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Street Fighter is a 1994 American action film written and directed by Steven E. de Souza based on Street Fighter. The film features an international and multicultural cast that included Jean-Claude Van Damme (in the role of Guile), Raúl Juliá (as M. Bison) and pop singer Kylie Minogue (as Cammy) along with Native American actor Wes Studi (as Sagat), Chinese American actors Ming-Na Wen (as Chun-Li), Byron Mann (as Ryu), Mexican American actor Damian Chapa (as Ken) and African American actor Grand L. Bush (as Balrog).
The movie was produced in the United States by Amblin Entertainment, Capcom of America, HarMoviesMony Entertainment, HOG! Pictures Unlimited and Virgin Interactive and distributed by Universal Pictures.
The movie altered the plot of the original game and motives of the Street Fighter characters. It also significantly lightened the tone of the adaptation, inserting several comical interludes into the mix.
Two video game tie-ins based on the movie were released which used digitized footage of the actors performing fight moves, similar to the presentation in the Mortal Kombat series of games.
The movie takes place in the fictional nation of Shadaloo in South East Asia (the movie was shot in Thailand, and maps at the beginning of the movie show Shadaloo occupying a segment of modern-day Burma). After months of fighting, a multinational military force of the Allied Nations has managed to enter the city of "Shadaloo City". The Allied Nations is fighting against the armed forces of drug lord turned General M. Bison, who has recently captured a couple of dozen AN workers. Bison makes his demands in a live two-way TV broadcast with William F. Guile, the regional commander of the AN forces. If he is not paid $20 billion in three days he will kill the hostages and the world will hold Guile and the AN accountable.
Guile's assistant Cammy is only able to partially trace Bison's signal. From that it can be determined that Bison's hideout is somewhere in the river-delta region outside Shadaloo City. After one of the thugs of Victor Sagat, head of the Shadaloo Tong, attempts to assassinate Guile, which Guile himself quickly foils, he figures out that Sagat is the arms-supplier for Bison.
Guile attempts to infiltrate Ryu Hoshi and Ken Masters, two foreign operators who were arrested along with Sagat while fighting a cage match - they had tried to cheat Sagat beforehand by selling him fake weapons, and Sagat was not amused - into Sagat's gang. He decides to stage a prison-break and his own death in order to find out the location of Bison's hideout via a homing device carried by Ryu and Ken. Guile's plan hits a snag when a GNT News Reporter Chun-Li Xiang (spelled "Zang" in the film; played by Ming-Na), who is out for Bison's blood, finds out that Guile is alive and with the help of her partners, Sumo wrestler E. Honda and professional boxer Balrog, attempts to kill Bison and Sagat with a truck bomb while they are engaged in arms trade at a thieves' camp. The explosion destroys much of Bison's arms cache but fails to kill the dictator. The plan thus fails (in part because Bison and Sagat are tipped off by Ken), and Chun-Li and her friends are captured.
Ryu and Ken are welcomed as Bison troopers. Once in the fortress, they free Balrog and Honda, and the four of them go to "save" Chun-Li, who is delivering an unexpectedly severe beating to a surprised Bison. Unfortunately, the arrival of Honda, et al. interrupts Chun-Li, giving Bison a chance to escape and trapping the five of them in a room flooding with gas.
Ryu and Ken's homing device is tracked by satellite, which also detects the explosion at Bison's camp, and the AN is able to locate Bison's headquarters in an abandoned temple. Since Bison's air defenses are too deadly, Guile orders an amphibious assault on the base. As the troops comprising the strike force stand in salute and are preparing to march out, a group of peace negotiators arrives to inform Guile that the invasion is no longer authorized, since the ransom demand is about to be paid. Guile protests what he sees as appeasement and decides to go ahead with the assault.
Meanwhile Guile, T. Hawk and Cammy head up river to lead the attack in a stealth-boat, which they use to blow up part of Bison's radar system. Bison notices the attack and manages to compromise the boat's stealth-mode, making Guile a perfect target. The boat is blown out of the water but Guile and his comrades escape in time.
