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Street Fighter is a 1994 Live-Action Adaptation of the wildly popular fighting game series of the same name, directed by Steven E. de Souza.

In the remote southeast Asian country of Shadaloo, the power-mad dictator General M. Bison (Raúl Juliá) is trying to usurp power and first conquer the country, then — you guessed itTake Over the World.note  To fund his megalomaniacal schemes, he's captured several dozen relief workers, who totally are not from the Red Cross, and is holding them hostage for the sum of 20 billion US dollars. It is up to the Allied Nations forces, led by Colonel William F. Guile (Jean-Claude Van Damme), to get in there, take out Bison, and rescue the hostages — and they have three days to do so before hostages start dying. His immediate subordinates include Lieutenant Cammy (Kylie Minogue) and Sergeant T. Hawk (Gregg Rainwater).

Ace reporter Chun-Li Xiang (Ming-Na Wen), joined by former champion boxer Balrog (Grand L. Bush) and sumotori E. Honda (Peter Navy Tuiasosopo) are sucked into the action, while con-men smugglers Ryu and Ken (played by Byron Mann and Damian Chapa, respectively) conduct shady business deals with local Muay Thai god Victor Sagat (Wes Studi). They, along with the cage fighter Vega (Jay Tavare), are thrown in jail. Meanwhile, Guile's old buddy Carlos "Charlie" Blanka (Robert Mammone) is used in the Super-Soldier project of Dr. Dhalsim (Roshan Seth), which turns him into a green-skinned, super powerful monstrosity. Eventually, all parties involved converge on Bison's base for the epic final showdown.

Reasons for the film's story not matching up with the games are plentiful, including difficulty with the myriad of characters and the story itself being very vague at that point, so the writers had to make do with what they had. Adding to this was Executive Meddling from Capcom, who wanted every character possible to be in the movie.

The film is notable for containing Raúl Juliá's last major film role, as he passed away from a stroke two months before its release; the film was dedicated to his memory. He took the job knowing he was terminally ill with stomach cancer and let his children pick out which movie would be his last, and apparently wanted to go out on a loud note for his final performance.

Aspects of the movie were expanded on in the cartoon Street Fighter, which came out shortly after the film. A video game adaptation of the movie was also released, Street Fighter: The Movie, as were a junior novelization and DC comic book adaptation that included some deleted scenes and an expanded storyline for Ryu and Ken. Fifteen years would pass before another live-action Street Fighter film would be made, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.

Not to be confused with Sonny Chiba's The Street Fighter.

This film provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Chun-Li and Cammy. They also happen to be the only major female characters in the movie.
  • Actually, I Am Him:
    Sagat: Vega is the greatest cage fighter since Iron Fist.
    Ken: What happened to him?
    Sagat: He retired... and became me.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The DC comic book adaptation included some deleted scenes from the movie, shows how Chun-Li learned about the Thieves' Market location, and adds onto Ryu and Ken's plot by having Ken come back for Ryu because he "found a dragon," a metaphor he previously said was impossible to find and leading into his mastery of the Dragon Punch.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the comic book adaptation, Charlie manages to hit Bison before being restrained and taken away to be mutated, with the dictator noting he's the first to have drawn blood from him in many years.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief:
    • Ryu and Ken are a comedy duo of bumbling hustlers.
    • Bison, who is taken seriously as a villain in the games, is presented as Laughably Evil here.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Zangief may not be the most cerebral character in the games, but he's not an oblivious buffoon like he is in this movie.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Balrog (the boxer) is one of the good guys in this film. There is also Cammy whose history as a Shadaloo agent is omitted.
  • Adaptational Job Change:
    • Cammy is an Allied Nations Lieutenant instead of an MI6 operative.
    • Charlie is an Allied Nations Captain instead of a United States Marine.
    • Chun-Li was changed from Interpol agent to news reporter (although it's likely the reporter job is a front, given the spy skills she demonstrates).
    • Guile is an Allied Nations Colonel instead of a Major in the United States Air Force.
    • T. Hawk is an Allied Nations Sergeant.
    • Ryu and Ken are changed from martial artists to conmen martial artists.
    • Subverted with E. Honda and Balrog, who used to be a sumo wrestler and boxer, respectively, as in the games until their careers were ruined by Bison, and now work with Chun-Li on the news.
    • Subverted with Sagat who's a retired fighter turned mob boss, while still working as a bodyguard for M. Bison like in the games.
    • Crosses over with Adaptational Villainy for Zangief and Dee Jay, with them going from being a professional wrestler and a music DJ in the games, respectively to working for Shadaloo in the film.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Cammy doesn't wear the thong leotard her game incarnation does.
  • Adaptational Nationality:
    • Chun-Li is changed from Chinese to a native of Shadaloo. So too is Sagat, who is Thai in the games.
    • Ryu is changed from Japanese to an ethnically Japanese American.
    • E. Honda is changed from Japanese to American Samoan.
    • If T. Hawk's shoulder patch is to be believed, he's changed from Mexican to American. It's been stated that his tribal affiliation in the film is Cherokee (actor Gregg Rainwater's real-life ethnicity), whereas in the games he's a member of the fictional Thunderfoot tribe near Monte Albán (older canon mentioned that the Thunderfoot had been driven from USA to Mexico, but this has since been retconned).
