Street Fight II: The Animated Movie
Special Edition

Starring (voice): K˘jiro Shimizu, Kenji Haga, Miki Fujitani and Masane Tsukayama
Manga Entertainment
RRP: ú19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 19 February 2007

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...

Street 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.

The 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 Japanese 5.1.

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.

Charles Packer

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