The Street Fighter games, despite being among the most popular and well-crafted of their time, have been utter disgraces on the big screen. One's first thought might be that on account of the game's highly stylized animated look and feel, an accurate portrayal done by way of live action could never pay the series its proper homage. But if a couple of guys like the ones who made this video can give us something that blows any of the Hollywood s--t storms out of the water in terms of faithfulness to the source material and sheer impressiveness (on what looks to be on a budget of the creators' combined paper route money), then I ask you, why not?
As for who we at Adventures in Poor Taste would pick to embody the globe-spanning belligerents:
Dee-Jay – R-Truth
R-Truth of pro wrasslin' fame looks so much like Dee Jay, I'm surprised the dude didn't emerge into our world by way of some parodic Weird Science freak accident after a Street Fighter II booth was struck by lightning in a derelict arcade. The fact that he's one of the more acrobatic and agile performers despite his muscularity bodes well for bringing to life the kickboxing/breakdancing Jamaican.
Others considered: Billy Blanks, on whom the character is based, after entering an experimental de-aging chamber. Booker T from WWE.
Chun-Li – Natalie Inoue
I don't care if this chick can't act for s--t. I don't care if she has some undocumented disorder or terrible curse whereby she can only vociferate her every waking thought or desire through nasally "Me so hornies," or the filming of the movie takes four years to complete because when the director calls for, "Action!" she just stands there blinking mindlessly at the cameras with a pervert's grin on her face. If she's physically capable of lifting dem thighs (that can presumably squat Volkswagens) high enough to throw even a single roundhouse kick, then slap some fishnets on 'em and you've got Chun-Li. End of story.
Others considered: Gong Li, a popular Chinese actress.
Ryu – Daniel Henney
Despite being the most universally recognized Street Fighter character and the oftentimes focal point of the series, it's difficult to designate Ryu with a live action counterpart. Why? Because the developers love giving him the look of "whitest looking Japanese dude ever." So therefore Daniel Henney, an actor of half Korean/half Caucasion mix, after adding 10 pounds of lean muscle, would be a suitable choice. His stoic portrayal of Agent Zero in X-Men Origins: Wolverine gives credence that he could lend a similar performance to the no-nonsense vagabond warrior.
Others considered: Jon Foo. Jackie Chan. I mean who really cares, as long as it's better than that buffoon from the first-live action film whom even I could have acted circles around? Though I suppose it wasn't really dude's fault considering that Van Damme was the top billing and the writers decided to reduce the character of Ryu, the most disciplined and dedicated fighter in the world to that of some weasely, comedy relief, con-artist.
Ken – Josh Holloway
The role of Ryu's best friend and rival goes to Josh Holloway of Lost fame.
Others considered: Cam Gigandet from Twilight and Never Back Down.
Guile – Chris Hemsworth
For Guile, the Sonic Boom-flinging Air Force Major that could either carry the film or at the least play a very substantial role depending on which direction the writers want to go, we need someone with both impressive physical prowess and acting chops. Hemsworth, who bulked up to beastly proportions to play the titular character in Thor brought a dichotomy of both raw vigor and vulnerability to the Thunder God, attributes that would translate well to Guile, in the sense that although he is a powerful fighter, he above all seeks retribution for the death of his friend, Charlie.
The fact that he can vociferate the character's catchphrase, "Are you man enough to fight with me?" or simple words such as "Bison," or "river," without every person not named Jean-Claude Van Damme in the world bursting into uncontrollable fits of laughter or scratching their heads and yearning for subtitles is also an added bonus.
Just imagine this dude with the American flag tattoo emblazoned on both shoulders, his ballshaped biceps swelling against his milkwhite skin as he takes a wrench to a landed aircraft. His chin canting and porcupine flattop bristling as he twists his head towards the sound of footsteps not far off in the distance. His aviator suited cohorts in the background leap up and down and fist pump enthusiastically, eerily repeating their movements ad infinitum as a mysterious stranger sets foot on the Air Force base with complete impunity from security and challenges him to a fight, presumably while everyone, Guile included, are all on active duty. Uh, whoops… how did that excerpt from my Guile romance novel get pasted in here?
Others considered: A decades younger Howie Long, bodybuilder Jay Cutler with a blowout.
Dhalsim – Faran Tahir
For the wise and powerful Yoga master, we went with Faran Tahir of Iron Man and 24 fame.
Zangief – Nathan Jones
This dude + mohawk + bodily scars derived from full-Nelsoning Russian bears + hearty guffawing = Zangief.
Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, "Zangief was initially conceived for Street Fighter II as a character named 'Vodka Gobalsky.'" I want nothing more now from my life than to be transported to and live out the rest of my days in an alternate reality where for some inexplicable reason, f-----g Vodka Gobalsky became the finalized in-game name. Think of the fun-filled possibilities: Dhalsim's proto-doppelganger? Curry Sanjaya. Maybe even a nice, non-racist, taco flinging Latino maid character named Chalupa Sanchez. Related: See the T. Hawk for the ingenious name they had initially planned for that character.
Unless there is some sumo wrestling/acting prodigy out there of whom I'm not aware, I'd say just grab any sumo with some semblance of acting ability, slather his face in that red kabuki stuff, and make him do the Hundred Hand Slap while grunting like an enraged swine anytime he's on screen, making sure the camera captures fully his enormous man tits pendulating furiously with each voracious arm thrust. Or just grab this cosplaying dude:
But seriously, let's just get a Sumo wrestler or NFL lineman that looks the part.