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While still the villain, Bison isn't as evil as he is in the games. In the games, he willingly made himself as evil as possible in order to harness his powers more efficiently. Here, he's your run-of-the-mill crazy dictator who wants to Take Over the World and may or may not be sincere about wanting to turn it into a better place, as screwed up as he is.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In the games, Sagat held a grudge against Ryu for the latter defeating him in a fight. In this movie, the rivalry is completely overhauled where Sagat barely even interacts with Ryu. Instead, Ryu has a rivalry with Vega, while Sagat himself holds a grudge against Ken.
  • Adaptational Protagonist: In all Street Fighter media, especially the videogames, it's Ryu the character who's at the very top of the billing. But in this 1994 film adaptation, it's the American Guile the main protagonist. Guile was introduced in Street Fighter II as just another combatant.
  • Adaptational Slimness: With the exceptions of Guile, Ryu, Zangief, and Vega, most of the characters from the games are nowhere near as ripped and athletic as they are in the games. Dee Jay being the most prominent example, being a skinny dweeb while his game counterpart is a beefy kickboxer.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Zangief, a characterization that stuck in the cartoon, although he's more Obliviously Evil here and pulls a Heel–Face Turn at the end.
    • Dee Jay is a villain, seemingly taking Balrog's place.
    • Ryu and Ken are a minor case, because they're presented as being conmen instead of more noble warriors, but they ultimately help the heroes.
    • Downplayed with Sagat, whose Noble Demon aspect in the games was not as emphasized as it would be later within the Street Fighter canon.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Dhalsim, who goes from a stretching, fire-breathing yoga master to a bullied lab technician with no powers. He would have gotten his powers in the sequel due to being drenched with the mutation chemicals in this film, but the sequel was never made. The American cartoon had Dhalsim resemble his video game counterpart more closely, but he still had a role in turning Blanka into a monster.
    • Chun-Li gives the appearance of being this, but it turns out to be Obfuscating Stupidity.
    • Dee Jay goes from being a kickboxer to a computer technician in the employ of Bison.
    • Bison. In the games, he is a Psycho Power controlling powerhouse. Here, he doesn't have any powers until very late into the movie.
  • Adapted Out: Fei Long couldn't be worked into the script and was left out of the film. Captain Sawada serves as a substitute of sorts.
  • Affably Evil: Bison is respectful and polite (unless you push his Berserk Button, that is) while making no secret of the fact that he's also a murderous dictator. Bison voices his regret at Guile's apparent demise, for he wanted the two of them to meet each other in combat as noble warriors... right before he would personally snap his spine. He also makes a rather emotional speech that he wants to help mankind by enslaving the world with an army of super soldiers and is very cordial when explaining to Chun-Li why he can't remember killing her father. And unlike a Faux Affably Evil villain his attitude is sincere, not a put-on.
  • Alternate Continuity: The movie is in a different continuity from the game series that it is based on.
  • Alternate Music Video: For unknown reasons, there are not one but two versions of the "Something There" music video, one of them featuring] Jean-Claude Van Damme and [[VideoFullOfFilmClips scenes from the film itself.
  • Amazon Chaser: When Chun-Li manages to get away after finding out Guile faked his death, he says "what a woman" in response to her being called crazy.
  • Ambiguously Brown:
    • Sagat is supposed to be Thai. He's portrayed by a full-blooded American Indian Cherokee actor, Wes Studi, who plays the Muay Thai master with his thick Oklahoma accent.
    • Bison is from an unspecified country, but is portrayed by the great Puerto Rican actor, Raúl Juliá, with no mention at all of the character's origins.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Bison really wishes that Guile was alive... so he can snap his spine. Ah, the road not taken.
  • Art Imitates Art: Bison's Rearing Horse painting is Napoleon Crossing the Alps with a switcheroo.
  • Artistic License – Economics: Invoked early in the film by Bison and dismissed by Sagat himself in return. Bison paid Sagat for his services with a case full of worthless Bison dollars, claiming that they will have great value relative to the British pound once he forced the U.K to set a certain currency exchange rate. Compounded with conmen Ryu and Ken wasting his time at the beginning, Sagat finally blew his temper and briefly held a standoff with Bison. Clearly Sagat and anyone with a basic understanding of the modern global financial system knew supply and demand of fiat currency largely dictate the value. Even if a specific currency exchange rate was enforced, in reality either the black market or global markets will not respect that value as the largely uncontrollable masses will eventually trade an asset for what they believe is worth.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Zigzagged. Capcom was shooting for a PG-13 rating to appeal to teenagers who played the games, but originally the film ended up being rated R. After cuts were made, it ended up being rated G, so Obligatory Swearing was added to keep it in line with the target audience.
  • Award-Bait Song: Chage and Aska's "Something There", which plays over the credits, and "Worth Fighting For" by Angelique Kidjo, which plays when Guile remembers happy times with Charlie.
  • Banana Republic: Shadaloo fits the description to a T (backwards tropical country ruled by a small corrupt clique), except that it's located in Southeast Asia instead of Latin America.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Bison carries no weapons and has disdain for anything other than unarmed combat. Upon meeting, Guile is happy to oblige. Later, things get weird.
  • Battle Strip: One of Vega's ladies-in-waiting circle Ryu before ripping his shirt off his shoulders, leaving him naked from the waist up.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Chun-Li and Cammy are the only ones to not be bruised or bleeding at the end of the movie.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Openly questioning Bison's sanity is definitely not recommended for anyone keen on staying alive and healthy. He plans to sic Blanka on the kidnapped AN workers simply because they called him "mad".
