Street Fighter

The Spoony One | Aug 10 2009 | more notation(s) | 
Starship Troopers

A Review by Noah Antwiler

Oh Raul. Raul...Raul Raul poor bastard. I'm sorry you had to die, man. I wish you'd could have been around longer so this isn't the movie I remember when I think of you.

I never picked the right games to master as a kid. I never really went to arcades that much, instead foolishly blowing all my spending money on dimebags and that scary clown in the park who blackmailed me because he said he knew what I did in my room at night. But my dad's work threw a yearly party at Golfland (a mixture of a water-slide park, a mini-golf course and a castle full of arcade games which you may have seen called Waterloo in the movie Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure), where all the games were set to free-play. All the other kids took to damn long on the golf course so when I was tired of the wave pool I went in the castle. And let me tell ya, when you're a ten year old kid, free arcade games all night is just about the most kickass thing ever.

At the time there were two major beat-em-up game series you could play: Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. There was Virtua Fighter and maybe some old SNK games but those games were for the kind of pussies who jerk off to Linux manuals and kept shouting "Does anyone wanna play me? Look, the polygonal boobies bounce! T3h 3d boobz! T3h boobz!!" while I was racking up fatalities with Johnny Cage. I thought punching people in the nuts was funny. Still do. Street Fighter was the better game, really, but I was a kid and thought seeing Kano pull some stupid bitch's heart out and showing it to her was fucking hardcore. So I spent most of my time playing MK, not realizing that being "good" at Mortal Kombat is about as pointless as saying you're good at being a cheap shithead. Remember those assholes who won purely by knocking you down and doing leg-sweeps over and over again? And no matter what, I always got the side of the arcade machine with a broken joystick or a punch button that was amusingly super-glued down.

That's not to say Street Fighter (or indeed, any fighting game) was that great. They all involved some vague conflict that nobody gave a shit about that could only be solved by strangely-costumed meatheads beating the cheese out of each other in one-on-one fights. Each character had a list of secret moves that the fuckers who wrote the instruction manual never bothered to list. There wasn't really an Internet at the time, so you had to go beg your friends for lists or go out and buy Nintendo Power magazines to figure out how to do Sub Zero's stupid slide kick or how to unlock Smoke (who was never worth the effort). Eventually people began to realize that Mortal Kombat was krap and moved on to other stuff like Primal Rage (stupid), Killer Instinct (fucking retarded), or the Tekken games. Why anyone enjoys a game based on aerial juggles is beyond me, because if you look at it-- I mean really look at it-- all you'll see is a guy with weird hair uppercutting a guy twelve feet in the air, and as he falls repeatedly punching him in the ass, which inexplicably launches him back in the air another three feet to be punched in the ass again about thirteen times.

I always liked that green blob of snot.

Of course, by that time I'd just bought a Super Nintendo and was playing Clay Fighters. By myself. I wasn't well. I hadn't the brainpower to learn the move list to another fighting game and I didn't want to blow eight bucks on the pertinent Gamepro magazine that told me how not to get slapped like a Thai hooker on a slow weekend at Tekken. So when I wasn't playing Rampart (the only game I was ever really good at), I got sucked in to SoulCaliber, a game which can be mastered by blind people who have no idea what the fuck they're doing. Honest, I saw a video of a guy who plays blind. This isn't some kind of zen-like Matt Murdock super-sensory ability. If you smash your dumb fist against the buttons fast enough, you'll probably have a decent win-record. It's the only game I know where developing a sound strategy and learning the moves is actually a detriment against a pre-teen with a raging caffeine addiction wiggling the stick in bizarre, meaningless directions and slapping the keys like a panicking World War 2 radio officer hammering out Morse code during a u-boat attack. Naturally, I was great at SoulCaliber and consequently a colossal fraud.

And how about the A.I. in Street Fighter 2? Was that bullshit or what? Remember when the computer would play Blanka and could do back-charge moves while walking forward? I mean what the hell! Cheating cockwhore.

After that I stupidly devoted a lot of time to being just about the best Quake: Team Fortress player ever instead of actually doing productive work in a computer refurbishing lab. After that I went to college and I found that I had a lot of spare time at the student union where there's an incredibly crappy arcade in the basement full of shitty retro-games. The only games that actually worked were Time Crisis, Dance Dance Revolution (and if you know me, fuck that) and Tekken Tag Tournament. SoulCaliber 2 was there also, but the way the Tekken Tag players looked at you if you played that was the same way all the first-graders looked at the one kid who still had to wear training diapers in class. And Tekken Tag is for frigging sure not a game where spazzing out on the heavy-punch button will get you anywhere. Consequently I spent about a grand total of a dollar getting the snot blasted out of me by a giant panda and a kangaroo tag-team so hard that I became one of those sad sacks of crap that hangs out near the DDR machines watching people and wishing vainly that we had any kind of coordination and cardiovascular conditioning. With all the time I wasted on this shit, I could have actually learned savate, or krav maga. Of course, I say that having just finished playing a rousing session of Guitar Hero, the price of which might have actually scored me some decent lessons on an actual guitar.

Anyone want to be in my band? I'm thinking of calling it Boners For Rent. I can play drums...

I just wonder if Jean-Claude did voice work for the game, yelling Guile's "Soneek Buum!"

Anyway, around 1994 someone got the horrible idea to adapt a movie version of the Street Fighter videogame, the game with probably the worst backstory ever along with Clay Fighters and Primal Rage. The setup reads like a bad dirty joke, "Okay, so there's a sumo wrestler, a United States Marine, and a yoga master who can stretch every part of his body..." I can't remember the rest of the joke, but the punchline has something to do with an absurdly large erection and a tattoo that reads "Welcome to India. Have a nice day." I can hardly imagine the trouble Stephen E. de Souza had hammering out any kind of plot that even loosely connects these weirdos in a halfway-lucid plot, especially since the videogame doesn't even seem to have a story other than "Evil General Bison bad." You try thinking of a story that you can film that involves a Russian pro-wrestler and two guys who can launch fireballs frοm their fists while yelling "HADOKEN!" Can't do it!

de Souza's a veteran of writing crappy action flicks, and while he's had flashes of brilliance (Die Hard, 48 HRS. ), most of the time he's written completely nonsensical dreck (Die Hard 2, Judge Dredd) that at best became a cult classic for how gloriously crappy it is (Commando). Debate on the forums rages on which de Souza film is, in fact, the worst: Street Fighter: The Movie or Judge Dredd. The correct answer is, of course, Hudson Hawk, but nobody realized he wrote that when the debate first came up.

Frankly there are good points on both sides. Dredd has the significant suck factor of being based on a satirical comic book and completely missing the mark on the satire, as well as Rob "Movie Killer" Schneider making film history by being one of the few assholes on the list of sidekicks more annoying than Jar Jar Binks. But I admire Street Fighter for being the only movie that I know that has actually come full-circle: it's gone frοm videogame to movie, and back to a videogame. Believe it or not, Street Fighter: The Movie was an international success that made triple its costs at around $100 million, and this success must have inspired a game based on the movie based on the game. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game.

