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Street Fighter - Van Damme takes the Bison by the horns
on 19 November 2012
Dating from 1994, this is a second tier actioner starring the muscles from Brussels, Jean Claude Van Damme. Based on the popular video game, it follows Van Damme as he heads up a multinational force trying to bring down international terrorist General Bison, played with a manic gless by Raul Julia. The film suffers from too many characters and too little screen time for Van Damme, and when he is on screen his fights aren't particularly interesting. It's a bit confused as it tries to get screen time for all the characters, and you feel a bit shortchanged as Van Damme gets star billing but doesn't really get into action until the final reel. Raul Julia however is excellent, as the evil General Bison, in a performance worthy of a much better film.
There are some nice stylistic touches with various poses to resemble the video game, and some fights being seen on screens as they would in game play, and there is a great performance from Julia that largely carries the film. It passes an hour and a half, but it's not great. 3 stars.