Guile heads in to Bison's fort alone while T. Hawk and Cammy stay and wait for the rest of the attack-party. Guile falls in to the laboratory of Dr. Dhalsim where he encounters his friend Carlos "Charlie" Blanka who has been warped in to a powerful beast. After realizing that Bison attempts to use Blanka to execute the hostages he hides in Blanka's incubation chamber and takes Bison by surprise. Unfortunately he is not able to prevent "red-alert" from going off and Cammy and T. Hawk end up in a tight spot. The attack party is not far behind and the battle begins.
While some of the heroes try to free the hostages, Ken wants to leave the battle now that the military is there. Ryu disagrees and goes back in to fight, but as Ken is leaving, he sees the monitors of the cameras spread out through Bison's base. He sees Sagat and Vega trying to ambush Ryu. Ken goes back in to help Ryu, and the two of them defeat Vega and Sagat after an intense fight. Meanwhile, Guile and Bison engage in a one-on-one fight. Guile seems to be winning, but then an automatic revival system brings Bison back to life and charges his body with great amounts of electromagnetism, allowing him to shoot lightning bolts and fly across the air. After taking a serious beating, Guile manages to kick Bison and sends him flying against his gigantic monitor wall. As he crashes, there are severe electrical disturbances which destabilize the power system of the base. As the base sounds the alarm, the heroes find and release the hostages just in time, and everyone evacuates.
Guile manages to find the laboratory and talk to Dhalsim and Blanka one last time before he is forced to leave them behind; Blanka, now a warped beast with red hair and green skin, cannot return to human society changed like this, and Dhalsim decides not to leave Blanka to die alone and to pay for his own part in having done this to him. When the temple comes crashing down after an explosion everyone thinks that Guile is dead, but then he appears from amongst the smoke.
The movie ends semi-humorously, after Guile converses with Chun-Li, Ryu, Ken, Cammy, Zangief, Balrog, E-Honda, T-Hawk and Sawada, they see the last ruins of the temple fall and take their familiar win poses as the camera freezes and fades out.
In the home video version of the film, at the end of the closing credits we find ourselves back at the ruins of M. Bison's lair, as the main computer announces that its batteries are recharging from solar power and it begins fibrillating Bison's heart with electricity. As a close up of a computer screen reveals a readout: "initializing... run programs... world domination, replay", Bison's fist smashes through the rubble, apparently having been resurrected. The computer greets him: "Welcome back General M. Bison."
|Jean-Claude Van Damme||Guile|
|Raúl Juliá||M. Bison|
|Simon Callow||A.N. Official|
|Grand L. Bush||Balrog|
|Peter Navy Tuiasosopo||E. Honda|
|Gregg Rainwater||T. Hawk|
|Miguel A. Núñez Jr.||Dee Jay|
|Robert Mammone||Charlie / Carlos Blanka|
A Collector's Edition DVD of "Street Fighter" was released on May 27, 1998 for Region 1.
- 2.35:1 letterbox wide-screen
- French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1) DD5.1 Surround
- English, French and Spanish subtitles
- Auto Commentary by Director, Steven de Souza
- Making-of featurette
- Deleted scenes
- A sampling of the Universal studios Cyberwalk Street Fighter internet site
- Excerpts from the Capcom Street Fighter games
- Storyboards and production photographs
- Original advertising and publicity materials
A Extreme Edition DVD of "Street Fighter" was released on February 10, 2009 for Region 1.
- 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen
- English, French and Spanish
- Audio Commentary by Director, Steven de Souza
- Clips & Highlights - Video Game Sequences
- Deleted Scenes
- Featurette - The Making of Street Fighter
- My Scenes
- Text/Photo Gallery:
- Storybord Sequences
- Street Fighter IV Game Trailer
- Street Fighter IV Game Teaser Trailer
- Street Fighter IV Anime Trailer
- Interactive Features:
Game references and differencesEdit
The screenplay of the film attempted to include as many of the characters from the game as possible. This caused many changes in character background and behavior. Cammy and T. Hawk's characters were reduced largely to supporting characters for Guile whilst Ken and Ryu were made conmen who try to steal money from criminals leading them to direct conflict with Sagat, the underworld boss at Shadaloo. The film attempts to stay geographically consistent by setting the events in South East Asia (in the game Bison's hideout is in Thailand). Notably Balrog switches sides in this movie becoming one of the good guys while Dee Jay and Zangief are traded in as Bison's lackeys, largely for comical relief purposes. The characters of Blanka and Charlie were combined for the film in order to ground Guile's story (though in the game universe the characters are separate, however, Charlie's appearance in this film predates his appearance in the Street Fighter Alpha series). Only the characters of Guile, Chun Li and Bison remain unchanged for the most part. The character of Fei Long was dropped from the movie with the character of Captain Sawada considered a replacement of sorts.