    • In a trait that continues to hold true in the games and just about every anime, manga, and comic book he's featured in, Vega's fighting style devolves from stylish and elegant to a Screaming Warrior when someone, in this case, Ryu, damages his face.
  • Bicep-Polishing Gesture: Guile does this to taunt Bison while being interviewed at the beginning of the movie. Given that it's Jean-Claude Van Damme doing it, it's probably the bras d'honneur.
  • Big Bad: Bison is the main villain and causes the entire plot.
  • Bilingual Bonus: All of the foreign newscasters speak authentically.
  • Blunt "Yes":
    Bison: You dare to interfere?
    Ryu: ...yeah.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Dhalsim, a yoga master in the games, is now an Indian scientist forced to work for Bison.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    Guile: Bison, you're off the air!
  • Brand X: The AN, analogous to the United Nations. According to the director's commentary, the UN threatened to sue the pants off the filmmakers if they portrayed them.note 
  • Brick Joke:
    • The Bison Dollars, which Sagat is disgusted at. Sagat and Dee Jay ultimately end up with a box full of worthless Bison dollars at the end.
    • The Bisonopolis set becomes a battleground for Zangief and Honda.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: invokedA line so awesome, it named a trope. After Chun-Li explains how Bison's forces attacked her village and killed her father, he responds that he does not remember this. While it may have been the defining moment of her life, to him it was just another day at the office and didn't matter one bit.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Cammy calls her Thrust Kick attack when battling some mooks.
  • Camp: According to the director, most of the film's silliness and cheese was deliberate.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Dr. Dhalsim makes the mistake of pressing M. Bison's Berserk Button by calling him psychotic. Bison considers killing him for a moment, but backs off. Dhalsim is the one designing his army of Super Soldiers that he needs to Take Over the World, after all.
  • Canon Foreigner: Captain Sawada, who substitutes Fei Long from the games. He only appeared as a playable character in the two games based on the movies.
  • Canon Immigrant: Sawada and the Bison Troopers from the arcade game became characters in the franchise overall, having their own profiles on the Capcom Fighters Network.
  • Character Tics: Bison's hand gestures as he speechifies, which Julia got from watching newsreel footage of Benito Mussolini.
  • Chewing the Scenery:
    Bison: You still refuse to godhood? KEEP your own God! In fact, this might be a good time to PRAY to Him! For I beheld Satan as he FELL FROM HEAVEN!...LIKE LIIIIIIGHTNIIIIIING!!!
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Bison does not possess the Psycho Power of his video game counterpart, and instead relies on a high-tech battle suit that allows him to fly and fire off bursts of electricity from his hands.
  • Colonel Badass: Guile, though he's almost beaten by Bison's flying tackles and kicks:
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The AN soldiers are clad in blue, while the Bison Troopers sport evil red.
  • Composite Character: Carlos "Charlie" Blanka is a combination of Charlie Nash (Guile's best friend who was killed by Bison) and Blanka.
  • Con Man: Ryu and Ken attempt to swindle Sagat by providing him with weaponry that's actually nerf guns. He sees through it and they're captured.
  • Conlang: Most of the Shadaloo language, Shadoti, is derived from Esperanto.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: Ken initially ditches Ryu and is about to escape with some treasure, but when he sees Ryu being ambushed by Sagat and Vega he warns him over the communicator, then joins in the fight himself.
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction: Chun-Li has Bison on the ropes and seemingly is about to kill him when other heroes burst in to help, distracting her and letting Bison escape to gas them all.
  • Cool Boat: The experimental AN stealth ship that Guile, Cammy and Hawk use to spearhead the raid on Bison's base at the climax turns invisible, is armored and has a deployable gatling gun. Unfortunately for said boat, Bison's got mines and anti-stealth countermeasures.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Bison has a life support system (CPR, defibrillator, adrenaline injection) built into his uniform, which kicks in after Guile defeats him the first time. As The Stinger shows, it also runs on solar batteries, which brings him back to life a second time.
    • Bison's quarters have a panic room, from which he can trigger knockout gas to subdue intruders. This is how he foils Chun-Li's assassination attempt.
  • Create Your Own Hero: Chun-Li's father led an uprising against Bison, who had him killed, and it drove her to avenge him.
  • Creator Cameo: Capcom's CEO at the time (Kenzo Tsujimoto) makes a cameo appearance during Guile's speech near the end (he's the stout middle-aged Japanese guy who appears prominently in a few shots).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Bison demonstrates his power in the movie's opening by effortlessly killing two fighters.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dee Jay tends to get the snarkiest lines, as he's not on-board with Bison's brand of madness but is too smart to say it to his face.
  • Death by Adaptation: Vega, who's still alive in the games, was meant to die in the movie by being impaled on his claw. While the scene showing this was cut from the film, it can still be seen in the comic book adaptation.
  • Death by Irony: When Bison captures a bunch of AN soldiers, he tells them: "You came from across the world to fight me soldier. Now's your chance." He then challenges each of them to hand-to-hand combat and kills them one by one. Bison also attempts to kill the hostages in this manner by setting Blanka loose on them:
    Bison: Your masters at the AN call me a wild beast. So be it. You do not deserve the martial dignity of a firing squad. You shall be killed by a wild beast!
  • Dedication: "For Raul. Vaya con Dios."note 
  • Defiant to the End: Late in the film, Guile is out of ammo, and surrounded by hordes of Bison's soldiers, whose guns are pointed at his direction. Guile responds by pulling out a knife. Luckily though he's quickly backed up by reinforcements moments later.
  • Designated Girl Fight: A deleted scene had a fight between Chun-Li and Cammy, which Chun-Li won.
  • The Ditz: Zangief. They see on a live video feed that a large vehicle filled with dynamite rigged to blow is about to crash into the very building they are in. Zangief's solution is "Quick! Change the channel!"
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Bison does this when Guile taunts him on live TV. Guile was counting on this, and tries to have Cammy pinpoint the signal's location while he keeps him busy talking.
  • Dumb Muscle: Zangief, to the point where he actually thought that Bison's group were the good guys, fighting against the evil, oppressive AN despite the fact that he knew Bison had taken hostages and was in the middle of ransoming them. And, of course, the scene with the TV, where he thinks changing the channel will make the exploding truck coming at them on live TV go away.
  • Dynamic Entry: Guile uses a tank to crash through the wall, interrupting Ryu and Vega's cage fight.
  • Egopolis: Bisonopolis, the planned future capital of the world under M. Bison's rule.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Bison's base is a reformatted Thai temple, with evidence of recent construction littered throughout.
  • Enhanced on DVD: The end-credits stinger was added into the American Laserdisc, VHS, and DVD releases. According to an issue of GamePro, it wasn't present in the theatrical version out of deference to Raúl Juliá.
  • Ensemble Cast: The movie features almost every character from Super Street Fighter II, most with fairly large roles, leading to a total of 16 major characters to keep track of. (Fei Long gets a substitute with Captain Sawada.)
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Bison recruits minions and henchmen from all over the world. The end of the movie even has a joke segment using national stereotypes to make fun of his international regiments.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Invoked with Vega's female fans at the prize fight. One of them has a sign asking him to marry her, which she quickly discards after she sees Ryu.
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode:
    • Ryu and Vega's initial cage match is interrupted by Guile arresting everyone. They briefly fight during the prison riot and settle it for good in their match near the end of the film.
    • Chun-Li gets several hits in on Bison when she catches him off-guard. When he prepares to fight back, everyone else busts in and distracts Chun-Li, allowing Bison to escape and gas the heroes. They never get a rematch.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted. Dee Jay is clearly dismissive of Bison's more insane plans like taking hostages and conquering the world with super-soldiers, but happily ignores Bison's megalomania because of the money he's getting paid.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Bison can't seem to grasp why people call him horrific and evil. This is coming from the man who never remembers people he's murdered due to his enormous ego considering them so far beneath him, is holding people hostage, and has a chandelier made of human bones.
    • A scene that sums this up is when he is shown some of the images of horrible violence and cruelty that are being beamed directly into Blanka's brain. Bison is genuinely confused by this, and it has to be explained to him that this is something most people consider bad and would react negatively to.
  • Evil Counterpart: Sagat to Ken, as by the end Ken sees Sagat as what he could have become if he had given to his selfishness and greed. And possibly by association Vega to Ryu.
  • Evil Is Hammy: M. Bison and Zangief are among the hammiest cast members, and both are villains.
  • Evil Laugh: Bison delivers one after gassing most of the heroes.
  • Evil Overlooker: Inverted Trope. The hero, Colonel Guile, is towering over the villain, M. Bison, who is Milking the Giant Cow.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Bison and Sagat have a face-off briefly, and Sagat makes it clear he thinks Bison is not worth dealing with on account of insanity.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Bison is willing to do this and expects Dee Jay to do the same, but Dee Jay isn't so enthusiastic about it.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Ken and Ryu walk right into the middle of a standoff between Bison and Sagat's forces, loudly announcing the place is going to blow up in 10 minutes. This is justified as Ken and Ryu are working as Guile's undercover agents and if Bison dies at the black market, the hostages will never be found.
  • Fair-Play Villain: In the cage match, Ryu is given a sword to match Vega's claw. After briefly showing off, Ryu refuses to use it. Vega is about to take up his claw, but when hearing the chanting of the crowd "no weapons" similarly decides to not use his weapon.
  • Faking the Dead: Guile's death was staged so that Ken and Ryu could gain acceptance with Sagat's gang and infiltrate Shadaloo.
  • Faux Action Girl: Bison accuses Chun-Li of being this, but that was part of her plan.
  • Fictional United Nations: The Allied Nations. The organization was created because the real United Nations threatened to sue the filmmakers.
  • Forced to Watch: Sagat places Ryu in a cage match against Vega, and makes Ken watch because he'll be next.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: The movie is called Street Fighter: The Ultimate Battle in the UK, and the comic adaptation is subtitled The Battle for Shadaloo.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: Every plot and subplot goes on at about the same time, resulting in frequent cuts from scene to scene.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • One of the background signs as Vega prepares for his match with Ryu is the Esperanto equivalent of "John 3:16," a Bible verse that's popular to use during sporting events.
    • The barrel that Chun-Li, Balrog, and E. Honda use in their magic act has the Capcom logo on it.
  • From Bad to Worse: Ken actually says "It got worse" when he and Ryu are lamenting their situation in Sagat's arms market, saying it can't possibly get any worse, right before realizing they're in the middle of a stand-off between Bison's and Sagat's mooks.
