Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Street Fighter's Last Revenge

The Action Mutant…
doesn’t like Martinis with his kung fu!

The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge

review by Joe Burrows

The last film in the Street Fighter trilogy, only this time the filmmakers decided to repackage Chiba as a James Bond-like, gadget wielding agent. Get ready to let out a big Moe Syzlak “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA???”

The Plot, as it was:
Terry Tsurugi has gone from a magma inhaling karate badass to a suave super spy (with no real explanation as to why). Hell, all of the girls at the phone company want to jump his bones, despite the fact that every woman in the past two films deemed him sub-human at best! Anyway, a drug syndicate hires him to retrieve two tapes that have the recipe for synthetic heroin at $200 a pound. Haven’t these people ever heard of the wonderful concept of tape dubbing? However, Tsurugi has to contend with double-crosses, a crooked D.A., a mystery woman out to bed him and a mariachi man that shoots lasers! Now, who’s on heroin here…the characters or the filmmakers?

Don’t shoot me…I’m only the reviewer!:
Someone kicks Terry’s ass and he starts to doubt who he is? Important cargo gets taken from Terry’s possession not once but TWICE? MASKS? VAMPIRE TEETH? THIS IS NOT THE SAME GUY!!! They don’t even call him by the right last name (calling him Sur-gur-i this time around)! Sure, some will call this “broadening the character” but there’s usually a limit. Basically everything that made the first two films unique and memorable has been thrown out for campy trash and needless plot twists, not to mention just being shoddily made. There are some fun, cheesy moments at times (the introduction to the mariachi man, for example) and it’s good to see Sue Shiomi in her brief role but the film is such a 180 from the previous two films (not to mention an unsatisfying ending) that it’s nothing more than a goofy yet frustrating curiosity.

Body Count/Violence: 17. And with all the gadgetry comes a decided lack in what set the Street Fighter films apart: gratuitous violence. Sure, there are more than a few fights but the lack of blood really takes away from things. Still, every once in a while, Chiba pulls out a goodie that harkens back to the first two films (such as when he takes the mariachi man on a hands on tour of a crematorium). Ah, kilns.

Sexuality/Nudity: No less than three sex scenes, with the mystery woman Aya (Reiko Ike) flashing breasts in each.

Language/Dialogue: Somewhat stronger. There’s even an F bomb dropped once.

How bad was it?:
Some critics have a “so bad its good vibe” with it and like it for the cheesy trash it is. Followers of the series tend to dismiss it as the worst of the series (which it is). (Note: Director Teruo Ishii apparently didn’t care for martial arts films and is usually credited with killing the series. He didn’t even have the courtesy to put his name on the credits. Thanks a lot, bastard!)

Did it make the studio’s day?:
No box office figures, but the film was released by New Line Cinema in the U.S. in February of 1979.

Film: *1/2/*****
Entertainment value: ***/*****

Copyright 2007 The Action Mutant.

No comments: