Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist is Beautiful, But Predictable

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Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist

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 serves as a prequel of sorts to the game Street Fighter II. Set in mid-60s and late-80s Japan, the movie captures a Low-Budget 80s Action Movie vibe sincerely, and without irony. The directorial debut of Joey Ansah, the film is certainly gorgeous to look at. Shot on location in Bulgaria, the production makes great use of their surroundings composing every scene carefully. With Ken and Ryu as point-of-view characters for the audience, the story unfolds mostly in flashback, told by Akira Koieyama's Master Gouken. Unfortunately, the story beats and heel turns are all as telegraphed as many of the attacks in the actual game. The performances are stiff, and the love interest is given little more to do than be pined over. The fight choreography however, is stunning. Ansah, not a fan of much of the fight choreography seen in most movies, worked to create a new style of martial arts to replicate the fighting styles of Ken and Ryu's video game counterparts. For being inspired by two-dimensional sprites, the movements are all fluid and would be delightful to watch even by those who aren't fans of the game. Sharp-eyed fans, of course, will note references to several characters mentioned in set dressing and dialogue. It's been said that this film uses Ken and Ryu as a gateway to the world of Street Fighter, establishing the characters and the universe here in the same way FOX hopes to do with Bruno Heller's Gotham in the fall, and those attempts can be spotted throughout by viewers with enough interest and savvy.