Vega-”Kill all the turtles and get all the treasure”
Hello all, Retroplayer here.
If you’re a Street Fighter fan I’m sure you’ve seen the anime films. You’ve probably also seen the 1993 live action film with Van Damme, as well the most recent film adaptation, The Legend of Chun-Li. But here’s a Street Fighter film you most likely have not seen, mainly because it’s not actually called Street Fighter. Future Cops is an unofficial Street fighter film that, to my great surprise, was actually pretty incredible. Hold on to your butts…
When Chinese director Jing Wong wanted to bring Street fighter to the big screen, he came up against a roadblock- Capcom wouldn’t let him use the Street Fighter name. So, like any other self respecting director he did the only thing he could do; he made a Street fighter film anyway! However, Wong changed the name of the characters, (except for Chun-Li) and the name of the film itself to Future Cops. So, before I go on, let me just say that in this review I’ll be referring to each character in this film by their Street Fighter counterparts. Trust me, it’s far less confusing.
The story to Future Cops isn’t what I was expecting. Future Cops opens in 2043, in a futuristic world in which M.Bison is trying to take over the world. Bison has been imprisoned after being sentenced by an individual simply known as the “judge”. Bison’s minions, E. Honda, Sagat, and Ken, send themselves back in time to 1993 in order to kill the judge, who in 2043 will imprison Bison. It’s kind of like the story to The Terminator, in the fact that they’re trying to prevent a future event by killing someone in the past. But Bison didn’t count on the “Future Cops”, a futuristic police force (duh!) that hear about his plan and decided to sent themselves back to 1993 as well, in the form of Vega, Guile, and Dhalsim. In 1993 the Future Cops meet Tai-Hung, the guy who in 2043 will imprison Bison. However, this is 1993. This was the year of “”I’d Do Anything for Love” by Meat Loaf, when Haunting was unleashed onto the Megadrive, and when Noel Edmonds had the world at his cherub-like feet. Anyway, when the Future Cops meet Tai-Hung he isn’t a judge yet. Instead, he’s a geeky high schooler.
Before the Future Cops turn up there’s a really bizarre scene in the school. After getting in trouble thanks to the school bully, Tai-Hung is made wash the school courtyard. As he’s working away students start to laugh at him. His response? “What are you laughing at? I would rape you!” Still with me? Good. Because it gets weirder. Once Vega, Guile, and Dhalsim show up the first half of the film plays out like a Chinese version of “California Man”, except without Brendan Fraiser’s balding mug. Vega enrols as a student, Guile becomes a music teacher, while Dhalsim is Tai-Hungs personal body guard. The comedy in Future Cops is fast paced slapstick. For instance, when trying to remain inconspicuous Vega picks up Guile, turns him upside down, and starts to use his magnificent hairdo as a broom. Also, there’s a particularly weird scene is which Vega takes Chun-Li, Tai-Hung’s sister, out on a date. He uses a futuristic device to transport them both into an arcade machine. But it’s not just any arcade game, dear readers, it’s Super Mario Bros! Vega and Chun-Li just sit there wearing Super Mario costumes, having a heart to heart while Koopas scurry across the floor. Vega tells Chun-Li that in his time having sex has been outlawed. Why? Because, and I quote… “AIDS has killed many people. The only way to stop it is to let all the AIDS carriers die, so we have to stop making love”. There’s also a scene in which Guile falls in love with a student during class. The film basically cuts into a musical number with Guile imagining what the rest of his life would be like with her. It’s weird, fucking bizarre, but extremely likeable. I don’t like using the word, but Future Cops is zany.
After the first half of the movie shit hits the fans when Ken, Sagat, and E. Honda turn up. The film keeps up its general bizarre style of comedy, but slowly introduces some excellent fight scenes in the way only Chinese cinema could do. All the main moves from Street Fighter are here too. Guile does his Sonic Boom, while gamers finally get to see Chun-Li’s Whirlwind Kick in live action. But the fighting isn’t limited to what is seen in the game either. When Bison turns up during the final showdown they kill him in one of the most elaborate ways imaginable- Dhalsim ties him up using his stretchy arms, Vega drills a hole directly through him, while Guile shoves a nuclear bomb into Bisons newly acquired hole. The fighting, much like the comedy, is so crazy it would be an understatement calling it over the top. It’s fucking insane.
But that is why I enjoyed Future Cops so much. It doesn’t play it safe is any way. The dialogue, fighting, comedy, and characters are downright bizarre and incredibly charming. Plus, I love how the director went ahead against Capcoms blessing and made a Street Fighter film anyway. It’s pretty ballsy, you must admit. Overall, Future Cops is a hugely enjoyable film. Sure, it’s not perfect. Yeah, it’s certainly not the Street Fighter film you expect or even want, but it’s still and hour and a half of excellent entertainment. It’s not even “so bad it’s good” either. It’s just great. Loved it! Oh and if you aren’t convinced to watch it yet, Andy Lau is in it! That should be the number one reason to drop what you’re doing and find it right now! Fucker uses a snake as a belt in Future Cops.