The Street Fighter

Bomb Rating: 

No, this is not the Jean Claude Van Damme video game movie. This "Street Fighter" is the re-released martial arts film that hasn't been seen in the United States since its initial release in 1974. There are a couple of things to note about its reemergence. The first is that its star, Sonny Chiba, was supposed to be "the greatest martial arts sensation since Bruce Lee!" The second thing is that the film is being marketed with Quentin Tarantino's name on it.

Since Quentin's name is on the movie's cover, you can bet that someone's going to be bleeding in an unusual way. Sure enough, that's the film's notable achievement. Sonny plays Terry Tsuguri, a mean, cold-blooded killer-for-hire. Sonny runs around Asia chasing some mobsters and a girl who has just inherited her father's business. Terry's seeming ability to teleport around Asia and the film's disco-esque soundtrack will make most martial-arts fans a bit ill.

What exactly was supposed to make Sonny Chiba the next Bruce Lee, aside from the fact that he knows some martial arts, is anybody's guess. Okay, so he's also Asian, but that doesn't excuse the fact that when he's flexing his muscles and exhaling he's got this "lip thing" happening that makes him look like he's eaten some bad cheese -- his lip goes way up on one side. He's able to beat the crap out of people not because of any mastery of martial arts, but because his foes are distracted by his screwed up facial expression.

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