Others considered: The late, great Yokozuna.
M. Bison – Ian Anthony Dale
For the baleful dictator and main antagonist, we need someone with a sense of grim confidence, and the capability to unleash untold devastation on a capricious whim. We also wanted to steer away from the more campy version of Raul Julia and the baffling inaccuracies of Neal McDonough's portrayal. Ian Anthony Dale from the Jag and Las Vegas TV series has about his demeanor a sort of quiet, unspoken vigor that looks as if it could quickly explode into baleful rage when provoked.
Vega – Olivier Martinez
In Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, whose very title merely typed on my screen subsequently leaves my fingers and very soul feeling filthy and soiled, they took a guy from Black Eyed Peas and made him Vega. In one scene in the movie, Chun-Li kicks off his five dollar Halloween-store Jason mask (complete with aluminum tint) and says "Now I can see why you wear that mask."
Keep in mind they don't alter the actor's face at all. They don't add any protuberant boils or hideous scars; not one goddamn dollop of facial altering makeup and Chun-Li's reaction is one you might expect out of a ten year old seeing a burn victim or some hideous mutant moaning as it emerges from a toxic-waste spill for the first time, but no; this is just how that guy looks on an everyday basis. Which is hilarious in its degree of insult, but the complete opposite of how Vega should be.
No, the Vega we all know and love to hate is the extremely narcissistic Spanish cage fighter who wears a mask not to hide his homely visage, but to protect his pretty boy good looks. Olivier Martinez, an actor of French/Spanish descent, with roles in such films as Unfaithful and Taking Lives has the accent going for him; as well as enough of the supercilious swag/mien to pull Vega off without a hitch.
Sagat – Jason Scott Lee
I was initially hesitant to cast an actual Asian actor as Sagat until I saw the above pic of Jason Scott Lee (of Jungle Book and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story fame), which pretty much is Sagat sans eye patch. Use a few camera tricks to boost his height and ladies and gentlemen, we have our Muay Thai champion.
Others considered: MMA fighter Georges St. Pierre wearing an eyepatch.
Not-so-fun fact: Searching for pictures of Sagat under Google Images brought up an unusually large batch of photos for some gay hardcore pornstar with the last name Sagat. Note to self, use safe search when writing next article.
Fei Long – Chan Kwok-Kwan
An obvious video game analogue of the venerated Bruce Lee, short of resurrecting the martial arts master himself, Danny Chan Kwok-Kwan, a real life Bruce Lee analogue, and Hong Kong actor best known for his roles in Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle would be the perfect choice.
Others considered: A cryogenically restored Bruce Lee, Byung-hun Lee, who played Storm Shadow in the GI Joe film.
T. Hawk – The Rock
Could the "most electrifying man in all of entertainment," infuse some life into the often overlooked Monte Albán plains resident and Thunderfoot clan native T-Hawk? I'm willing to wager he would. Will it contribute to even one more person selecting him in game besides the current baker's dozen total (including the game developers themselves) in history that has in the past? Probably not. Let's just hope this career move doesn't revert the fans to the "Die, Rocky, Die" chants on account of how downright embarassing he'd look. (Second only to the Tooth Fairy.)
Fun fact: The original name for this character was going to be Geronimo, but they changed it when someone suggested the racist implications that came along with such an "innovative" name. Suddenly the asshole who thought up “Vodka Gobalsky” looks like a goddamn genius.
Others considered: Tatanka
Cammy – Gemma Atkinson
The role of the former Shadaloo assassin turned Delta Red special forces agent depends on how involved the Cammy role is for the film; if they want to make her a T&A character (which wouldn't be a difficult task considering her "uniform" consists of some bizarre, not standard issue in any way thong monokini) with only a few real lines, then Gemma Atkinson is her spitting image, and British to boot. If they actually want to give her any semblance of involvement towards the outcome of the movie, then I give the nod to Biel.
Others considered: Jessica Biel, who has the looks, athletic frame and acting credentials.
Buzzkill of the day: The fact that Cammy was revealed to be a clone of M. Bison should put a damper on anyone looking to sate themselves on lonely Friday nights by imagining either actress crammed into that inexplicable thong leotard/turtleneck/whatever the f--k outfit she's wearing on account of the blatant moose knuckle and assorted bits that would be tent poling or protruding obscenely from said flimsy green material.
Balrog – Michael Jai White
Although Mike Tyson, the obvious inspiration for Balrog's character has recently begun showing his surprisingly entertaining acting talents, his niche has been too comedic in nature and would be a difficult image to dispel until he started cracking myriad jawbones. Seeing as how this movie needs to be darker and more serious in tone in order to differentiate itself from the previous Street Fighter entries, Michael Jai White, already having played a young Tyson in the gritty HBO series, Tyson, has the perfect credentials for presenting himself as a full-blown bad-ass while simultaneously displaying comedic elements if needed, as seen in Black Dynamite.
Others considered: Mike Tyson, Terry Crews, Michael Clarke Duncan.
Russ still thinks he could pull off a completely bad-ass Ryu. And as always if you have any ideas, comments/suggestions/or scathing remarks, leave us a comment here.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!