Movie fans know all too well that you have to wade through a lot of disappointment to find the good stuff. And it’s not always some binary pile-sorting of "good movies" and "bad movies"; sometimes there’s quality material smack in the middle of the muck. Say Something Nice is dedicated to those gems - memorable, standout, even great moments from movies that...well, aren’t.
Andrzej Bartkowiak's Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is not a good movie. It's neither a good Street Fighter adaptation nor a good standalone film. It has a random, meandering plot that employs the age-old storytelling technique of "and then this happens, and then that happens, and then this other thing happens," and it's a movie so paralyzingly afraid that its audience won't be able to follow what's going on that it actually flashes back to events that just occurred onscreen a few minutes prior. Similarly, Chun-Li's voiceover tells us what's happening as it's happening. At one point her voiceover says, "I had to find out more about the men who took my father. So I went to the internet to do some research on this mysterious Shadaloo" - while we can see her sitting at a computer, typing the word "Shadaloo" into a browser search field. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li thinks you need help understanding what's going on there. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li thinks you're pretty dumb.
Why did I even watch this movie in 2009, you might ask? I paid to see it in a theater, for chrissakes. Well, I'm not particularly a Street Fighter fan, but I am a Smallville fan, and Smallville's Kristin Kreuk plays Chun-Li. And she's pretty good in the role, really. Kreuk studied martial arts and gymnastics growing up, and she has a purple belt in karate. She's convincing in fight choreography and wire fu. And it's very cool - honestly, it's something of a miracle in 2009, considering we're still making this mistake in 2017 - that an actress of Chinese descent was cast to play Chun-Li.
But we're not here to talk about Kristin Kreuk. We're here to talk about Charlie Nash.
Chris Klein seems to relish the SHIT out of playing Interpol agent Charlie Nash in this ridiculous film. His every line delivery is magnificent, golden cheese. His hair is a work of art. His facial expressions waver between alarming solemnity and a somehow even more alarming smugness. He's so proud of himself here! "This guy walks through the raindrops," he tells us, and even though those words are utterly bereft of real meaning, somehow, when Charlie Nash says them, we're like, "Yeah."
Unfortunately, the above two minutes really do constitute almost all of Chris Klein's screentime in The Legend of Chun-Li. It's like no one but Klein understood that he would be the breakout star of this movie. At one point, Nash and Moon Bloodgood's Detective Maya Sunee are on a stakeout when Nash grabs her and starts making out with her as cover. "That had to be done," he growls in his best Joe Don Baker voice. Five minutes later - still on stakeout, mind you - he's asleep. This is a role of true genius, the kind of performance we only get once in a generation.
Klein hasn't done much film since The Legend of Chun-Li. Over the past eight years, he's mainly stuck to a few episodes of television here and there, scattered across shows with which I'm not overly familiar. But even though a recent rewatch of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li proved the film even more rambling and tedious than I remembered, I would watch a Charlie Nash spinoff with the exact same creative team as Chun-Li in a heartbeat. Hell, if I had money, I'd finance a Charlie Nash spinoff. Give the people what they want!
In conclusion: Nash out.