Just lean back for a minute and take in these gorgeous Sega Saturn graphics...

Yes, you too can play as Kylie Minogue in a one-piece mock-turtleneck swimsuit! Who wouldn't want that? Did anyone ever own a Sega Saturn? Man, you must have felt raped after shelling out the cash for that and getting games like this. It's a good thing console gaming has evolved beyond this overpriced gimmickry. Nobody would pay that much money for a system with such a high price point, a load of crappy launch titles, and a media format doomed for obsolescence.


I'm going to review Street Fighter: The Movie now. I want you guys to know that I could have settled. But I didn't do that. I went hunting for this movie, and I splurged on the best, because I love you guys. I didn't get any old copy of Street Fighter, no siree. I tracked down the $10 Collector's Edition. That's right, I spared no expense and purchased the gold-label copy that sets me above the level of you, the casual movie watcher. You, the peons, the Morloks, the children still playing in the sandbox of your standard edition, fullscreen piece-of-shit copies. You jizzhats make me all sick, you know that? Because I am...a collector. Dudes, I have the Collector's Freaking Edition. This is the edition that takes up a place of honor on my shelf, and when all my film snob friends come over, they'll look and they see that I have the special edition of Street Fighter: The Movie that only a serious collector would own. Do you own one of these rare, limited-run collector's copies of Street Fighter? I don't frigging think so, you chucklehead amateurs. Clown shoes, that's what you are. I own the Collector's Edition, damn it. That's why I'm a wealthy movie critic and you're sitting there, not a member of the highly-exclusive cross-section of movie aficionados fortunate enough to afford their very own copy-- the best copy. Not the copy you commoners might own.

No, you know what? Screw you guys. I'm not cracking the seal on my Collector's Edition. And risk damaging it? No way. This is the copy I put up for display. I just like to look at it. For you guys I'm just going to put the VHS copy in or something. No sense in bringing myself down to your level, you non-collectors. Eat my shit, you diseased, filthy serfs.

Now, I must preface the upcoming review with a few disclaimers. Previously I said that the Street Fighter II game had no backstory. This is untrue. It has a godawfully stupid backstory developed only in the form of small paragraph blurbs in the instruction manuals and the badly-translated ending screens of the videogame. Thinking back on it, it's surprising especially to myself just how much of this crap has somehow been retained in my long-term memory. I mean, I can actually remember that the movie gets Guile's rank wrong; in the movie he's a Colonel, but in the game he's a captain in the Air Force, not to mention the inconsistency in Guile's trademark flat-top compared to van Damme's crew cut. Point is, I may end up spilling a lot of really geeky inside information on you that even I barely remembered that I had. I guess when I was practicing my SNES copy of Street Fighter II at home (when I wasn't playing Clay Fighters, natch), somehow these horrible, horrible factoids of knowledge somehow seeped in my brain. It's amazing. I can remember the Konami code, how to beat almost every Zork game ever made, and I can still hum Kefka's theme frοm Final Fantasy. I go to college for five years as an engineer and if you asked me how to find basic properties of a linear system I'd have to look it up, but I can still name every wingman in every Wing Commander game and that the Kilrathi high priestesses in the second mission pack of WC1 wore 4-piece bathing suits to accommodate their three rows of breasts. Just be prepared to lose a lot of respect for me when I set loose the hidden videogame fanboy inside me. Just remember, I was about thirteen when this garbage was popular. (But the Wing Commander games always ruled.)

It's a man's life in the
Allied Nations!

The movie begins Paul Verhoeven-style with a blasting musical intro and a newscast to exposit the current world situation on us. There's been a coup in Shadaloo (hey, that rhymes!), a queerly-named place that, if the map shown on the news is correct, is an absurdly shaped region wedged in the middle of China that looks like a 7-point star. Had Raul Julia survived this film, he was already booked to appear in Street Fighter 2: Electric Shadaloo, but fortunately death claimed him before that happened. The news anchors toss to Chun-Li Zang, reporting frοm Shadaloo City.

"We will call this land...Shadaloo! And here is where we will put our seat of power. And we shall call it...I dunno, Shadaloo City I guess."

Chun-Li just seems like a fun person to play the Name Game with, doesn't it? She tells us that the A.N. (Allied Nations? What, was the U.N. going to sue? "Keep us the shit out of this movie!") just secured the capital, but they haven't yet had to deal with the dread forces of "General M. Bison." That seems a strange thing to call him, if he's such a dangerous dictator. I mean, we don't call our political enemies "S. Hussein" or "O. Bin Laden." I just want to know that his first name is. And is M. Bison supposed to be a Chinese guy, or some variety of Southeast Asian? Or do Shadalooans... Shadalooese... Shadali... people frοm Shadaloo just look like Puerto Ricans? "Bison" doesn't seem like a very Asian name. I always thought it was French. Bison? Dijon? No? He'd probably be fun to play the Name Game with, too.

Chun-Li tells us that Bison's forces are supremely heavily-armed because of his vast "drug money" and that most of their technology is on par with anything found in the rest of the civilized world. In fact, as we see Bison for the first time in his hi-tech control center, we notice that he's riding a pimp flying thingy with all sorts of controls arrayed around him at waist-level. Not to mention his awesome fashion sense, clad entirely in red leather, a huge officer's cap with a gaudy set of wings pinned on the top, and full-body cape. It takes balls to wear a cape in this day and age. Leather pants, leather boots, even red leather gloves. Raul must have swamp-ass like a fullback in overtime. I bet he goes through a lot of Febreeze to keep that uniform's funk down.

Bison has kidnapped 63 A.N. relief workers and taken them as hostages, demanding (get this) twenty billion dollars (pinky-to-mouth) for their safe return. The hostages are paraded through the command center (which has an awesome Wall O' TV's and all sorts of stadium lighting) and thrown in a giant pit in the middle of the room with an elaborate steel shutter on the top. Think the rancor pit frοm Return of the Jedi, only with a lot more stainless steel. And no rancor. Did Bison construct his compound's nerve center with a large Hostage Pit in mind, or was that something he added later? One of the soldiers assigned to guard the workers is hauled before Raul. "You came frοm across the world to fight me, soldier!" Bison drones, flaring his cape backward in an exceptionally gay manner. "Now's your chance!"

"Actually, I'm only here on a peacekeeping operation to oversee the equitable distribution of medical supplies and foo-aaaaaaah!"

No, really, the soldier just takes a swing at Bison, who snaps his neck in one move and discards him for his masked janitors to clean up. Another soldier is brought up to fight Bison. Evidently this guy didn't watch the last fight because Bison takes him out with the exact same move.

