Friday, April 2, 2010

Street Fighter Addendum

I found out there's a director's commentary on this disc. It's buried as the last item on the second page of special features. Holy balls. It's the old laserdisc commentary. Oh boy...So, apparently this was mostly conceived/written over a night. He was called up and asked if he could have something to pitch to Capcom for the next morning. That's not a good sign. Other "not good signs" are the fact that the commentary was buried on page two.

But, it turns out I was wrong! This is supposed to be a funny movie. Sort of. He talks about having to walk a line between action and comedy. And it's true, there are signs beyond Zangeif's idiocy, such as Bison using a replica of the arcade controls to control mines. As stupid and useless as that would be.

However, the bit that just kills me is when he talks about the test screenings and demographics. Apparently under 18 liked the movie because it was action-y. 26+ liked it because of all the satire and humour. But he says that 18-25 really disliked the movie. Supposedly because it wasn't violent enough, since they were just now able to watch R-rated movies. I've got news for you, sir, IT AIN'T THE LACK OF VIOLENCE THAT CHEESED THEM OFF. It's you pissing all over the source material. Yeah. 18-25 would be the people who played the game the most, and took it the most seriously. They're the ones that won't be satisfied by crappy action, and will be offended by the satire (which really doesn't come off as anything but shitty writing and acting). The director also mentions about how he teased the fight between Ryu and Sagat. Two false starts before the actual showdown. Except, you know, there's no tension or venom between them. There'd have been better between Sagat and Ken, since Ken has the line "If I hadn't met you, I might have become you." Besides, they're the two that end up fighting once he shows up, and then Ryu and Vega fight. That's also not very well set up. I blame the fact that the director felt compelled to include *every* Street Fighter II character. Even T.Hawk and DeeJay. And he then complained that individual characters didn't get very much screen time, and their plots were trimmed way down to the point of being rather hard to follow, and it was really hard to find cuts to make to get the movie down to time. Here's an idea. Cut some of the characters. Make it a straight-up revenge action movie. Bison kills Ryu/Ken's master, and they want payback. They then need to beat their way up his chain of command. Start with Vega, beat him in a cage match, he sends them to Zangeif, who runs protection rackets. Beat him up, and then gets sent to Sagat, who's running weapons still, so you can bring in Guile, Cammy, and Chun-li as Interpol/UN types out to capture him. Sagat sends them to Bison's hideout, which is where you can bring in Balrog, Blanka, Fei Long, Deejay, or whoever else. Then play it straight. You could probably do this movie in about an hour and thirty, without needing to spend too much time on anyone's motivations or backstory beyond Ryu/Ken and Bison, but you'd have time for solid, escalating action set pieces, and character development. If you're compelled to make it a parody/satire, it's still incredibly easy to achieve this way. Simply have everyone in their costumes from the first time you meet them, have Blanka in, but unexplained, and play the non-core characters as blatant stereotypes (hell, it's nearly there already with my version).

I think the most horrific part of the commentary was that he honestly thought that this movie was a case in favour of video game licences becoming movies, and he fully expected to make a SEQUEL! Cripes. Well, I'm glad THAT never happened. It's times like this that I wished I drank, so I could get this movie out of my brain.

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