This movie was actually my sister's recommendation. Or rather, a lack thereof, but she noticed Jean Claude Van Damme in a silly showdown towards the end of it, and thus I thought I'd give it a shot! If I'd watched it expecting more maybe I'd have been disappointing, but expecting little, I was surprised. It didn't just have JCVD, but also such diverse talents as Damian Chapa, Byron Mann, Kylie Minogue, Grand L. Bush, Andrew Bryniarski, Roshan Seth, Jay Tavare and Ming-Na Wen, and many others. All the fighters you'll recognize from the Street Fighters franchise were accounted for, and all of their fates tied together in one way or another, for good or for evil.
The story's one of world domination, in which the mastervillian Bison (played by the late Raul Julia) holds a group of hostages, demanding 20,000,000 USD of the world for their release. His plans reach further than that, however, as he aims to create a utopia of the world in which he himself is crowned King, to reign over the people in peace and prosperity. It might seem like a scenario that's difficult to take seriously, and it is, so fortunately they don't. Though Raul puts on a great performance as madman, and Van Damme as the commando who ultimately stops him (or does he?!), there's plenty of parody thrown in along the way, without it getting in the way of the more 'serious' scenes. It's a compelling movie, with plenty of good fights and action, but at the same time it never feels forced upon you. If you'd rather laugh instead it's your call - there's potential for that too.
What I liked most about this movie wasn't so much the script, as the character resemblances, and how the entire cast manage to bring life to the Street Fighter franchise in all it's un-animated glory. You might be looking for a darker, more somber and serious reiteration, and if so you're probably better off watching the newer movies - like the fan-made Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist homage from 2014. If you're up for the older variant though, with an atmosphere just as colorful and overly accentuated as it was in the classic games, this is the right one. Good watch.
rated 3/5: not bad