Making the Grades
Based on a popular video game, Street Fighter has the potential of a marketing torpedo aimed at the wallet of every male adolescent. By putting the merchandising carriage before the feature movie horse, you have a guaranteed audience from the word go.
To quickly help parents tune in, the aim of the Street Fighter video games is to punch, kick, and kill... in that order. The movie adds a few twists -- it has a good guy, a bad guy, lots of good and bad soldiers, and the battle is staged in a fictitious country full of helpless civilians. There are also some more people that may swing good or bad.
As the movie opens, you are treated to a wound-up news reporter who is waltzing through the streets with battle raging around her. As she speculates on the warriors that are soon arriving to liberate the country, she sets the video game scenario, reminding us that getting past the "ragtag" local militia is one thing, but the national forces of evil are another. The video game plot continues, with more shooting than a stuck fire button on a joystick, and lots of nifty martial arts moves. The only blood seen in the movie is when the good guy gets shot, but later we discover that it was a set-up, and the blood was fake. Surprise, surprise... thousands of others are killed, but the mess is clean, so if mom or dad walk in the room halfway through, the film's producers hope they won't jump to unreasonable conclusions.
One last picky point: With all the talk about protecting the American flag, it's a shame filmmakers feel the need to emblazon it on the biceps of brainless heros such as the one in this movie. Aside from making money, Street Fighter tries to convince its audience that the world is dangerous, government leaders cannot be trusted, and force rules over evil. Patriotism is the last thing I feel after watching this movie.