Street Fighter: The Movies, Ranked

Street Fighter may be one of the best fighting game series of all time, but its tenure in the movie business has been less than stellar.

Highlights

  • Street Fighter movies have had highs and lows; Franchise has seen better adaptations.
  • Not all Street Fighter movies hit the mark; Some movies barely resemble the source material.
  • Street Fighter 2: The Animated Movie is a fan favorite; with sumptuously animated fight scenes.

Ever since Pac-Man got his own Saturday morning cartoon, video game characters have been adapted to other media. They often produced a bunch of oddities, like the curiously Mormon-themed Doom novels, and Mortal Kombat‘s cartoon having a more star-studded cast than its live-action Conquest series, but where does Street Fighter fit into this strange world of video game movie adaptions?

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As the biggest name in fighting games, Street Fighter was no different. It’s received all sorts of tie-ins over the years, from the memetic western animated series (“This is DELICIOUS!“) to its live-action online series. But its biggest tie-ins have been its movies, which offer their own highs and lows. But how do they compare against each other? These are Street Fighter’s movies, ranked.

7
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

IMDB Score: 3.7/10

Street Fighter Movies- SF Legend of Chun Li

  • Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak.
  • Studio: Adlabs Films, Hyde Park Entertainment, Capcom.
  • Streaming: N/A, available to buy/rent from AppleTV, Amazon, GooglePlay, YouTube, Vudu, and Microsoft.

People like to imagine the 1994 Street Fighter movie as one of the worst video game adaptations. But it’s not even the worst on this list, as Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li exists. It barely resembles its source material, which might’ve been the point, as Interpol cop Chun-Li is now a pianist, Rose is now a child rather than a grown-up mystic, and Gen is a typical old master instead of a menacing assassin.

It’s not even good as an ironic watch, as its story is dull, and its action is serviceable, but not special. Most fans stuck out its runtime for a few reasons: Chris Klein’s Nash is a cornball who fits the movie’s odd tone, and the weird scene where Chun-Li goes for a femme fatale seduction scheme to get info. But in a twist, her mark is a lesbian! It’s not especially titillating, and as far as representation goes, the LGBTQ community would be better served elsewhere.

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6
Street Fighter Alpha: Generations

IMDB Score: 5.6/10

Street Fighter Movies- SF Alpha Generations

  • Director: Ikuo Kuwana.
  • Studio: A.P.P.P.
  • Streaming: YouTube, Hoopla, Tubi, Vudu, Plex.

The first anime on the list, Street Fighter Alpha: Generations, goes into Akuma’s backstory, and runs up to his first encounter with Ryu. It’s not canon, as it has Ryu meeting Sakura near his old master’s dojo years before they would in the games. Not that they get to do much. In its brief 45 minutes, the only action sequences that matter are Akuma showing off the Raging Demon for the first time, and then his fight with Ryu later on.

A.P.P.P usually have a strong record with animation, as seen in their Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure OVA series, and Fist of the Blue Sky. Not so much here, unfortunately, as the art style and its movements are quite scratchy. The cast for both dubs is notable, like Daisuke ‘Heihachi Mishima’ Gori as Akuma in Japanese and Michael McConnohie (Seth in Street Fighter 4) as Akuma’s master Goutetsu in English. But they’ve done better work elsewhere.

5
Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation

IMDB Score: 5.8/10

Street Fighter Movies- SF Alpha The Animation

  • Director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi.
  • Studio: Group TAC.
  • Streaming: YouTube, Hoopla, Vudu, Tubi, Plex, Freevee.

Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation is officially an OVA, albeit one that’s feature-length at 93 minutes. Yet it’s not a direct adaptation of the 3 Alpha games. Instead, it tells an original story where Ryu and Ken meet a boy called Shun, who claims to be Ryu’s little brother. They must figure out whether he’s telling the truth, and who his (and thus Ryu’s) father could be, while the lead shoto deals with the Dark Hado and the nefarious Dr Saddler.

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The movie isn’t all that special and is notorious for its shots of Evil Ryu likely inspiring some shots in the ‘Good Times with Weapons’ episode of South Park, and the direction constantly posing Chun-Li in suggestive ways. Ryu and Ken’s life-or-death battle against ‘Rosanov’ (basically a cyber-Hugo) loses a little edge when it cuts to a beaten Chun-Li lying like a swimsuit model. It’s on better ground when it covers Akuma, as the direction really captures his mood and atmosphere. Shame he doesn’t get much to do.

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4
Street Fighter: The Movie

IMDB Score: 4.1/10

Street Fighter Movies- SF The Movie

  • Director: Steven E. De Souza.
  • Studio: Universal Pictures, Capcom Entertainment, Edward R. Pressman Production.
  • Streaming: N/A, available to rent/buy from AppleTV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu and Microsoft.

Yes, it’s true: Street Fighter: The Movie isn’t that bad. It’s not that good, but if someone claims it’s the worst thing they’ve ever seen, they’ve lived a charmed life. The movie did have a messy production due to factors within and beyond the crew’s control, from bad weather and sickness to Capcom’s meddling and Jean-Claude Van Damme not being the easiest person to work with at the time.

It resulted in a messy plot that owes more to G.I Joe, with Guile and his Allied Nations troopers taking on Bison in Shadaloo. Nevertheless, it has some charming performances. Raul Julia’s Bison is the brightest highlight, but Ming-Na Wen is no slouch as Chun-Li, and Andrew Bryniarski’s Zangief has some good comic moments. It also has its own odd cameos, like Capcom CEO Kenzo Tsujiomoto, and the real Adrian Cronauer, the US Army DJ whose story inspired Good Morning Vietnam.

3
Street Fighter 4: The Ties That Bind

IMDB Score: 5.3/10

Street Fighter Movies- SF4 The Ties That Bind

  • Director: Jiro Kanai.
  • Studio: Studio 4ºC.
  • Streaming: N/A, available on DVD and YouTube.

Case Closed action director Jiro Kanai made his first and only picture as a main director in Street Fighter 4: The Ties That Bind. Made available as part of Street Fighter 4’s Collectors’ Edition, it’s a prequel that sees Cammy investigate an energy outburst, Chun-Li and Guile look into the disappearance of several martial artists, and Seth being intrigued by Ryu’s Dark Hadou.

It shares the same cast as the game, who do a good job (particularly Dave Mallow’s Akuma). The story has its ups and downs, with Crimson Viper’s subplot being one of the highlights beyond the typical Ryu & Ken tale and Shadaloo story. Its biggest flaw is its framing and animation which, while not as low as Generations, is stiff with plenty of shortcuts. There are only so many shots of buildings with narration viewers can handle before they figure out what’s going on.

2
Super Street Fighter 4 Original Video Animation

IMDB Score: 6.2/10

Street Fighter Movies- SSF4 OVA

  • Director: Fuminori Kizaki.
  • Studio: Gonzo.
  • Streaming: N/A, available on DVD and YouTube.

Street Fighter 4 brought Capcom’s fighting series back to the forefront after years of being on ice. But old habits die hard, as Capcom gave it a bunch of updates in its Super, Arcade and Ultra editions. This wasn’t such a bad thing though, as Super Street Fighter 4 introduced Juri, the psychotic Tae Kwon Do fighter who’s since become one of the series’ most popular characters.

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Capcom must’ve known she’d catch on, as Super Street Fighter 4 Original Video Animation would follow her first mission working for Seth’s SIN organization, and her subsequent fights against Chun-Li, Guile, and Cammy. Directed by Afro Samurai’s Fuminori Kizaki, it’s essentially a gnarly selection of action scenes that show off Juri’s prowess. The only downside is that it has an open ending. Fans would have to pick up the game (or its sequels) to see how Juri’s story ends.

1
Street Fighter 2: The Animated Movie

IMDB Score: 7.2/10

hadoken street fighter anime video game

  • Director: Gisaburo Sugii.
  • Studio: Group TAC, SEDIC, Sony Music Entertainment Japan.
  • Streaming: Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll, Roku, Vudu, Pluto, Retro Crush, Plex, Freevee, Cineverse.

Street Fighter 2: The Animated Movie is generally the most praised adaptation of the game among fans, despite its flaws. It’s quite slow-paced, as many of its scenes are stretched out to meet its 102-minute runtime. Others are just to make sure everyone from Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo got their spot in the spotlight. Zangief and Blanka fighting isn’t key to the plot, where Chun-Li and Guile are trying to stop Bison before he can find Ryu and ‘enlist’ him (“Any man strong enough to beat the crap out of Sagat is a man I want found!”).

Yet its fight scenes are sumptuously animated and showcase the cast’s key moves in style. The acting has some particularly strong performances from Kirk Thornton’s Guile and Tom Wyner’s Bison (plus a pre-fame Bryan Cranston doing Bruce Lee noises as Fei Long). It’s also the most influential tie-in, as Capcom would use it as the basis for the Street Fighter Alpha series, its Dramatic Battle Mode, and would use the stormy field from its opening scene as a stage in Alpha 2 and Street Fighter 5.

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Fuente: successacademy.edu.vn
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