In retrospect, I find it disappointing that both movies failed to give justice to the game. But this is not about those two movies; this is about Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, the first and the only movie that captures the very essence of the game that popularized the Hadouken.
By the way, the entire series can be seen in Machinima’s YouTube page for free! Now that’s Street Fighter love for you!
As I take a look back at this film, I post this warning: it’s inevitable that this will contain some spoilers.
The script delivers a captivating story that will please not only the fans who enjoy the game, but will also reach those who are new to the series and those who simply enjoy watching movies with engaging stories. The writers made a conscious decision to write specific lines of the script in Japanese and others in English. The bilingualism of the script, as far as I’m concerned, contributed to authenticity they want to achieve.
There were not as many fight scenes in the film as those in the other Street Fighter films that preceded it, but they made it a point to show choreographed katas and make them look genuine, as if they are really from Ansatsuken. The footages of the characters' intense training regimen also effectively suggests the focus and determination needed to be a master of the martial art.
With the film’s Akuma and Ken themselves--Joey Ansah and Christian Howard, respectively—at the helm of fight choreography, it looked to me that nothing could possibly go wrong, and I was right. After all, they left a great first impression with Street Fighter: Legacy.
One main reason why I love this film is because they didn't simply bombard the film with nonsensical fight scenes—something that previous fighting-game-based movies had done, that’s why they all failed to be good.
If there is one guy who should be nominated for a Best Actor award in this film, it's got to be Akira Koieyama. Others can agree with me or not, but he owned his role completely as the older Gouken and gave a compelling performance. The final scene where he bids farewell to his students is a very emotional moment, and a fitting ending worthy of applause.
(I wonder how they’ll deal with M.Bison, Vega and Balrog if they were ever given the go signal to do something for The World Warrior story.)
Togo Igawa has my utmost respect and admiration for his justified portrayal of the stern but noble master Goutetsu in the flashback scenes...
Instead, they're something like this.
Music is a key factor in every motion picture, and this film's musical scoring doesn't disappoint. I love Patrick Gill's and Ryan Ansah's arrangement of Ryu’s and Ken’s respective iconic themesongs.
The film is not short on cameos and references. I found myself amused at the scene where Ryu and Ken discovered the name Dan in the list of former students of Ansatsuken. with ken asking who the hell he is. It cracked me up more than it should have.
Not only did they pay tribute to Street Fighter in this movie; they also gave a nod to Rockman as well! That scene where Ryu and Ken get ecstatic after getting a copy of Rockman 2 is such a gem. (I kind of dislike the fact that they called it Megaman 2, though.)
And then there's this something I didn't expect.
I commend the cast and crew of the film for giving us the Street Fighter movie that we fans deserve, and I'm definitely looking forward to a sequel. Then again, it’s Capcom that gets to give the go signal, so for the meantime, I'll just wait for its DVD release.
As an endnote, I call on Hollywood to take notice of this movie, because THIS is how you make a film adaptation of a videogame classic.