  • Global Currency: This is what Bison intends for his Bison Dollars to be. As he says, each one will be worth exactly five British pounds, "for that is the price they will set when I kidnap their Queen!" Of course, until that time they're about as valuable as Monopoly dollars, which Sagat points out when Bison tries to use them in their arms deal:
  • Gloved Fist of Doom: Bison makes a fist when declaring "Pax Bisonica!"
  • Go-Go Enslavement: After Bison gets his hands on Chun-Li, she ends up in a Qipao and make-up. Of course, she's only letting him think she's helpless.
  • A God Am I: Bison's megalomania grows so large that he claims to be a god in the final showdown with Guile:
    Bison: Something wrong, Colonel? You come here prepared to fight a madman, and instead you found a god? [...] You still refuse to accept my godhood? Keep your own God! In fact, this might be a good time to pray to Him!
  • Guile Hero: Puns aside, a large portion of Guile's plan at the beginning of the movie is to trick Sagat into leading him to Bison by faking his own death and infiltrating spies into his gang.
  • Handy Cuffs: Chun-Li has her hands bound in front of her. It takes her about two seconds to snap the leather, leaving her with spiked wrist guards and Bison's ass to kick.
  • Hate Sink: The AN's Deputy Secretary is a condescending wimp in a World of Badass who relieves Guile of his command and agrees to pay off Bison's ransom.
  • Heel Realization: Zangief thought he was fighting for the good guys. As soon as he gets the alignments straightened out, he proceeds to help the AN troops:
    Zangief: You got... paid?
  • Hit You So Hard, Your X Will Feel It!:
    Guile: I'm gonna get on my boat, and I'm going up river, and I'm going to kick that son of a bitch Bison's ass so hard that the next Bison wannabe is gonna feel it!
  • Holiday in Cambodia: Shadaloo is a Southeast Asian country somewhere near Thailand.
  • Hypocrite: Guile tells Chun-Li that the war isn't about her personal vendetta... it's about his. Of course, he also plans to save the hostages, so he's at least thinking more rationally and considering the larger and longer-term consequences of his actions.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Chun-Li teases Cammy about her change in hairstyle toward the end of the movie, to which Cammy responds, "Look who's talking!" Chun-Li looks up at her own hairstyle and wordlessly concedes that Cammy is right.
  • I Choose to Stay: Ryu and Ken spend the opening of the movie trying to con enough money to get home, and agree to Guile's plan when he offers them passports, but by the end they choose to stay and help rebuild Shadaloo.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Notably averted in the scene when Sagat is making his weapons deal with Bison. Everybody is keeping their fingers off the triggers and appear to be pointing the weapons away from each other.
  • Iconic Attribute Adoption Moment: With the exception of Guile and Bison, the characters start out wearing outfits that have little in common with their game selves. By the end of the movie, every character looks a lot closer to their portrayals in the games, with Dhalsim even losing his hair midway through the movie.
  • Idiot Ball: Bison leaves Dhalsim to work on Charlie with paltry security while Bison can look in at Dhalsim at any time from his command room, and in fact does so after Charlie, as Blanka, turns on Bison because Dhalsim easily sabotages the brainwashing process. You'd expect Bison to at least check in on Dhalsim and Charlie over the course of the film, but he doesn't, making this lapse in judgement frustrating and perplexing.
  • Ignored Enemy: Ryu and Ken ignore their captors and have a brief fistfight in the prison camp, but it's a ruse to grab the keys to the lock.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ken tends to be sarcastic, self-centered, and greedy, but is genuinely friends with Ryu, apologizes for getting him into messes, ultimately goes back to help him, and chooses to stay in Shadaloo even when given the opportunity to leave.
  • Jerkass Realization: Zangief is stupid enough to not realize that he's working for a colossal asshole until much, much later.
  • Kaiju: The battle between E. Honda and Zangief in the model of Bisonopolis looks like a Kaiju battle when viewed through a security camera.
  • Karmic Thief: Lampshaded when Guile notes that Ryu and Ken only stole from criminals and asks if that makes them morally superior.
  • Large Ham: Juliá's version of Bison is even more fondly remembered than Norio Wakamoto's portrayals:
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Both Dee Jay and Sagat worked for Bison largely because they are Only in It for the Money. The worthless Bison dollars is all they get for their work.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: During the final battle, Bison's reactors and computers are destabilized, resulting in the entire castle blowing up by the end.
  • Load-Bearing Hero: When a door that leads out of Bison's doomed fortress threatens to close right in front of our heroes, Zangief, having just had his Heel Realization, steps in to keep it open.
  • Logo Joke: The globe in the Universal Vanity Plate becomes embossed into the Shadaloo emblem seen on Bison's cap.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The film generally dispenses with Ki Attacks, but during the final fight between Ryu & Ken and Sagat and Vega, Ryu hits Vega with a familiar-looking double-palm strike, and there's a sudden flash of light.
  • Men of Sherwood: Colonel Guile's unit of Allied Nations peacekeepers (only a couple of whom have names and personalities) accompany him in the final battle, provide some decent help, and survive.
  • Mercy Kill: Subverted. Guile is about to give one to Blanka, but is stopped by Dhalsim.
  • Mind Rape: Used on Blanka to transform him into a killing machine. Thanks to Dhalsim interfering with the upload, Blanka is able to overcome it.
  • Minion Manipulated into Villainy: Zangief, as evidenced in similar entries.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Zangief isn't actually evil, he just happens to be fighting for the wrong people. Fortunately, he realizes this at the end.
