Before watching the movie:
This was going to happen pretty soon after I chose Mortal Kombat. I don’t have a clue what the plot of “Street Fighter” is, which I at least had a basic understanding of for MK. They’re just like, a bunch of people beating each other up in the street? But apparently there’s a world domination plan Raul Julia gets to camp his way through? Hopefully the movie does a decent job of explaining these things.
After watching the movie:
In the civil war of Shadaloo City, a small Southeast Asian nation, drug-financed General M. Bison just wants to rule the world to unite it in peace under his brutal law, and is opposed by the Allied Nations occupying forces lead by Colonel Guile. Guile plans to use a couple of double-crossing gun runners, Ken and Ryu, to get close to Bison’s operation by staging an escape for them including a faked death for Guile. But the plan is jeopardized by the investigative efforts of journalist Chun-Li, looking for her own opportunity to get close to Bison in order to avenge her father. Bison’s international army may be contained within Shadaloo, but he has a large group of AN relief workers as hostages he threatens to kill if his $20B ransom is not met in three days.
For a movie based on a fighting game, there is very little fighting going on here. It seems to have taken what is presumably the excuse plot of the source material and created a story around that. I don’t have the grounding in the game to recognize a high or low amount of references to the source material, but a lot of the names in the very large cast are familiar, and the story manages to give a surprising number of them things to do without getting lost in the sea of names.
There are three plots happening that seem to be co-equal. Out of Guile’s AN forces besieging Bison, Ken and Ryu forced to infiltrate Bison’s organization, and Chun-Li’s revenge team, Chun-Li seems to be the one closest to being the overall protagonist. While Guile seems to be treated as more important, Chun-Li has the best balance of having a personal story and direct impact on the plot. She also seemed the least plausible to be doing the things she was doing, but then she has a very lengthy heroic monologue laying down her backstory and motivation. Guile’s best friend gets captured and experimented on, but that ends up amounting to little more than a waste of time shoehorning in a few more characters.
The resulting movie is pretty fun as something mostly independent of the video game. I don’t feel any strong ties from the movie to the source material, but that’s a result of creating a heavily-plotted story out of a fighting game, one of the least story-heavy genres. The camp is perhaps oversold, but it’s still fun, and elevates the halfway-coherent plot to something worth watching.