Nonetheless, Steven E. deSouza attempted to have some direct referencing of the game content in the film's production design. For instance in Bison's private room, a hatrack is shown which contains identically-designed officer's caps, each colored as one of Bison's palette-swapped costumes from Street Fighter II. In addition, the control panel for Bison's levitating desk is the joystick and buttons to a Street Fighter II arcade game and after he finishes using them he comments "Game over!".
Director Steven de Souza notes in the DVD commentary that the crew tried to make references to some of the stages in the game. The fresco found in the training room of Bison's base (a tsunami) is a reproduction of the stamp found in Honda's stage, on the wall of a bathroom, in the original game. The Buddha statue in Sagat's hideout is taken from the one present in his stage, and according to de Souza, the docks that the AN army uses and the bell in Bison's fortress are references to Ken and Bison's stages respectively. Bison's base features a large bell at its center similar to the one in his stage.
During the holding yard brawl with Ryu and Ken, there are barrels that have "Capcom" painted on them. The barrel used in the magic-act at the Thieves' Market also says Capcom on the lid. The lines "Are you man enough to fight with me?" and "Anyone who opposes me shall be destroyed" are direct references to the game Street Fighter II (Guile and Bison's win quotes in the SNES version, respectively). The final scene in which all the good guys (including Zangief) are celebrating with their signature win poses is a direct reference to an image which appears when the player completes the SNES version of Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II in the highest difficult level, and without losing rounds, which shows an image with all the characters.
In the Japanese dub version of the film, the characters Balrog (the African-American boxer), Vega (the Spanish cage fighter) and Bison (the leader of Shadaloo) were all addressed by their western names, despite the fact that the three characters are named differently in Japan.
The release date, December 23, 1994, is the 34th birthday of main character Guile according to the character's profile in Street Fighter II. The game designers at Capcom have referenced the movie a few times. The first was in X-Men vs. Street Fighter. In one of the stages, Blanka is in the background. However, when Charlie is fighting on the stage, Blanka is replaced by Beast. The second time was in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, one of Chun-Li's win quotes is: "Hey, leave me alone! I'm a fighter, not a news reporter!" Similarly, in Mega Man 9, Chun Li appears as an anchorwoman on a new broadcast during the game's opening cutscene.
Many of the characters use signature moves from the games, except when the moves are too fantastic (i.e. projectiles, electricity, etc.) to work. The sole exceptions are M. Bison, who uses devices built into his costume to produce electricity similar to his Psycho Power.
Ryu fires a Hadoken during his second battle with Vega. Inexplicably, this Hadoken is cut out from the US broadcast version (shown regularly on USA and Sci-Fi Channel) along with most of the fight with Vega (including Ryu's scarring of his opponent using a furnace). The version of the movie that aired on the Canadian sci-fi channel Space, however, kept these scenes intact. The "Hadoken" effect was created without special effects due to time constraints: Byron Mann simply mimed the action, and the screen went entirely white for a frame or two, creating the illusion of a flash.
The other moves that appear in the film include Guile using the Flash Kick twice during his fight with M. Bison, Vega using his Rolling Crystal Flash during his fight with Ryu, E. Honda performing his Hundred Hand Slap on Zangief in their final fight scene. Vega also strikes one of his win poses (he does a backflip, then holds his mask up in the air) from the game while showing off for the crowd before the cage fight.
