Blu-ray Review: Street Fighter II – The Movie

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It has taken nearly two decades for the movie to arrive in uncut format, but was it worth the wait? Find out in our Blu-ray Review of Street Fighter II: The Movie.

Synopsis:

Shadowlaw is an underground organization bent on world domination through drug smuggling, illegal weapons distribution and terrorism. Led by the evil M. Bison (Vega in the Japanese version), Shadowlaw hopes to increase their power by recruiting the world’s greatest street fighters. Their main target: Ryu a master of Shotokan Karate who roams all over the world to test his skills against other fighters. As a means to lure the elusive Ryu, Bison abducts his best friend, former martial arts champion Ken Masters, and uses him as bait. Interpol agent Chun-Li and U.S. Air Force pilot Guile team up to get to Ryu before Bison does and continues his reign of terror.

Our View:

On the outside Street Fighter II: The Movie seems like an adrenaline fuelled movie of non-stop bloody fist fights, however at its core it’s a film with a basic plot that’s only made enjoyable with its distinctive cast of characters, namely the game characters themselves. Basically if this film didn’t feature any iconic game characters then it would not be as enjoyable to watch, but at the same time this is the whole point of the film – to see iconic Street Fighter characters in an ‘animated’ story-telling movie filled with brutal fist-fights, and that’s exactly what we get.

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The overall plot is that M.Bison is the leader of Shadowlaw, an organisation that plans to rule the world via various means. In hope of achieving this goal Bison recruits the strongest fighters, adided by using his physic styled powers, which include Vega, Sagat, Cammy and Balrog. At the same time Chun-Li, a member of Interpol, teams up with Guile in order to track down Bison and stop his evil plans, while at the same time warning other fighters about Bison’s motives and asking them to join the side of Interpol, rather than the side of Bison and his Organisation Shadowlaw.

With both Shadowlaw and Interpol travelling around the world viewers are treated to array of different real-life styled locations, some of which are featured in Street Fighter games, as well as a whole host of characters including Fei Long, Blanka, Zangeif, Dee Jay and Dhalism. It’s also worth pointing out that while the film does contain a lot of characters, all of which engage in some type of fight, there are also cameo appearences from other characters such as Akuma sitting in the background. If a character is in the Street Fighter II game then he (or she) will most likely appear in the film at some point, in one way or another, which shows the movie teams dedication to the fans – even if its just a short appearence such as the fight with T-Hawk.

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In addition to the two organisations recruiting team members Bison learns of Ryu and Ken, two friends that trained under the same master. In an attempt to lure Ryu out into the open Bison use’s Kens motivation of a re-match to his advantage and so a lighting packed fist-fight between Ken, Ryu and Bison takes place with Shadowlaw and Interpol fighting it out amongst themselves in an all out battle to save the world.

Extras:

Considering that this is a Blu-ray release for a film there is next to nothing in terms of Special features, but this is most likely due to the age of the film itself. Included on the disc we have six trailers for other anime releases, five of which can only be accessed via the French side of the disc.

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On the English Side of the disc we have a single trailer for Bleach: Hell Verse while on the French side of the disc we have trailers for Tekken: Blood Vengeance, Bakuman, Patlabor 3, Tiger & Bunny and the Kaze TV Channel. Majority of the French trailers are presented in French, however a few (such as Tekken) are provided in Japanese with French subtitles.

Tech Specs:

Media: BD 25 x1
Running Time: 1:41:26
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: LPCM 2.0 (1536kbps /48 Khz – English & French) / (2304kbps / 48Khz – Japanese)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

For those unaware Street Fighter II: The Movie has been released multiple times, all of which have had something missing or altered, this release is no different. The early VHS versions featured highly edited and altered scenes, while newer DVD versions had those scene re-introduced but at the same time they were still considered ‘edited’ compared to the original Japanese release, namely for the Chun-Li shower scene. Well with this Blu-ray release, distributed in the UK by Kaze UK (and Manga UK) we now have a true uncut version whereby all of the bloody fights, naked shower scenes and slower paced narratives are left in-tact.

While the video itself is uncut and true to its Japanese roots, it’s the English Audio which has been altered, as it has been replaced with a tamer, less swearing (compared to earlier releases) vocal soundtrack. This may cause some disruption within the Street Fighter/Anime community but it does not affect the overall performance of the film, as it in fact enhances the film by making it a more realistic viewing experience as the ‘swearer’ version deviated from the original Japanese script. This being said the ‘punk-rock’ styled soundtrack is still featured within this tamer English Audio, with music from Alice in Chains, Korn & Peral Jam being played in the background.

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Different versions of the film aside this UK Blu-ray release see’s the film presented in full 1080p high definition widescreen with English, French and Japanese 2.0 Stereo sound. The inclusion of stereo sound, for me, is a let-down as a 5.1 Audio soundtrack does exist and has been seen on a previous UK DVD releases of the film, however that being said the audio is clearly presented both through the TV Speakers and a Surround Sound Kit. While both Audio tracks  are enjoyable the English Dub track provided a more enjoyable experience with its impressive voice talent and punk-rock styled soundtrack during the faster sequences. In terms of picture quality the film is outstandingly sharp and bright throughout, however their is the odd dark scenes (especially at the start of the film) which may annoy some viewers but considering the films age it looks absolutely outstanding with hardly any grain on screen.

It’s also worth mentioning that the English Subtitles are subtitles for the Japanese version of the film and have not being translated using the English Dub, which means that characters are called by their original Japanese name, for instance M.Bison is known as Vega and Vega as Balrog. The reason why names were changed is due to localisation by Capcom (and not the dubbing company) when the original Street Fighter game was released, but it is nice to see such careful treatment into the subtitles as it could have easily been overlooked.

As previously mentioned it has taken nearly two decades for this movie to arrive in its true uncut format to the UK, but I’m happy to say it was worth the wait.This release not only features the full high definition treatment, whch spouts improved crisp scenes and brighter colours, but it also provides the true uncut Street Fighter entertainment that fans of the franchise have been waiting for.

Score: review-stars-3

Street Fighter II: The Movie is now available on Blu-ray from Manga Entertainment UK and Kaze UK.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

2 Responses to Blu-ray Review: Street Fighter II – The Movie

  1. lonelywolf23786 says:

    thanks for the review. Do you know if the move names (ie. Hadoken) are translated into english (Hadoken= Surging Fist) or do they keep the original Japanese move names? And how is the chapter selection in the film cos the previous uncut DVD by Manga has some crappy chapter selection points? Thanks

    • Scott says:

      The move names keep the original Japanese Names, so Hadoken is Hadoken (Etc).

      In terms of chapter points it starts off well (with each main new scene being a chapter), so each chapter is around 5 – 15 minutes, but towards the end of the film the last chapter is around 35 minutes in length (which covers the Ryu Training with E-Honda, Ken Vs Ryu and Bison Vs Ryu fights).

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