Street Fighter

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Street Fighter Movie Poster Image
Campy video game-derived action-fest.
  • PG-13
  • 1994
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Pretty clear-cut good guys and bad guys. Battling solves everything, more or less; some would-be peace negotiators are portrayed negatively. Ethnic representation across the spectrum, and a few empowered female characters (although, stereotypically, it's the Asian one, Chun-Li, who does the heavy-duty martial-arts fighting).

Violence

Very little blood shown (and the blood we do see turns out to be fake, in a hoaxed gundown); still, there is "cartoon violence" combat of all sorts, from martial-arts fisticuffs to shooting, electrocution/death rays, slashing with a sort of claw-weapon, massive explosions, etc. Some fatalities, including necks snapped by the villain. One character whipped (but he ignores the pain). Some stock footage of genuine war scenes and atrocities.

Sex

Some cleavage-baring, skimpy superheroine- or harem-type outfits. A few concubine-style women are offered to male characters at one point (the men decline). A blink-and-you'll-miss-it homosexuality joke.

Language

"Bastard," "SOB," "hell," "ass," and some widely scattered "s--t"s.

Consumerism

Hard to ignore that this movie wouldn't exist without the Capcom video game franchise on which it's based (specifically, Street Fighter II, if you're keeping score). There were also spinoffs in cartoon and comic-book and action-figure form.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking. A few enemy soldiers light cigarettes. Brief mention of Bison's past as a drug lord.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is based on a well-known martial-arts video game (albeit one not infamous for gruesome violence, as the Mortal Kombat line was), and consequently, there's a lot fighting (believe it or not). Characters are kicked, pummeled, shot at, slashed at, electrocuted, and so on. Almost all of it is bloodless and not taken terribly seriously, though a few seconds of genuine war-atrocity news stock footage are worked into the fantasy. There's no need to be familiar with the game to enjoy the movie, but it helps with character recognition. There's some scattered swearing, smoking, and drinking, and a reference to the drug trade.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byderek642 March 8, 2012

Bring the Wine, Cheese Provided

Ok, first off, let me say that I put that it's 'too violent' only to say that there is a lot of action-packed violence in it. Considering what yo... Continue reading

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What's the story?

STREET FIGHTER derived from a popular Capcom video game in which players could choose a gallery of martial-arts contestants to go up against each other. Screenplay-wise, this translates as high-tech warlord General Bison (Raul Julia) wreaking havoc in the mythical Asian nation of "Shadaloo" and holding relief-workers hostage for a $20 billion ransom, while forcing a captive scientist turn a prisoner into a Hulk-like monster soldier. His main opponent is Col. Guile (Jean-Claude Van Damme), stalwart leader of international military forces, who tries to find Bison's hidden base. Other two-fisted characters ultimately brawling in Bison's temple of doom include Chun-Li (Ming-na Wen), a TV reporter out for vengeance because Bison killed her father 20 years ago in her border village.

Is it any good?

Though it scored low at the box-office, Street Fighter racks decent cinematic junk-food points for rainy days when the game console won't boot up. Except for unnecessary swearing it's mostly PG-level inoffensive, and even a bit of a guilty pleasure compared to later (R-rated) movies derived from fancier and more savagely gory joystick material, such as Doom and Resident Evil. This, while lacking in plot surprises, still has a self-mocking sense of humor about itself throughout, with some sly jokes insinuated amongst the colorful-gaudy production design (note the clown painting in Bison's bedroom).

The cast acts it up with relish, especially Raul Julia's eye-popping caped villain. Julia died suddenly before the film's release; he reportedly took this untypical part mainly because his children were fans of the game, and the movie is dedicated to him. In addition to assorted tie-in anime cartoons, another game-spinoff live-action movie appeared in 2009

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea of basing movies on video games. What are some favorites? What game would make a good movie? Is it more fun to watch if you're a player of the video game or not? Would you rather see a movie based on a simple action-combat game, like Street Fighter II, or a more problem-solving and story-dependent game, like Myst, Riven, or the Seventh Guest?

Movie details

For kids who love action

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