Cammy performs variations on two of her moves: She does a basic forward kick to a Bison trooper, and her voice is dubbed in saying, "Thrust Kick!" (her lips are clearly not moving). She also performs a hurricanrana on a Bison trooper, snapping his neck while perched on his shoulders. T. Hawk does a version of his Mexican Typhoon, basically a choke slam. While not direct adaptations of the moves, a version of the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku is done by Ryu on Vega (although it is only one jumping spin kick, rather than a consecutive flying combo). Sagat uses his Tiger Knee on Ryu and Ken. Finally, a Shoryuken (just a spinning uppercut with no jump whatsoever) is done by Ken on Sagat.
A one shot comic book adaptation of the film, titled Street Fighter: The Battle for Shadaloo, was published by DC Comics in 1994. The comic was drawn by Nick J. Napolitano and written by Mike McAvennie. A Japanese one-shot manga adaptation by Takayuki Sakai was also published in the June 1995 issue of CoroCoro Comics Special.
Two video games based on the film were produced. The first was an arcade game titled Street Fighter: The Movie that was produced by American developer Incredible Studios, published by Toy HeadQuarters Publishing and distributed by distributed by Capcom.
The second was a home video game developed by Capcom also titled Street Fighter: The Movie, released for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. Despite sharing the same title, neither game is a port of the other, although they both used the same digitized footage of the film's cast posing as the characters in each game.
In 1995, an animated series premiered on USA Network. Street Fighter was a semi-sequel to the live-action film that referenced and carried over much content from the latter (Charlie and Blanka being the same character, Captain Sawada and the Allied Nations, Shadaloo being a country, etc.) while using character designs and story elements from the original video games.
- Many plot elements of the film, such as Blanka's identity and Dhalsim's role as a scientist, were reused in the American-produced 1995 Street Fighter animated series, though certain elements were also altered to match the game canon (such as Balrog and Dee Jay switching alignments).
- The controls to M. Bison's floating "desk" are identical to the controls of the Street Fighter video game.
- Vega is presented with a certain degree of mutism, and has very few lines in the film:
- He is seen shouting "Go! Go!" during the escape from the AN headquarters.
- He says "I told you we couldn't trust them..." off-camera, the audience does not realize it is him until Bison directly refers to him.
- As he is putting on his mask prior to his fight with Ryu he says "Where were we?"
- His final line is "Die!" which he says during his fight with Ryu.
- The film includes characters from the video games up to and including Super Street Fighter II. Most notably absent is Fei Long, the video-game version of Bruce Lee. Rumor has it that the character of Captain Sawada was supposed to be Fei Long, but was changed and renamed because the producers felt that the video game character was "too generic."
- The final scene with all the characters who escaped the collapsing Shadaloo base is a real-life recreation of an animation from the video game, where all the characters are on screen at the same time, and do their "win" animation (which is often seen when one beats the game, after the end credits).
- The final amphibious attack on M. Bison's compound, filmed on location in Thailand, was originally supposed to be an air assault. The Thai government wouldn't allow the use of its airspace for the large number of aircraft the scene would require, so the producers changed the final battle to a boat assault instead. This is subtly referenced in the movie through Guile's line, "An attack from the air is impossible."
- Fabio Lanzoni was considered for the role of Vega.
- During the second night of filming in Bangkok, Damian Chapa, who played Ken, needed to say the name of Byron Mann's character, Ryu. But no one — Chapa, Mann or even director Steven de Souza — knew for sure how to pronounce it. Mann, who'd done some research, believed the Japanese pronunciation to be "ree-ewe," like "free" — with a silent f — and Ew. Chapa took three passes at saying the name. For whatever reason, even with phonetic help, Chapa couldn't say "Ryu" correctly. De Souza called cut and pointed at Mann. In one stroke of direction, de Souza then said to Mann: "We'll just call you Rye-you."
- This film was dedicated to Raúl Juliá, who died after the film was completed. In fact, he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and knew he could be shooting his last film before accepting the role, which he did at the behest of his two children, who were fans of the games. The movie's closing title card reads: "FOR RAUL: Vaya Con Dios", which translates from Spanish to "go with God".
