Guile and Chinese agent Chun Li are once again pitted against
the evil Bison. This time Bison has taken an interest in two
young street fighters, Ryu and Ken, who he wishes to possess
in his continual plot for world domination...
Fighter II, directed by Gisaburo Sugii (Astro Boy;
Lupin III) is not the follow on from that seminal live
action film staring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kylie, although
it does share many of the characters. This anime show, from
Capcom's successful console games, is little more than a series
of fights, interspersed with some dull plot, which highlight
moves from the game. To be honest I've yet to see a successful
computer game turned into a feature, with the exception of
Final Fantasy: Advent Children,
so I wasn't exactly surprised when the show turned out to
be decidedly average.
animation is, well... average. The voice acting is histrionic
and unconvincing, but then this is par for the course in this
type of show and Street Fighter is not alone in delivering
unconvincing characters that seem to spend all their time
either shouting at each other or grunting during fights.
As with many shows recently, Street Fighter II comes
as a supposedly two-disc set, which sounds great until you
get it home to discover that both discs pretty much hold the
same content, with only the audio options to differentiate
them. This is not such a problem with shows aimed at a more
adult audience but, lets face it, this is going to be purely
for the adolescents, and I cant see many of those giving a
monkeys cuss that they can watch the show in the original
On the plus side, the fight choreography is excellent for
this type of show and the character designs should be recognisable
to any fans of the game. For fans of the show, it should be
noted that whilst there are a number of cut versions floating
out there, this is the first uncut version to be released,
and includes the added nudity and four letter words. Also
noteworthy is the thunderous soundtrack, which perfectly compliments
the bone crushing fight scenes.
Disc one has no extras. Audio is either English stereo or
5.1. To be honest, I'm not sure that the 5.1 track was worth
it, it adds a little ambience to the show, but given that
this is pretty much one fight after another it could have
done a lot more with the soundscape.
Disc two contains the same feature length film, though with
different audio options. This time you can watch the film
in either Japanese stereo or 5.1. Disc two also contains player
cards and a bunch of trailers for other shows.
In the end this will appeal to fans of fight shows, specifically
fans of the Street Fighter franchise, but as a stand
alone feature it really is nothing to write home about.