This is a feature length movie based on Capcom's highly-acclaimed video game series of the same name, it was released in many versions with varying lengths depending on censorship of the release country. Here i am reviewing the "Uncut, Uncensored, Unleashed" released on DVD last year.
Ok, for a martial arts practitioner (the gritty, no-flying kind of martial arts), i really find it hard watching animation/live-action movies which are based on martial arts. most of them have the fight scenes choreographed by people who don't know any better and should stick to flying. (Shaolin, TKD, Wing Chun, and mainstream Karate)
What complicates my current situation further is that i am a HUGE Street Fighter II freak (note how i never use the character '2' instead replacing with 'II'? Yeah, Hardcore baby!)
WARNING: this is an anime based on a story-less video game. don't expect it to explain any meanings of life, the universe and everything.
The movie revolves around Ryu -the protagonist of the videogame- as he roams the world seeking to improve his skills.
a secret organization led by a dictator super-human "Vega" is rounding up all the top fighters in the world and are conducting experiments on them in order to create the "perfect physical specimen" and they have their eyes set on Ryu.
They have already managed to recruit/brainwash several fighters, including former Boxing Heavyweight Champ "M. Bison", a Fighter known as the "God of Muay Thai", and a psychopathic matador (Don't ask.)
but, the ultimate prize remains Ryu.
However, since they can't find him (on account of him being always on the move) they choose to recruit the next best thing, a fighter named Kenneth Masters, Ryu's old friend and probably the only one in the world who is equal to him in skill.
(to SFII fans: Gouki is more powerful than both combined, therefore no mention)
Anyway, Interpol caught whiff of this whole deal, and have sent supreme kung-fu master (and resident hot chick) Chun-Li as a liaison officer with the USAF to track down Ryu and keep Bison from putting his dirty mitts on him.
locations presented in the movie range from Seattle, London, Las Vegas, Calcutta, Japan, and finally the Dr.Evil-esque "Secret Headquarters" complete with sculpted-face mountain which opens up to reveal a runway, and a volcano to boot.
the silliest script i've ever read in my life.
what's more: The reason for so many rated/unrated versions is probably the biggest sacrilege Capcom will ever commit:
showing us Chun Li's cleavage. (and part of her behind as well) in a very famous shower scene.
is there nothing sacred left?
i swear this was a PR stunt to maximize interest in the Street Fighter franchise, get more kiddies playing and buying.
i was playing SF WAYYY BEFORE all the peons came asking: "which one is the shower chick?"
its enough to make me puke. n00bs i say.
anyway, not to say it wasn't properly animated ;) so it went fine with most people.
ok, senseless stupid script, exploitation of subject matter, 1995 graphics, and horrible english dubs.
so why am i even bothering with this now?
one reason, actually two:
to be fair, back in 1997 when i first saw this i didn't know who Andy Hug was (and i bet like 90% of you now haven't heard of him still)
(*) -see below-
There was something special about the choreography, something with made it different from ALL other "Fighting" animations. (except Shura no Toki)
Fights came thick and fast, blood flew, bones broke, and for the most part, it was REAL.
(apart from game trademarks, fireballs and flying spinning kicks)
The fight between the Chun-Li (just out of the shower, and wearing nothing but shirt and undies) and the psycho matador Vega is considered to be one of the BEST fights ever in the history of Anime, and not just because of the undies.
my personal favorite is the fight between the protagonist and a character modeled after Bruce Lee in physique and fighting style:
rib-shots, grappling, joint-locks, combos, knee/elbow blocks, and more.
a classic example of a "guy" movie: this comes highly recommended for any fight-club fans.
the script, albeit STOOOPID, is self contained, which enables ANYONE to pick up this movie and have a GOOD time.
final score: 6/10 (+ 2 for Kazuyoshi Ishii and Andy Hug)
here's that Ryu - FeiLong tussle i was talking about:
(*) in short: forget Bruce Lee, screw TKD, these guys are the REALLY REAL.
(no offense to WC/JKD/TKD ppl)
i'm not gonna put any other references to them, on account of not wanting to be accused of being biased (which i am, because they PWN)
so, want more info, look em up yourself.