  • The Mole: Ryu and Ken join Bison in order to spy on him.
  • Mooks: The Shadaloo army, who, appropriately enough given how many are mowed down, wear red uniforms.
  • Motive Rant: Bison explains to Zangief and Dee Jay that his Super-Soldier-fueled army is intended to unite the world under one rule (his). Sound familiar?
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Before Guile and Bison face off, they say their win quotes from the game to each other. Doubles as Pre-Asskicking One-Liners for them both:
    Guile: Are you man enough to fight with me?
    Bison: Anyone who opposes me will be destroyed.
    • In Bison's bedroom there are several matching sets of officer's caps and bathrobes in bright colors. These all follow Bison's alternate color schemes in the game.
    • Towards the end, when Guile finds Blanka and Dhalsim in the laboratory as the Shadaloo base is being destroyed, Dhalsim has lost his hair and has three rivulets of blood running down from the top of his head, much like Dhalsim's face paint in the games.
    • Several background objects and setpieces (a giant bell in Bison's lair, a statue lying on its side) are directly taken from and perfectly recreate certain stages, such as Sagat or E. Honda's.
    • The signature gesture of Shadaloo’s forces, a thumbs sideways, may reference Bison’s winpose in the game, where he does this as an Off with His Head!! gesture, reminiscent of a gladiator match.
    • The scene where Chun-Li discovers Guile in a body bag while sneaking around the Allied Nations headquarters, only for Guile to get up and surprise her, is very similar to a scene between the two at the end of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (released earlier the same year), except the roles are reversed.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Several characters are given first and last names. Ryu and Chun-Li's surnames are Hoshi and Zang, respectively, Sagat's first name (Victor), and Guile's full name and rank (Colonel William F. Guile). Dhalsim is considered his last name since he is referred to as Dr. Dhalsim in the movie. Balrog is given a first name that starts with a G, but we're never told what it stands for.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Besides Bison's general appearance and behavior, which was inspired by real-life footage of Hitler and Mussolini, his hallways are filled with propaganda posters modeled on real-life World War I and II posters.
  • Neck Lift: Bison does this to Dhalsim after he makes the mistake of pressing Bison's Berserk Button.
  • Neck Snap:
    • Bison kills two Red Shirts this way in the intro to the movie.
    • Subverted later on. Cammy is shown attempting a neck snap on a mook, but it doesn't seem to work as the guy stays standing and she has to flip him and punch him in order to finish him off.
  • Nerf Arm: Sagat's men shoot at Ryu and Ken with the Nerf-loaded weapons they tried to foist on them, testing their worthiness in a fight before holding them up with real guns.
  • New Era Speech: Bison gives a pretty epic one to his henchmen, who have somewhat different interpretations of it.
  • Newscaster Cameo:
    • Real NBC/ABC newscaster Sander Vanocur makes an audio-only appearance at the start, as the anchor of "GNT" coverage of the "Crisis in Shadaloo". He later appears on-screen as Bison's timer counts down to zero.
    • The real life inspiration for Good Morning, Vietnam, Adrian Cronauer, makes an audio appearance as a Shadaloo disk jockey throughout the movie.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Charlie is mutated and tortured halfway into insanity because Guile decided to make it clear, in front of the psychotic dictator, that he was friends with the leader of the Allied Nations forces.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Bison chooses to sic Blanka on the hostages instead of killing them via firing squad. This allows them to survive long enough for Guile to get them out of harm's way right before the final confrontation.
  • Nightmare Face: Bison's eyes are disturbingly huge at times. Especially when he says "Anyone who opposes me shall be destroyed."
  • No-Sell: Bison's dungeon master tries caning Honda only for him to sit there with a placid expression on his face. The dungeon master gives up and leaves after his cane breaks. The trope is then averted. After his torturer leaves, Honda slumps over in pain, explaining to Balrog that his sumo training allows him to block out pain, at least temporarily.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Relatively little of the run-time involves martial arts combat, with Guile vs. Bison and Ryu and Ken vs. Vega and Sagat being the only extended fight sequences. The large ensemble spends more time shooting and fighting mooks than other named characters.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent:
    • Guile in the games is American. Absurdly American. Guile in the movie is a Belgian-American immigrant? Classic Van Damme at work. The closest thing to an American accent Guile could claim could be Cajun, but even that's a stretch.note 
    • Cammy White has a UK shoulder patch so she's clearly intended to be as British as her game counterpart, but she's played by the Australian Kylie Minogue.
  • Not Quite Dead: After the credits, Bison punches his way out of the wall of monitors.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: A variant with Chun-Li. She never goes anywhere without her two burly bodyguards, Balrog and E. Honda, leaving Bison to think that she's defenseless without them:
    Chun-Li: That's exactly... what I wanted you to think.
  • Obliviously Evil:
    • Bison can't seem to grasp why people call him horrific and evil. This is coming from the man who never remembers people he's murdered due to his enormous ego considering them so far beneath him, is holding people hostage, and has a chandelier made of human bones.
    • Zangief genuinely believes that Bison is a wise leader and that he's fighting for the good guys. He sees their organization as some inspiring movement and expresses love for their "team spirit" while instructing Ken and Ryu.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Just as Guile is about to take the fight to Bison's front door, a representative from the AN arrives to give him orders to stand down, as they have decided to accept Bison's ransom demands. Guile then holds a big speech, and goes to battle anyway.