- Despite negative reviews the movie did make a profit. It grossed 33 million domestically and 66 million worldwide, earning almost triple its production budget of 35 million.
- In the "magic trick" scene where Chun-Li is put in a barrel and then made to disappear, you can see the word "Capcom" printed in yellow on top of the orange barrel lid.
- During the fight between Ryu and Vega, a text on the wall is written in Esperanto: "Atenti: Incinerato - Esti zorga", which means: "Caution: Incinerator - Be careful".
- The fresco found in the training room of Bison's base (a replica of Katsushika Hokusai's Great Wave off Kanagawa) is a reproduction of the stamp found in E. Honda's SFII stage.
- Jean-Claude Van Damme turned down the role of Johnny Cage in the Mortal Kombat film to do this one. Notably, Cage's character had been inspired by Van Damme himself.
- When Dhalsim is showing Bison his progress on Blanka, the footage that is seen on a monitor of a man being shot in the head was real, historic footage from World War II.
- GOOFY HOLLER: Toward the end of the movie when the A.N. forces first arrive at Bison's fortress, one of Bison's troopers is sent flying from an explosion. This makes it one of the few non-animated and non-Disney films to use the sound effect.
- Dhalsim, an Indian Yogi in the games, is a white British (or South African) doctor in the film. His skin color and baldness are a result of side effects from the chemicals he is working with, while the three bloody lines at the top of his head (from the explosion towards the end) are meant to mirror his in-game counterpart's head paint.
- Guile is a U.S. Army colonel in the film. Most Anime refer to him as "Captain Guile, United States Air Force", while in the game canon, Guile is a USAF Major.
- The AN Forces Radio DJ is played by Adrian Cronauer, whose exploits as an Armed Forces Radio DJ in Vietnam were dramatized in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), where his role was played by Robin Williams. He even gives a variation of his signature sign-on phrase: "Good morning, Shadoloo!"
- The character Carlos Blanka is a combination of Blanka and Charlie. In the video games Blanka is a feral savage, with green skin and long orange hair, resembling a monster more than a human. Charlie is Guile's deceased war buddy according to his profile in Street Fighter II, and his appearance was not known until his debut in Street Fighter Alpha in 1995. Blanka is played by Robert Mammone, but a more muscular stunt double was used for some wider shots.
- While Guile and Chun-Li wear their trademark costumes by the film's climax, they are actually different colors from the original Street Fighter II variations. In the film, Guile is wearing his blue tank top/camouflage pants, which is based on his Turbo version. Chun-Li is wearing her red lady dragon dress, which is based on her Champion Edition version, though with a variety of changes (no puffy sleeves or white boots, for example).
- There is an oil painting in Bison's private quarters of a frowning clown holding a cluster of balloons and wearing Bison's signature cap. This is a reference to the famous "Pogo the Clown" oil paintings done by the infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
- In 2003, Jean-Claude Van Damme was actually working on a sequel, Street Fighter II, for Universal, which had released the original. Several cast members had been hired to join him in the sequel, including his Universal Soldier co-star Dolph Lundgren in an unrevealed role, Australian actress Holly Valance would have replaced Kylie Minogue as Cammy, and Damian Chapa would have reprised his role as Ken. Byron Mann was also reportedly in talks to return as Ryu. However, after a few years of trying to get the sequel off the ground, the project never materialized and any plans for a sequel were scrapped in favor of a reboot, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, when the Street Fighter film rights reverted from Universal Pictures to 20th Century Fox.
- According to an on-line interview with MTV, Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally offered the role of Guile for Fox's Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. He would've been the only original cast member to reprise the role for the Street Fighter reboot, but Van Damme turned down their offer. After the theatrical release of The Legend of Chun-Li, which was intended to be better and more successful than the original Street Fighter film, The Legend of Chun-Li actually made less money at the box office than Street Fighter and was considered by many fans and critics as a worse film than the original.
- During the fight between Ryu and Vega near the end of the movie, Ryu's appearance resembles Bruce Lee.
- In the film, E. Honda is Hawaiian rather than Japanese. And his kabuki face paint is replaced by blood in the end of the movie.