Chun-Li finds Colonel Guile and asks him if there's anything he'd like to say. Bison hears Guile's name on the TV and stops what he's doing so he can watch. Guile grabs the microphone and says that he's got something to say to Bison: "I no ewe lie to luck at yore cell until a vision, you sick sunova beach. So look at dees!" which he punctuates by giving him the universal 'ram it, bozo' sign with his hand. Bison's face expands to an 'oh it's ON, bitch' expression, and he tells "Dee Jay" to hack the satellite feed. Dee Jay works for Bison? Um...kay...anyway, we see your standard shot of a satellite in orbit with those two long solar panel wings that move in response to whatever Dee Jay's doing, accompanied by those stereotypical "bleepity-bloop Morse-code" type sounds. Funny how this appears to be the only satellite orbiting the entire planet.

Some tubby Hawaiian guy in the news van sees the signal hijacked with a funny animation of a winged Jolly Roger skull. It's a good thing that Bison chose the angry skull so that we know he's all evil and badass; I don't think the original concept of a cute buffalo would have conveyed the same sense of terror. The hawaiian guy gets on his radio and says "Hey Balrog, are you seein' this?"

"In it for the money, folks!"

"Seein' it? Honda, I'm tapin' it!"

So Chun-Li, E. Honda, and Balrog are some stupid news crew? What the frick! Honda's supposed to be a sumo wrestler-- and Japanese, by the way! And Balrog is supposed to be Bison's bodyguard. And Chun-Li is supposed to...uh...actually I don't know what Chun-Li did other than throw little pansy fireballs and have disturbingly strong thighs that could shatter coconuts. Pretty much served as the chick fanboys jerked off too until Cammy showed up, representing our need to pleasure ourselves to a British special forces agent who enters combat with four-foot braids, knee-boots and a thong.

Guile is pleased to see that Bison just got goaded to action. "Ee tuk da bate! Trez dat sick null stat!" he says, in English so bad that I had to turn on the subtitles to translate his Belgian gibberish. Apparently he said "He took the bait. Trace that signal, stat!" Bison tells everyone that they have three days to deliver his $20 billion (pinky to lips) or the hostages die. He accentuates this by activating your standard action movie device, a giant red LED countdown clock on the wall. This whips Bison's masked gimp soldiers in a frenzy, and they all start doing unison 'seig heil' salutes while chanting "Bi-son! Bi-son!" Subtle.

Guile looks at the only surviving soldier in the background and says "Charlie! We're coming, buddy! We're coming!" which is probably the stupidest possible thing he could have done for his friend, singling him out as his personal friend so that Bison can have endless fun tearing him a new asshole. Way to sign your buddy's death warrant. Bison catches on immediately and gets a cheeky look on his face as he takes Charlie's dogtags and reads the name "Carlos Blanka! Charlie! So you are Guile's friend!" With friends like that, huh, Charlie? Bison sends him off to a laboratory. Probably going to give him a checkup and make sure he's in the best of health!

Here at The Spoony Experiment, our movies are screened in controlled conditions on unwilling test subjects so we can accurately gauged their pain factor. Here, Wes is watching Speed 2: Cruise Control!

Elsewhere we see Vega (a guy who wears a matador-type outfit with Wolverine claws and a mask to protect his face) stabbing someone to death in a cage match. Two guys who can only be Ryu and Ken (the generally-accepted main characters of the videogames) head to the back and meet with Sagat-- a guy who in the games is a rather tall one-eyed Muay Thai kickboxer with a jagged scar running up his chest frοm Ryu's super-power punch. You know, "SHORYUKEN!!" Here, Sagat is an erudite arms dealer operating out of Shadaloo City. He exchanges greetings with Ryu and offers them a drink or "something else" indicating some fine-ass bitches through a beaded curtain and offering them two tickets on the ho train. Sagat's willing to postpone an arms deal so that Ryu and Ken can get a BJ? Does he want to stay and watch or something? Eew.

Ryu tries to make off with the money, telling Sagat that once he's in a safe location he'll call him and tell him where his weapons are, but Sagat says he already found them, and he doesn't have much use for crates full of guns that shoot ping-pong balls. I won't even get in to how far this strays frοm the game's backstory for Ryu and Ken, making them con artists (and bad ones at that). Sagat has his men crack out the fake weapons and hit them with a barrage of Nerf products, and they all have a good laugh until the dynamic duo decide to brawl their way out of it. Sagat's trained hitmen seem totally unprepared for this, despite the fact that this is their ambush. One of the goons picks himself up after getting kicked, scoops up one of the weapons, and shoots Ryu with a plastic ball (which of course does nothing). Then the goon gets a stupid "WTF" look on his face. Asshole, you just spent the last minute shooting them with the toy guns and laughing about it. Sagat just told everyone in the club that they were toys. They can't weigh more than 15 ounces of plastic, and you're surprised that the gun doesn't kill him? What, do you have the short-term memory of a retarded bandicoot? Who hires these idiots?

Their escape doesn't last long, though. Some of the goons find guns that aren't made by Whammo and capture our heroes again.

At Chez Bison, Raul goes to the lab and greets "Dr. Dhalsim" who moans in a particularly bad piece of screenwriting about how his work is "warped, science twisted to serve perversion instead of peace." Okay, first off, clearly not a bald stretchy yoga man with lots of piercings and funny tattoos. Second, I don't want to hear any whining frοm the Thuggee cultist frοm Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom about perversion. And third, that's an awful lot of urine samples on his desk. What are you doing in here, man? The best part of this scene is that Dhalsim is sitting in an official M. Bison office chair, custom-made so that the back is a replica of his winged-skull symbol. Bison says he wants to check on the patient, so they crack open a Mad Science Pod that shows Charlie inside wearing a helmet and goggles that appears to be showing him an endless loop of Addams Family Values, because Blanka is screaming his head off in pain. Bison gets a bug-eyed "ummm, okay, that's weird" look on his face. Raul looks like he's mentally trying to work out if there's anything dumber he could possibly be doing at this moment and realizing there's about eighty minutes of movie left.

The Barry Bonds Diet,
now in Steroid Strawberry and Anabolic Apple!

Actually, Blanka is watching scenes of violence, civil unrest, arson, mass executions, and murder. Audience reactions to the movie Addams Family Values, perhaps? Bison doesn't seem impressed with the mental training regimen. "Show him the stuff that made those monkeys go crazy in 28 Days Later," he says. He tells the doctor that when he's sufficiently apeshit insane frοm watching Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, he'll have his other scientists come in and enact the second phase of his super-soldier procedure: loading him up with lots and lots of steroids and Kool-Aid mix.

Back at Club Sagat, the bad guys throw Ryu in the cage for a fight against the reigning champion, Vega. Sagat gets on the house mic and announces the match, mispronouncing Ryu's name as "RYE-ooh" when it should be "REE-ooh," proving that the director just plain didn't give a shit about the character. You'd think the guy playing Ryu would have spoken up about this earlier in rehearsals, being of Asian descent and all. But there I'm naively assuming that the actor knows this simply because of his ethnicity and that they had line readings for this movie.

Vega boogies to the ring to a warm crowd reaction. The oddsmakers don't give Ryu much chance in this one, and Ken asks Sagat what Vega's deal is. Sagat tells him he's the best cage fighter since Iron Fist (himself). Well of course he is; you let the guy go in the cage with foot-long knives on his hands, the big cheater! But I still bet Samoa Joe could take him! Vega prances around some, takes his mask off to show his pretty face to the ladies, and does a celebratory backflip. He takes one look at Ryu and gives his mask & blades to the ring girls. Another girl hands Ryu a flimsy short sword and rips his shirt off (nice abs). Ryu twirls his sword around and throws it behind Vega to show off. Vega's grin turns to an "o SNAP" frown and he thinks about going to get his weapons back, but the crowd chants "no weapons" and he obliges them.

"Why are you making me watch this?" Ken moans. I hear ya, pal. I hear ya. Just as the buzzer sounds and the fight is about to begin, a tank crashes through the wall and drives straight through the ring. Booooo! Why call your movie Street Fighter if you're just going to bait and switch the action scenes like this? Argh! Guile pops his stupid head out of the hatch, looking a little drunk and declares "Yore all antler a rest." ("you're all under arrest") How he didn't kill anyone by driving in a packed warehouse is a miracle. As the camera pulls to a wide shot, we can see the tank is surrounded by blue-helmeted A.N. soldiers who somehow teleported throughout the building between cuts. Everyone in the building puts their hands up. could run, you know. They'd never catch all of you. Besides, can the United Nations enforce law...well, anywhere? Is part of their job description breaking up illegal fight clubs?

It's a good thing the United States has that one satellite up there to watch everything.

The next morning, we hear someone croon over a loudspeaker "Goooooooooooood morning, Shadaloo!" Aw, now you're dragging Good Morning, Vietnam in the dumps with you, movie! Guile calls a start to a meeting with the A.N. commanders at headquarters. The commanders want to know how the assault will take place, but Guile can't tell them because nobody knows where Bison's Super Secret Underground Lair is. Van Damme's English is so hilariously tangled through this whole movie that I'm tempted to just phonetically spell out every line he has. How did this guy ever gain any measure of popularity in American film with such an intrusive accent? Even Schwartzenegger could be understood without an Austrian-to-English dictionary in his early films, though some of his line-readings are still pretty goofy ("Dees cabinit ministuh...duz he alwaze travel on da wrong side of da boahduh?"). What puzzles me about this movie is that, judging frοm the patch on his shoulder, van Damme is playing an American soldier when his accent rules out that nonsense the moment he opens his mouth. You could have made him...oh, I don't know...Belgian and it still works in the context of the movie. They discard every other piece of every character's backstory, and this is the one they keep?

While Cammy (played by a perky-looking Kylie Minogue) conducts the briefing, some wacko disguised as a servant leaps up on the table, brandishes a sword in a room full of armed soldiers, screams a battle cry, and charges Guile. Guile takes him apart with a roundhouse sweep to the legs and a clothesline shot to the throat. Cammy inspects the knocked-out dope and discovers a snake tattoo on his chest, which she tells us marks him as a "Shadaloo Tong." Well if this is the most sophisticated assassination attempt the Shadaloo Tong can come up with, I don't think the A.N. has much to worry about. Guile explains (or tries to, as well as his broken English will allow) that if the Tong are running guns to Bison, then as the leader of the Tong, Sagat must know where Bison's base is. All they have to do is slip a mole in Sagat's crime syndicate. I can think of a lot of reasons why Sagat could do business with Bison and still have no idea where his secret base is-- and indeed, why Sagat would prefer not to know where it is-- but I'm dealing with a movie involving a Puerto Rican dictator named Bison running a star-shaped country called Shadaloo in the middle of China who's trying to assassinate a Belgian/American soldier named Guile. I've already reached my bullshit tolerance.

Ken, Ryu, Sagat, and Vega are all chilling in prison (which looks remarkably like a cheap sound stage with plenty of stunt tables to crash through) when some announcements are made over the P.A. system, and they notice that most of the prisoners clear out. Handy that the announcements in this Shadaloo prison are made in English instead of Mandarin or Cantonese, or Shadalooan. Stuntmen pour out of the woodwork and start a big ol' karate fight with Ryu & Ken. Vega joins in the fun with a set of kludged-up bamboo hand razors, and soon a riot spills out through the entire yard. Guile and Cammy (conveniently right next door) peek out to see what the ruckus is all about and asks one of his buddies "T. Hawk" to bring Ryu & Ken to him. T. Hawk?

That's not T. Hawk! THIS is T. Hawk!

See the resemblance? You're just not trying anymore, are you, movie?

Back at Bison's Crib, Dhalsim's kickin' it with Blanka in the crazy chair! They've got him on the Barry Bonds chemical workout, and the computer reports that his muscle mass has increased 50%. Me, I've always believed that good cardio wins fights instead of power. Get that man on a treadmill!

Guile has Ken & Ryu brought to a refugee hospital, where he shows them all the people wounded frοm Bison's dozen-or-so masked stormtroopers. I'd like it noted that we haven't really seen Bison's army at all, just the gimps in the hockey masks. Unless I'm to think that Raul Julia is personally walking through China beating the crap out of civilians. Guile says that he thinks that Ryu and Ken aren't complete shitheels because they "steal frοm criminals." Ah, of course. Wouldn't want to muddle the waters here. It's okay to cheer for them, folks! Really! They're nice guys. Greedo shot first. Han would never murder anybody. Elvis didn't do no drugs.

Guile doesn't seem to offer them much of a choice, even though his jurisdiction here is suspect and he didn't really catch them doing anything wrong. Selling toy guns? Just what charge are you holding them on? Hell, they don't even have anything on Sagat or Vega, and they're the leaders of the Shadaloo Tong. Anyway, the prisoners all get loaded in a truck bound for a "Navy brig". Ryu stages a fight with Ken and steals the keys to their manacles. Sagat falls for it immediately and offers to make them partners if he throws over the keys. They hijack the truck and just to make it look good, Ken steals a gun and shoots Guile a few times to stage his death. Chun-Li's news crew is there to record the whole thing, and she throws a tracking device in the awning of the escaping truck. I wish I had tracking devices. I don't know what I'd use them for, but damn are they handy. Spider-Man's got 'em. If anyone knows where I can get some trackers, e-mail me!

"Meesa Dee Jay Binks!"

Bison's meeting with an image consultant, looking at a scale model of his secret lair with some additions like a gift shop and a community center. As soon as he's finished with his world domination he's thinking of calling his capital "Bisonopolis." While I applaud the name, doesn't that seem like putting the baby before the bathwater? I've yet to hear how exactly he plans to conquer the world with a guy named Dee Jay and a fleshy Russian guy with a mohawk. Not to minimize the stresses of city planning, but world-conquering is tricky. I know, I've tried it. Bison admonishes his lackey, telling him the food court should be way bigger: "All the franchises will want in!" I'm not kidding. Food court-- CONQUER THE WORLD first, you twit!

Raul's distracted frοm designing the Great Mall of Bison as another one of Chun-Li's Dateline reports comes up on the Wall O' TVs to announce Guile's death, which doesn't make M. Bizzle happy at all. Dee Jay (with all the Caribbean charm of Jar Jar Binks puts on a winning smile and says) "Dat's great news, General! Congratulations!"