  • The Only Believer: Zangief appears to be the only one of Bison's followers who buys Bison's line of propaganda and thinks that he's a good guy. Everyone else is there to get paid.
  • Only in It for the Money: Dee Jay only works for Bison because he promised him a fortune, and was fully aware that Bison was a power-mad dictator unlike the Dumb Muscle Zangief. This became a case of Laser-Guided Karma as his "fortune" turns out to be stacks of worthless Bison dollars.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Bison after the first part of the fight with Guile. His computer quickly revives him.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Bison invokes this when informed of Guile's (fake) death, lamenting that he had wanted to be the one to kill him.
  • Only Sane Man:
  • One-Winged Angel: Guile kills Bison, then calls Cammy to give an update. Meanwhile, the computer revives Bison, pumps him full of adrenaline, then gives him the power to fly and shoot electricity. This is quite funny when you realize this pretty much accurately portrays how Final Boss AI tends to work in fighting games. You kick their ass in the first round, and then in the next, they suddenly get way tougher. And sometimes even use moves they didn't before, although Bison could only use electricity in the arcade version of the game of the movie of the game.
  • Out of Focus:
    • T. Hawk and Captain Sawada have comparatively little screen time to the rest of the cast.
    • From a franchise point-of-view, Ryu (who tends to be the main protagonist in many adaptions) is far less prominent than usual.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Bison, especially with his "I know women and you are harmless" remark towards Chun-Li. He also makes fun of the one-eyed Sagat with an "I guess you didn't SEE that, did you?"
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: What was done to Blanka.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • The games' storyline at the time boiled down to "a bunch of characters with different motivations fight one another", so the movie shows how all the different characters converge and why. Guile being the main character is a result of his prominence in Street Fighter II as well as his personal connection with Bison, while Ryu had no grudge against him and wasn't shown to be on his radar until the Alpha series.
    • Blanka was the only inhuman character in the main cast at the time with no clear explanation as to why, while Guile's deceased war buddy Charlie was only talked about and never seen until the Alpha series, which came out after the movie. The decision was made to combine the characters for the movie both to explain Blanka's appearance and to show Charlie's connections to Guile.
    • Bison's Psycho Power wasn't clearly defined yet, nor would magic go with the sci-fi trappings of his headquarters, technology, and design, so it was changed to superconductor electricity.
  • Psycho Electro: Bison was already apeshit insane, but he gets even more loopy when his revival causes him to have electric powers.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Dee Jay, who's Only in It for the Money:
    Dee Jay: Oh, man. I shoulda stayed at Microsoft!
  • Race Lift:
    • E. Honda went from Japanese to Native Hawaiian.
    • Guile changes ethnicity to Belgian-American, largely due to who's playing him.
  • Raised Hand of Survival: At the end, Bison's hand smashes out of the debris while a computer voiceover informs us that his batteries are still working. We then see him opening a computer file labeled "World Domination" and hitting the replay button.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The reason why Vega only has four lines throughout the entire movie is because Jay Tavare was still learning English at the time.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The hot-tempered, sarcastic Ken contrasts with the calmer, more heroic Ryu.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Honda's torture scene was taken from a real-life news story the director read about a boy who was caned, with the torture rack being set up exactly as they read it.
  • Rousing Speech: Guile's "We Can All Go Home" speech to get the AN to converge on Bison's base:
    Guile: Well, I'm not going home. I'm going to get in my boat, and I'm going up the river, and I'm going to kick that son-of-a-bitch Bison's ass so hard, that the next Bison wannabe is gonna feel it. Now who wants to go home, and who wants to go with me?!
  • Sand In My Eyes: Cammy claims tear gas made her cry when she found out Guile was safe.
  • Scared of What's Behind You: At one point, a weaponless Guile faces off with a bunch of armed Bison mooks. He pulls his knife, and the mooks start backing off. This makes Guile cocky and overconfident until he realizes that Cammy and the rest of his troops have shown up behind him, and that's what the mooks were actually scared of.
  • Schizo Tech: Sagat's lair and office are all low-tech, Guile's army is middle-tech with a lot of temporary equipment, and Bison's base is high-tech.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: On the one hand, Guile did take out Bison in the end, but on the other hand, he disobeyed a direct order from his superiors and would very likely be court-martialed for military insurrection.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Realizing his job will soon cease to exist, Dee Jay hilariously drops out during Bison's Last Stand speech.
  • Ship Tease: Guile/Chun-Li. Also a bit of Guile/Cammy, though more on her end than his.
  • Shirtless Scene: Twice for Ryu. When his shirt is ripped off by one of Sagat's lady followers before he fights Vega at the beginning and by himself, after Vega claws him (shredding the shirt and leaving scratches on Ryu's abdomen) to begin their fight near the film's end.
  • Shock and Awe: Bison uses this against Guile in their final battle:
    Bison: This is merely Superconductor Electromagnetism. Surely you've heard of it. It levitates bullet trains from Tokyo to Osaka. It levitates my desk, from which I ride the saddle of the world. And it levitates... me.
  • Signed Up for the Dental: Dee Jay knows his employer is a power mad dictator. But he pays well.
  • Standard Snippet: Vega's entrance theme is the Habanera from Carmen with a militaristic drumbeat added.
  • The Stinger: Bison survives the massive explosion and immediately orders his computer to restart his world domination plans. Though a sequel to the movie itself was planned, it ended up kickstarting the cartoon. The scene was absent from theatrical prints though, in light of Raúl Juliá's death.
