Street Fighter 2: The Animated Movie (Import Blu-ray)
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Based on the video game, Street Fighter II: the Animated Movie (1994) is the first feature in the popular continuity that includes a second animated film, a TV series, an OAV, and a live-ction feature. With physiques that Mr. Olympia would envy and moves that would shame Bruce Lee, Ryu and Ken Masters rank as the world's greatest martial artists. They face a dire challenge when Vega (Bison in the English dub), the psychic master of the criminal syndicate Shadowloo (Shadowlaw), attempts to turn the world's top street fighters into his agents. The minimal plot exists only as a framework for the over-the-top martial arts battles. Director Gisaburo Sugii stages many of the fights at night in an effort to heighten the drama, but the results are so dark, it's difficult to see what's going on. Fans of the series complain--justifiably--that the English voices sound stiff and hokey, although the dialogue is hopelessly silly. The double-sided disc offers both the English and Japanese versions; the latter contains about two more minutes of violent fighting. (Rated PG-13, suitable for ages 17 and older: graphic violence, violence against women, nudity, alcohol use, profanity, ethnic stereotypes) --Charles Solomon
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