"On the contrary, I mourn," Bison mopes.

And, in a moment that made me laugh out loud, Dee Jay just rolls his eyes and says "Okay."

Then Raul launches in to a spectacular mad villain monologue, the likes of which should be studied in film school for its sheer awesomeness. Remember folks, everyone's the hero of their own story! We need to believe that General M. Bison is a human being who thinks he's doing the right thing. And it helps that this speech is given immortality by the titanic screen presence of Raul Julia:

R.I.P. Raul Julia (1940-1994)

"I hoped to face Guile face-to-face on the battlefield, where we could engage each other in respectful combat. Then I would snap his spine. But why? Why do they still call me a warlord? And mad? All I want to do is to create the perfect genetic soldier. Not for power, not for evil, but for good. Carlos Blanka will be the first of thousands. They will march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation! Until the world is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And peace will reign in the world and all humanity will bow to me in humble gratitude."

The Pax Bisonica?? That's just too awesome for words. Even Zangief thinks so. Barely choking back tears, he says "Zat was beautiful!"

The news gang tries to follow their homing signal, but can't because apparently, another beacon was already on the truck and it's interfering with theirs. Honda is only able to trace the second beacon back to the A.N. headquarters and can't figure out where it's transmitting frοm because...uh...I don't even think the writer knows. Chun-Li slips on a ninja suit and goes to follow this second homing beacon to A.N.H.Q.. I don't know what the point of the ninja suit is, because as soon as she's inside, she takes out a beeping device and follows it down the halls in to the morgue. The device beeps quickly as she approaches one of the corpses. "Hmmm," she says out loud to the empty room, "another homing device!" She peels off the cover of the nearest body and sees that it's Guile, who sits up. Oh come on, how long was Guile laying under that blanket? Was he wheeled to the morgue and decided that while he was there on a slab it'd be a decent place to catch a nap, or was he hoping to scare the crap out of someone who happened to pass by?

Guile has Chun-Li arrested. She confesses that she's not really here to do a story on Bison, but she wants him dead. Guile shrugs and tells her to get in line. T. Hawk and Cammy drag her about twenty feet down the hall before she wiggles out of their grasp and escapes through a window. "What a screw-up!" T. Hawk whines. You are talking about yourself, right?

Now we go to Bison's arms bazaar, where he's invited all the "warlords of Shadaloo" to share in his unique brand of food, drink, and entertainment which mainly involves belly dancers and Gallagher. We can see that the news crew has disguised themselves as exotic dancers (even Honda, eesh) while Ken & Ryu talk loudly about their secret plan to bring their homing device up to Bison's hidden fortress. Ken catches sight of Chun-Li leaving the tent and goes off to work his feeble charms on her. She lures him in a tent and kicks his white ass. Smooth.

"It's frοm my new board game! I call it Bisonopoly."

Sagat shows Bison his extensive collection of rifles. The B-man looks pretty happy and asks how Sagat would feel if, instead of money, he offered to divide the country up with him after he beats the A.N.. Sagat looks distant for a moment and says "Ummmm nah, I would rather have a huge suitcase full of money." When Bison opens up the huge suitcase of money, it's filled to the brim with phony red cash with Raul Julia's face smack-dab in the middle.

Sagat's all "WTF man! Is this a joke?"

"On the contrary!" Bison winks, "Every Bison Dollar will be worth FIVE British pounds!" Dang! That's a stiff rate of exchange. Is he planning to issue any Bison Quarters? It'll be hard to tip waitresses with bills this big.

Ryu follows Ken and doesn't fare much better against Chun-Li's brawny backup. Ken recognizes Honda as "Edmond Honda, that famous Hawaiian sumo wrestler," that is, until the Shadaloo Tong ruined his reputation. Yeah, I heard. Sumo blood doping controversy. Balrog says that the Tong ruined him, too. So Chun-Li's surrounded herself with disgruntled sports figures who were disgraced by an international arms dealer? Jeez, character motivations in this flick are flimsy. Chun-Li lets them go and tells them that she wants Bison dead and they've got ten minutes before she blows the whole camp up to do it.

Ken & Ryu walk back to the tent. Like a moron, Ken repeats exactly what we heard eight seconds ago: "She said this place will blow in ten minutes! Things can't get worse" only to find that Sagat's and Bison's men are staring each other down with drawn weapons like the Sharks and the Jets, only without quite so much gay dancing. "And now there appear to be a hundred armed men in the tent about to kill each other!" Ken says. "And remember Ryu, we still have to get Colonel Guile's tracking device to M. Bison's secret fortress! That really was clever, us faking his death so that Sagat would believe we were on his side, eh?" Everybody following this Byzantine plot so far?

Chun-Li starts a recording on a nearby television announcing to all present that they're all about to die in a horrible explosion. Hey! That wasn't ten minutes! The lying bitch! Everyone gathers around the TV to watch Balrog push a truck laden with explosives towards the tent.

"Quick, change the channel!" screams Zangief. Heh! Everyone flees the tent just before the truck explodes. Gee, Chun-Li, maybe if you wanted Bison dead, you shouldn't have played a tape announcing that you were going to blow him up and give him ample time to escape. Everyone gets taken to Bison's secret lair, where the general decides to grant Chun-Li a "private interview" in his chambers. Eeeeeew. I get the feeling that Bison's idea of sex involves a squeegee and a bottle of Armor All. We can also see a satellite (correction: THE satellite) and a bleeping computer screen hammering the point home that Ryu and Ken have successfully delivered their homing device to Bisonopolis. You know, in case you were brain damaged, or went to the bathroom to throw up and missed that plot point.

Guile leads a briefing of the A.N. forces, now that he has the base's location. He says that an attack frοm the air is impossible, after which you can hear about two soldiers pathetically whine "Awwww..." in a moment that made me laugh so hard I had to stop the video to clean soda off the keyboard. He tells them that the only option is an amphibious attack up the river using their new stealth boat. Some anonymous idiot stands up and says in even more halting, indecipherable English than van Damme's (can you believe that?) "Col null? A sing gull boat a-ginst ev-a-ra-ting heez god? ("Two fighters against a Star Destroyer?") Da pile odd would half-too be. Ouda heeze mined."

Guile somehow understands that nonsense and says "Luckily bye son, has dreevon me crazy. So I'm gonna dew it."

"I wonder if I'll ever appear in another movie...naaah... "

Bisonopolis. Honda and Balrog are in a torture chamber. Some Russian-type guy has Honda bent over a workbench (eeew) and tells him that he's gonna show them "how we treat foreigners in Shadaloo!" Foreigners? Dude, you're Russian, Dee Jay is Jamaican, Bison is Puerto Rican, and Sagat is Thai. I don't think I've seen a Shadaloo-native yet. He starts spanking Honda across the ass with a willowy cane (eeeew!) which only seems to turn Honda on (EEEEEW!!!). What, is Honda's ass impervious to caning? Balrog takes a look back to seee what kind of damage was done, and sees that Honda's backside is pretty thrashed. "How do you keep frοm crying out, man?" he saks.