  • Stock Scream: And it's one you'd least expect: WAH-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOOEY!
  • Super-Soldier: Bison attempts to turn Blanka into one as the prototype to create an army of them.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Captain Sawada serves as a substitute for Fei Long, who is the only character from the series at the time who doesn't appear in the film. Capcom actually wanted Kenya Sawada to play Ryu, but his English skills weren't strong enough for the role, so the Captain Sawada character was created as a compromise.
  • Swiss Bank Account: Bison has one, which he wants the $20,000,000,000 ransom wired to.
  • Take Over the World: Bison's final objective, though he doesn't even come close. His whole scheme is the hostage thing, at least in the short term. On the other hand, he is flipping insane and did take over Shadaloo at least.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The final scene after the credits is Bison coming back to life and restarting his world domination plan.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Guile and Bison order their respective allies to leave them alone for the final battle.
  • This Is What the Building Will Look Like: The model of Bisonopolis, M. Bison's planned personal capital.
  • Those Two Guys: Ryu and Ken are never seen apart, work together, and have contrasting personalities.
  • Timed Mission: Guile and his forces have 72 hours to take Bison down before he kills the hostages.
  • Title: The Adaptation: Subverted. The movie is simply called Street Fighter. Street Fighter: The Movie was the title used for the video game versions.
  • Trash the Set: A majority of the set got blown up by the end of the movie.
  • Two Rights Make a Wrong: Bison, of all people, lampshades this straight to the heroes' faces:
    Bison: Had you worked together instead of against each other, you might have been successful.
  • Unknown Rival: Bison does not even remember what he did to make Chun-Li swear vengeance upon him. He acknowledges his actual arch-enemy to be Colonel Guile.
  • Unwanted Assistance: When Balrog, E. Honda, Ryu and Ken arrive to help Chun-Li, they distract her long enough for Bison to get away and gas them all.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: In his big speech in front of the Bisonopolis set, Bison explains that he believes using super soldiers to conquer the world will bring an era of world peace and humanity will serve him "in humble gratitude."
  • [Verb] This!: E. Honda socks a Bison trooper in the face with a "Fat boy THIS!", not too long after said Bison trooper yanked him and the others along with a "Move it, fat boy".
  • Villain Team-Up: After Chun-Li's explosive truck wrecks the thieves' market, Sagat, Vega, and their forces join with Bison until the finale.
  • Visionary Villain: Bison wants to create a race of genetically-engineered Super Soldiers to wipe out all traces of race, nation and creed so that the whole world can live in peace under his rule.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Half of the conflicts in the first half of the movie come from each member of the forces of good having their own plans to deal with Bison, at the expense of everyone else's.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Bison is a megalomaniacal madman, but he genuinely seems to think that his Evil Plan is for the good of mankind. As he explains in a visionary speech, he wants to create an army of genetic Super Soldiers swearing absolute obedience to him. Then by conquering the world he can do away with conflicts based on race, nation, or creed, and everyone can live peacefully under his dominion.
  • What Have I Become?: Charlie is horrified over what the mutations have done to him, and begs Guile for help. Guile takes it as an indication to kill him.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Dhalsim lectures Guile over this when he tries to give Charlie a Mercy Kill. Guile relents, and Charlie begins to fight Bison's men.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Chun-Li calls Guile out for flipping Bison off on live TV. Bison happens to be watching the news and is not pleased:
    Guile: (to Chun-Li) You wanted me on TV, I'm on TV now - leave it!
  • Will Not Be a Victim: Chun-Li when she is captured by Bison.
  • With Us or Against Us: Sagat says this to Ryu and Ken when they got in the middle of a standoff between Bison and Sagat:
    Ken: Is that multiple choice?
  • Worthless Currency: Bison tries to pay in "Bison dollars" with his face on it.
    "One Bison dollar will be worth five British pounds. For that is the exchange rate the Bank of England will set after I kidnap their queen."
  • Worthy Opponent: Bison seems to regard Guile as this, but subverts it immediately:
    Bison: I was hoping to face Guile personally on the battlefield. One gentleman warrior to another, in respectful combat. Then I would snap his spine.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Cammy performs a victory roll on a mook to knock him out.
  • Wretched Hive: The place where Bison and Sagat hang out and make their Black Market trades is filled with criminals of all sorts.
  • "YEAH!" Shot: The film ends with the heroes striking poses similar to their win poses from the games shortly after Bison's castle blows up.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Guile is generally on a Last-Name Basis with the cast, so when he gets through to Charlie by calling himself "William," it hits even more.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Byron Mann looks closer to Fei Long than Ryu, especially when shirtless.
  • You Killed My Father: Chun-Li's motivation is that Bison killed her father. Unfortunately for her, Bison doesn't remember any of it. He only remembers it was Tuesday.
  • You're Insane!: When Bison inspects his Super-Soldier project, his lead scientist Dr. Dhalsim calls him "psychotic" for allowing these torturous experiments. Bison grabs him by the neck and almost kills him for the insult, but ultimately relents since he still requires Dhalsim's talents.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Street Fighter The Movie


M. Bison's speech

As he explains in a visionary speech, M. Bison wants to create an army of genetic super soldiers swearing absolute obedience to him. Then by conquering the world he can do away with conflicts based on race, nation, or creed, and everyone can live peacefully under his dominion.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / WellIntentionedExtremist

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