reunited with her father. Bison tells her that Xiang outlived his usefulness and breaks his neck, killing him. Bison and Balrog leave Chun Li to the henchman to finish off. Chun Li however escapes when they try to swing her around from the ceiling like a pinata. As she runs away, she is shot in the arm by Balrog. Before Balrog could recapture her, the crowd begins throwing durians at him. This scares Balrog as he drives off in his Mercedes-Benz. Chun Li meanwhile, is rescued again by Gen, who narrowly escaped death and survived the explosion in his house.
Chun Li approaches Nash and tells him she needs backup to take down Bison. Nash and Maya oblige as Chun Li approaches the dock employee who set her up last time. The employee tells her that he was forced into deceiving her and tells her the real arrival time. Chun Li doubts him at first, but he points to the white board at the arrival time, proving that it is true. At the dock later that night, Interpol agents engage in a shootout with Shadaloo soldiers. On a ship, Chun Li finds a girl asking where her father is. Meanwhile, Gen fights Balrog and kills him by stabbing him with a pipe spraying nitrogen. We later find out that the girl is Bison's daughter and her name is Rose, making her the White Rose. Bison takes her in and welcomes her warmly.
Chun Li then comes in and fights Bison. After a long battle, she hits him with a bamboo pole and drops sandbags on him, stunning him. She then charges up a Kikoken and shoots it at him, knocking him off the scaffolding they were fighting on, then jumping on his head and twisting it all the way around, breaking his neck and killing him.
Back home, Chun Li is settled down as Gen pays her a visit. He shows her an ad for a Street Fighter tournament, telling her about a Japanese fighter named Ryu. Chun Li declines, saying that she's home for now.
The movie was not well received by critics or fans; Rotten Tomatoes currently lists the movie at a "4% Fresh" rating, with 50 negative and 2 positive reviews. The general consensus among most critics was that unlike the first movie, which had developed a campy-but-fun reputation, The Legend of Chun-Li drifted too far from its source material and was simply unwatchable. In addition, the movie was a box office flop, taking in less than $9 million domestically, with an estimated budget of over $50 million.
|Balrog||Michael Clarke Duncan|
|Detective Maya Sunee||Moon Bloodgood|
|M. Bison||Neal McDonough|
|Huang (Chun-Li's father)||Edmund Chen|
|Young Rose||Elizaveta Kiryukhina|
The Theatrical and Unrated 2 DVD version was released on June 30, 2009 in North America
- Number of discs: 2
Special Edition features DVD features:
- 2.35:1 anamorphic wide-screen
- 14 Deleted Scenes
- Audio Commentary by Patrick Aiello, Ashok Amritraj, Neal McDonough and Chris Klein
- Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
- Becoming a Street Fighter
- Behind the Fight: Production Gallery
- Chun Li: Bringing the Legend to Life
- Fox Movie Channel Presents Making a Scene
- Interactive Menus
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Sneak Peek
- Recreating the Game: Arcade to Film Comparisons
- Scene Selection
- Street Fighter Round One Fight - Animated Feature Film
- The Fight in Black and White: Storyboard Gallery
- Street Fighter: Round One - FIGHT!
- Rick Yune was originally cast as Gen, but he was replaced by Robin Shou, who is the only actor in the cast who has previously featured in other movies based on a video game: he played Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat (1995) and its sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), as well as having a cameo role in DOA: Dead or Alive (2006).
- Chun-Li literally means "spring-beauty" in Chinese.
- Kristin Kreuk left Smallville for this role.
- Most of the back story setting up the alliance between Chun-Li and Nash can be found in the deleted scenes on the DVD.
- M. Bison's alternate name for Shadaloo was the Shadow Empire, like in the video games.
- Crates throughout Bangkok's industrial area were labeled "Toei". That was the Japanese animation group of American action hits-such as G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. This can also refer to Capcom's rival, Nintendo distributor Koei.
- During some scenes at Central Police of Bangkok, can be seen a man similar to Guile, with the same military cut and next to Charlie.
- Ryu is mentioned in the final scenes of film, although his name is mispronounced "rai-yu".
- During the nightclub scene, Chun-Li has her hair in her signature "buns" from the video game series.
- In the flashback to Chun-Li's father giving her the spinning bird necklace, Chun-Li saying "thank you" in Chinese is translated in subtitles as "I love you".