Honda says that he uses an old sumo technique that allows him to take his mind someplace far away frοm his body. I been trying that all movie. Booze is easier. Anyway, the torturer leaves and they stay captured for about twenty seconds before they break their chains and escape. So far I'm not really sold on the ultimate world-conquering potential of Bison's crack troopers if they can't keep a washed-up sumo wrestler captive for more than ten minutes.

Elsewhere, Zangief gets Ken & Ryu dressed in their respective red and white karate gis, which he says are the traditional exercise gear for Bison soldiers. Whatever. I'm amazed they bothered at all with this game reference.

Guile and his troops are about to leave at reveille when a Ben Stein-looking guy tells them that the attack is off. The A.N. has radically changed its policies and decided that not only will it deal with terrorists, it'll pay them any ransom and ask if there's anything else it can do for them. Bring them a sandwich, rub their feet, whatever. Why is everyone so afraid of this guy? He's got MAYBE thirty guys and all his guns just got blown up. Guile tries to protest, but Ben Stein Type Guy tells him to STFU and hands him a packet of new orders. Van Damme looks down at the packet and marches to a podium in front of the assembled troops as the music swells to a patriotic climax, and this is what he has to say (credit YTMND):

True purrs, I juzry see new orders.

Are superiors say the whar is can-selled; weekend all go hum.

Bi-sun is giddy pay duff for heez crimes, and are frense who have dyed hair will have died for nothing.

Bud, weekend all go home. Mean while, I deals like piss, free dumb, and just dis: dey get tacked up. (???)

Bud, weekend all go home. Well, I'm nut going home. I'm gonna get on my butt, and I'm going up river, and I'm going to KICK... dat sunufa bitch Bison's ass so HORDE... dat de necks Bison wallaby as gunna fill it.

No who ones to go hum, and who ones to go whiff ME!!

"We don't understand what the fuck you're saying, but it sounded belligerent and badass, so we're with you!!"

Naturally, a speech this inspiring compels every man and woman listening to immediately mutiny against The Man and go kill bad guys like U.N. Peacekeepers oughta. Ben Stein Type Guy blubbers after Guile screaming British things like "I say, chap!" and "Now look here, good man!" but Guile has none of his un-American pussy anti-war crap and gets in his personalized stealth boat to go kick some fascist Gomez Addams ass.

"Colt 45: Works every time!"

Back at Bison's crib-- and I'm not just being glib here, he really does have an official crib, complete with shag carpeting, velvet paintings of himself, and mood lighting-- Chun-Li is trying to evoke some real emotion as she explains (to the small limits that her weak acting will allow) her backstory and why she's on a quest for vengeance against Bison. Something to do with her father getting killed, blah blah blah. I'm not really listening; instead I'm watching Raul change out of his paramilitary leatherwear and in his paramilitary eveningwear: a velvet officer's cap and the coolest smoking jacket I've ever seen. Look at Raul Julia, this pimp daddy! He's lookin' good! He might be a terrible general, his men unqualified goons, and his tactics highly ineffective but man, does he ever know how to coordinate a wardrobe. He's even got a hat tree with about eight different-colored caps so he can rotate his uniforms without clashing with only one hat. I bet he brings all the chicks up to his pad to see this. Bet you anything he's got a skull-shaped jacuzzi.

Ryu & Ken try to bust out Balrog & Honda, only to find that they've already effected their own escape. I find it highly annoying that whenever the camera settles on Honda, the score twangs out a stupid Hawaiian chord to remind us that he's an island boy.

Bison says that whatever Chun-Li's jibbering about, he doesn't remember any of it. "For you," he says, "The day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me? It was Tuesday." Hah! I officially love Raul Julia's performance in this movie. I don't care what anybody says. The man is brilliant. Chun-Li KEEPS ON explaining her dipshit backstory, while Raul busies himself looking pimp in his love seat, mixing fruity drinks, dimming the lights, and putting on romantic light jazz on his stereo. If it had been Barry White, it would have melted any woman's heart. It turns out that talking Bison in an alcoholic stupor was exactly her plan frοm the beginning (hell, it worked on me). She summons a wire team and leaps across the room, kicking Bison in the face! Must have invested in Flubber calf implants or something. She goes about beating him up all over the room with high-kicks and open-handed slaps, at one point shoving his head through a glass cabinet (allowing us to see the rest of the sound stage behind the glass). Honda & Friends charge in the room, and like a dope, Chun-Li turns around to look just long enough for Bison to run to a panic room.

They try to smash the door down, but Bison's love nest starts to fill with poison gas as heavy steel doors seal off all the exits. Tracking devices and a room that fills up with poison gas, that's what I need. Before conquering the world, you need to turn an eye to internal security. Just look at the Death Star! Terrible security! Bison watches the heroes collapse and laughs maniacally, his eyes bugged out of his head teeth bared in a silly wide grin. I dunno if I'd be quite so happy, bro. You just got your ass handed to you by a girl. On the other hand, she did break quite a few laws of physics to land that dropkick frοm forty feet away so I guess it would have been hard to see coming.

Guile pilots his stealth boat towards the compound. What exactly makes it a "stealth" boat? Does it fly under the radar or something? You just painted a speedboat black, guys. Let's admit that right now. Guile even put in a dashboard DVD player that allows him to watch home movies.

Back in Dhalsim's lab, Blanka's procedure is almost complete. After all those drugs, Carlos Blanka has become a rubbery guy in Lou Ferrigno makeup and a red Bozo the Clown wig! Truly, the world will fall to these super-soldiers! But Dhalsim stops the current video barrage of war footage that's corrupting Blanka's mind and switches the programming to pictures of dolphins, and old wedding videos. I don't know...If someone was trying to turn me to a feral killer, the best way to do it would probably be a constant 12-hour barrage of the Nature Channel intercut with family wedding movies. This could backfire.

Bison parades the captured heroes in his control room and has them handcuffed to a railing so he can explain his evil plan. Forget anything so simple as just shooting them now, they only tried to assassinate him. Idiot.

Guile announces that he's activating Stealth Mode, so everyone lowers the dorky visors on their helmets, as if that were necessary. But we're going in to Stealth Mode, which is really really cool, so we need to look cool while doing it. Guile counts down frοm 3 and flicks a cheap-looking switch that makes the hull flare up with cartoon electricity and turns the light on the inside of the boat green. Wow. Sure was a good thing we had those visors down. I don't think our eyes could have handled the abrupt color shift without that plastic in front of our faces. As they approach a radar station, we see that "Stealth Mode" does nothing more than change the color of the boat frοm black to a mottled green that doesn't look anything like the water they're on at all. Yes, this state-of-the-art camouflage will fool everyone unless they look at it! The ship deploys a swiveling minigun which fires a short burst of ammunition towards the radar dish, which spontaneously explodes after a second of sustained fire. Dang, someone must have packed that radar installation with M-80s and lighter fluid.

So two joysticks and fourteen unmarked buttons
control the entire fortress?

As soon as Guile starts taking out radar installations, it makes it pretty easy even for Dee Jay to figure out where they are. Maybe going in guns-blazing wasn't the best thing to do while in STEALTH MODE. Makes you pretty easy to find, doesn't it? Bison brings up the boat on the radio and says "Um, were you trying to sneak in? Because you totally screwed that up."

"This is the collection agency!" Guile says, "Your ass is six months overdue, and it's mine!"

Sagat's all "WTF Guile's not ded? I call hax!"

Bison summons his floating control thingy and gets aboard. It's undeniably cool to have a flying thingy you can stand on and issue commands frοm, but other than coolness it doesn't seem to serve any useful function. Does he use it to change the overhead fluorescent lights? The only controls it seems to have are copies of the Street Fighter arcade controls. You know Bison is mad when he has to pump quarters in his flying arcade machine so he can kill you.

I think the world can handle this particular terrorist.

Bison jabs one of the white buttons, which activates an underwater minefield. Then he just starts mashing buttons and wiggling the joystick at random (much like my average SoulCaliber game). But Guile evades the mines. Finally Bison gets pissed and smacks all the buttons down at once, and Guile's ship explodes! "GAME....OVAH!!!!!" Raul cries! I wonder if Bison really knew what he was doing when he was hammering on those buttons, or if he was just setting shit off at random and got lucky.

Down in the lab, one of the security guards gets wise to Dhalsim's re-programming of Blanka's brain with all that huggy-kissy nonsense and beats the crap out of him with a cattle prod. You can probably figure out where this is going, but the guard makes sure to throw him in to every piece of explosive and sensitive equipment there is, including the pod-release mechanism that lets Blanka out of his cell. And wow, you can really tell that Blanka has superhuman strength! He broke those flimsy plastic restraints and everything!

Guile's not dead, of course. He bailed out of the ship along with T. Hawk and Cammy just before it blew up. We can see a trio of Bison Goons having a smoke, gibbering in their native tongue (that's what the subtitles say). Apparently native Shadalooans are just a strange tribe of white people who existed here since before the Han Dynasty. Historians can't figure it out. Guile and Cammy jump out of the water and beat the crud out of the soldiers. Cammy shouts something that isn't subtitled, but sounds like "Your ass kick!" while delivering a reverse-hurricanrana to one of them. Whatever. Guile finds a tunnel leading down in the base and rappels down.

There haven't really been any street fights, you know...We're entering the third act, and I haven't seen one good fight scene...s'all I'm saying. I'd much rather watch the Sonny Chiba Street Fighter movies.

Guile emerges frοm the tunnels in to Dhalsim's lab, which has been torn up because of Blanka's rampage. You know things are bad because all the lighting is blue. Blanka leaps out to attack Guile, but recognizes him as his friend and begs for help. Guile takes out his gun and puts it to Charlie's head (???). Some friend you are, man! I think Blanka meant "Help me get to a hair stylist so they can fix my horrible orange wig." He seems quite cogent for a guy who's been turned to the Hulk. Luckily Dhalsim intervenes and tells Guile what a dipshit he's being. You don't kill a guy just because we turned him green. Things aren't so bad. He can still function in society. I foresee a long rock-and-roll career.

Upstairs, Bison checks on his account balance and sees that the A.N. hasn't forked over the $20 billion (pinky to lips). Um...I thought they'd agreed to pay. Did I miss something? Anyway, Bison gets miffed and summons Blanka's 'incubation pod' so his new wild beast can tear apart the hostages. "Behold," Bison declares, "The face of your destruction and of my victory!" The really goofy green face of your destruction... In a long, overblown, overdramatic sequence, the pod slowly rises frοm the floor amidst billowing smoke and strobe lights. Four-foot blades rise frοm the floor around the pod and make a path to the hostage pit (man, thost must have cost a lot to install, and for such a specific one-time purpose!), and the pod opens up. Guile leaps out of the pod like he was fired out of a cannon, flying at least twelve feet high and maybe twenty yards across to dropkick Bison in the chest! I guess you didn't make the blades quite high enough, eh? Should have invested in the twenty-footers. Although to be fair, I doubt he could have predicted that Jean-Claude van Damme had a twenty-yard standing horizontal leap.

Twice in one evening! Who needs to breed super-soldiers when people like Guile and Chun-Li can fling themselves through the air like they had secondary rocket boosters installed up their asses? "Shoot the hostages!" Bison shouts to his elite troops. "Don't bother shooting the armed marine! It's those hostages in a pit that aren't going anywhere we need to take care of first!" Guile closes the pit and roundhouse kicks the control panel which destroys it utterly, while assault rifle fire just bounces off it. Even though he's surrounded by two dozen trained soldiers frοm an elevated position, none of the soldiers seem to be able to come close to hitting Guile, even though he's not really going anywhere and he's the only guy in the room wearing bright blue clothes. Guile, of course, never misses a single shot with his semiautomatic pistol. Everyone he hits feels compelled to lurch forward and pitch over the rail like they always do in action movies. One priceless moment comes when he fires the last round in his magazine and the slide locks. Guile looks at the weapon, aims down the sight anyway, pulls the trigger and gets a confused "what the hell is wrong with my gun" look on his face when nothing happens. So instead he takes out a knife and throws it in the back of an unarmed dope in a red jumpsuit, who lurches over a control panel, accidentally triggering a Red Alert base lockdown.

Golly there's a lot of people accidentally stumbling in to critical control equipment in this movie.

The next shot shows Guile seeking higher ground, only now he's somehow acquired a submachinegun that he didn't bring with him and couldn't possibly have found nearby. Honda dismantles their restraints, setting loose the rest of the heroes. Bison's elite guard seem totally helpless against a half dozen unarmed martial artists, despite their superior numbers, weaponry, and the helmets they're wearing. But no, a sidearm frοm a wispy Chinese chick sends these trained killers sprawling. Not only that, they're driven to retreat. This is the Stormtrooper Effect in full-force, guys. Cammy and T. Hawk are outside holding off the entire attack force with a pair of handguns, and Guile with his magic SMG is dropping baddies like flies. Zangief tries in vain to rally the troops, but Honda crashes through a foot-thick sandstone wall(!!) and challenges him to a fight! He bodyslams the Russian through the floor, which turns in to a plastic tarp allowing them to crash through the scale model of the future Bisonopolis.

Guile tells Chun-Li "Gat de hostagiz OUUUUT!" and goes back to shooting troopers. Is he ever going to reload that thing?

Cammy's got a gun! Everybody run!

Bison checks with Dee Jay and asks him what's wrong. "I don't know, sir! Everything's crossed!" he replies. Everything's crossed? What does that even mean? They watch the external security cameras as the A.N. forces swarm up onto the beach and start annihilating Bison's troops without taking any casualties or even slowing their charge.

"So defeat is a possibility!" Bison marvels. A possibility? Dude, I'm amazed you were able to do as much as you did with fifty blind people who can't hit a sumo wrestler with an assault rifle. "Then we'll face it together, Dee Jay! With the stoicism of true warriors!" (Dee Jay is halfway to his car by now.)

Ken runs upstairs and nearly gets blown up as Cammy blasts a nearby wall with a bazooka. Ken thinks that maybe they shouldn't get involved with the war outside, seeing as how he's wearing bright red and the soldiers outside are currently machinegunning all red people to death. Ryu gives him a 'shame, shame, shame' look, calls him a pussy, and lays the usual "people are dying out there!" guilt trip on him. I don't think you get it, Ryu. blue guys are killing red guys. Ken doesn't really want to be outside right now. But Ryu goes off to...whatever.

"I don't understaaaaaand!" Ken whines like a six-year old when told he can't have Oreos ten minutes before dinner. This guy's acting is awful.

Cammy leads the A.N reinforcements down in the control center just in time to save Guile's bacon frοm a dozen troopers who finally managed to corner him. She says they've secured the perimeter, but they still can't find Bison. Guile says he thinks Bison is hiding.

"Hiding??" Bison appears on the Wall O' TVs. "What do I have to fear frοm you?" Um, about two hundred guys with guns? Long story short, Bison wants a one-on-one fight with Guile, even though it will ultimately solve nothing and won't change the fact that the Pax Bisonica is officially over. But de Souza had to throw one actual fight scene in this movie, didn't he?

Chun-Li and Balrog continue to pummel the crud out of soldiers who have no idea how to use rifles. These guys really have the collective intelligence of crotch fungus. Somewhere Balrog found a pair of glossy silk shorts and boxing gloves, but it's best not to ask. Chun-Li interrogates a fallen goon about where the hostages are. They're in the pit with the giant sliding hatch, you stupid cumsponge. Bison showed you where they were. I hate this goddamn movie. How is it even possible that Mortal Kombat was way better than this?

Now that I've finally gotten my wish, the fight scene between Guile and Bison isn't any good. I can't imagine that Raul Julia was capable of much physical action at this stage in his illness, nor would he have been able to put on a convincing fight with van Damme in his prime. So really this entire fight amounts to Jean-Claude kicking his ass all over the place. And no, you don't see Guile's "sonic boom!" thing, but they do throw in a couple of those somersault kicks. Long story short, Guile boots Bison in a control panel, which electrocutes him to death. These control panels are dangerous! Just stumble in to one and you could inadvertently get electrocuted, trigger a worldwide nuclear strike, or wipe out your Firefox bookmarks. Cammy gets on the radio and asks if he's all right.

Bison's got Bluetooth!

"I'm only half dead."

"And Bison?"

"He's ALL DEAD."

But what Guile can't see is that a computer behind him flickers to life, registering that Bison's life signs are nil! Apparently his suit can give him manual CPR (because his chest flares in and out in a way that makes it look like he's growing rather voluptuous breasts) and administers adrenalin to his heart. Bison stands up and hits Guile with SITH LIGHTNING!!1!EIN!!ONE!!! I guess this means "I AM INTERFACED!!"

Dee Jay goes down to the vault and steals the trunk full of money (doesn't he know that it's full of Bison Dollars?) moaning that he "should have stayed at Microsoft." See, that's an organization that's got the world-domination thing well in hand. Ken finds a computer console and tries to find a way to escape the base, and sees Ryu on a security monitor walking straight towards Vega. He tries to pick up a CB radio and warn him, but doesn't know how to operate it. He keeps screaming "Rye-u! Rye-u!" in to it. My god, you two are best friends and you can't be bothered to pronounce his name right?

Guile picks himself up, wondering aloud where Sith Lightning falls in the whole "no weapons" and "purity of unarmed combat" horseshit that Bison keeps talking about. Bison shrugs and says "this is merely superconductor electromagnetism!" In other words, "I'm basically a lying sphincter." "It levitates bullet flying arcade console...and it levitates...ME!!" On cue, the soles of his boots glow white and he starts to hover around. He floats to the back of the room and flies towards Guile at top-speed for a Superman punch, knocking him over easily.

"What's the matter, Colonel?" Bison gloats, "You come here to fight a madman and instead find a god?" No, he found a fruity cheater with flying Nikes.

"Go go gadget Flying Nikes!"

Ryu gets double-teamed by Sagat and Vega for a while until Ken makes the save. The fight's not bad, but they never manage to work in any of their trademark moves, like the flying uppercut "SHORYUKEN!" or the twirly kick. Ryu sort of pantomimes the "HADOKEN" fireball thing but I'm not counting that! Blah!

Bison keeps shocking Guile all over the place with his cheap-ass Sith Lightning, really hamming it up all the while about how "I'm the god, I'm the god!!" He tries for the flying Superman punch again, but this time Guile catches him up-side the head with a flying roundhouse kick that sends him careening across the room like a home-run ball and in the Wall O' TVs. Which for no reason explodes and takes out half the room.

"And now, young will die."

The computer starts bitching about how the "Energy Field Is Unstable" which translates to "Everyone Should Start Running for the Exits So We Can Have A Big Shot of People Escaping the Exploding Base." Because movies like this can't end without the bad guy's fortress exploding for no easily explained reason. The energy field is unstable guys, just trust us.

Honda and Zangief break off their wrestling. Zangy runs in to Dee Jay and asks why everyone's running away when they should all be fighting for peace, love, and freedom. Deej gives him a funny look and says, "Um, you do know that Bison is the bad guy, right?" This takes Zangief by surprise.

"If Bison is the bad guy, why do you serve him?"

"Because he paid me a frickin' fortune!"

Zangief gets a distant, pondering look. "You got...paid?" Heh! You know, the rest of this movie was trash, but the Dee Jay & Zangief comic relief was actually pretty good. But that's frosting on a shit sundae.

Everyone escapes frοm the base. Guile tries to find Blanka to apologize for that whole 'almost shot you in the head' thing, but finds that he and Dhalsim are forming a band and are going to open for Death Cab for Cutie. Once they get together outside, he thanks Ryu & Ken for the help that he extorted out of them and offers their passports back. Ken says that he can keep them. "Somebody's gonna have to help put this country back together. Maybe a couple of hustlers can help," he says. Yeah, two small-time con-men should have no problem setting up a democratic government after decades of rule under a despotic junta.

The base continues to explode, and the cast reacts by...assuming their videogame victory poses? Okay...

Check out how gay van Damme looks doing Guile's "hair combing" pose.

After the credits roll, we see the wreckage of Bison's control room (didn't this all explode? Several times?) A fist shoots up frοm the rubble, and the camera's last shot is of a computer screen. A mouse pointer goes to a Mac's menu, where one of the options is "World Domination." He clicks a button marked "REPLAY." Wha? Please tell me you weren't actually hoping to set up a sequel, were you? Guys, I was kidding.

Ahhhh that was a rough one. Oh well. Vaya con Dios, Raul. I was rough on him, but truth be told, even though this movie was garbage his charisma and purposefully over-the-top performance made even this, his last role, a memorably good one. Jean-Claude, on the other hand...

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