The Year of the Box Office Bomb

So The Mummy dropped last week and it sucked, like really sucked. In all honesty, and without trying to sound too pessimistic, I thought it would. Cruise is too old for the action-star shtick, Alex Kurtzman has only directed two full-lengths including this and the trailers came across as flat, soulless and completely lacking the humour, pace and charm of there 1999 Brendon Fraser-led predecessor. At least we cant do them for false-advertising.

Not only was it received about as well critically as a Gary Glitter Greatest Hits compilation at a children’s party it didn’t make many waves financially either. Coming in with a budget of $125 million not to mention millions more in promotional costs it has so far made around $180 million worldwide. Don’t get me wrong such an amount could probably do a lot of deserving people a lot of good who once resided in the Grenfell Tower (don’t get me started) but with a budget like that the numbers just don’t cut it.
In fact The Mummy isn’t alone in its failings as this seasons Big Budget Financial Bomb-Squad is as stacked as I can ever remember it being with the likes of Power Rangers, Ghost in the Shell, Baywatch and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword all slumped up against the bar wondering what the hell went wrong. Well there’s a few things that it could be attributed to.

Power Rangers was a surprisingly competent and ambitious effort with some good acting and effects but it was inconsistent tone-wise and the marketing campaign made it unclear as to whether it was aimed at kids or older audiences; therefore alienating both.

Ghost in the Shell was far better than it had any right to be but by being yet another entry in the Japanese Brand Readapted for US Audiences Club, you know alongside Dragon Ball Evolution etc, it already had audiences turning their noses up before it even hit screens. Along with Scarlett Johansson’s failure to do any PR or promotion for it its safe to say Ghost in the Shell was dead on arrival.

Moving onto Baywatch… Come on, its Baywatch. The show that isn’t currently available on any mainstream streaming networks and hasn’t been socially or culturally relevant since Joey and Chandeler sat back in their recliners to watch it on TV in the 90’s. Need I say more?

As for King Arthur. Two words; Charlie Hunnam, yes he was the main guy in Green Street, and two shows; Game of Thrones and Vikings. Nowadays Fictional Period Films are not exactly in high demand, then again this film was originally conceived almost a decade ago which explains a lot, but when they can be obtained on Netflix once a week from the comfort of your front room it all but dooms the ones that hit the big screens. Plus, like Power Rangers, its promotional campaign was confusing and half-hearted. Double plus; Charlie Hunnam. FYI I really don’t like Charlie Hunnam.

All of the above could be considered valid reasons for why in ten years time the fan base for these films will be holding their reunion in a phone booth but perhaps the reason that they’re taking an early dirt nap and have about as much chance of receiving a sequel as Tha Bozz does of receiving a Grammy runs deeper than that. Except their financial failings what one other thing do these movies have in common? They are all reboots or reimagining’s of a franchise that came before them.

Reboots are the thing and have been for a while. The likes of Michael Bay have made a killing off them but if we’re honest a lot of them are not exactly up to much. It seemed like for a while that this was fine with the most recent Transformers and Ninja Turtles films doing good business but perhaps the game is changing and people are finally getting sick of these soul-less or at least average reboots and its time for Hollywood to make some changes? Unless your Disney, Disney will be fine…

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

Yes, this is a Star Wars Post!


I haven’t posted anything in quite a long time and for this I apologise. I have no excuse other than things have been rather busy at the moment and as a result my head feels like theirs a comprehensive Megadeth reunion tour taking place inside it and my body feels like it’s been through 3 full rounds of professional boxing with the Mike Tyson from the 80’s whilst having my 4 different limbs tied to 4 different horses running in 4 different directions. Honestly, I took a look in the mirror the other day and thought that the person staring back at me was a vampire and it’s literally getting to the point where I’m going to the gym to ‘relax’, so actually I guess I kind of do have an excuse. Alas I do miss my WordPress account a great deal though, I’m getting pretty sick of calling it a ‘blog’ because the more I use the word the more it sounds like the name given to a fat, sloth-like water creature that resides in dirty lagoons, bathes in frog spawn and subdues its live prey by farting into the water but I digress. I do miss it because it’s therapeutic and believe me we all need therapy just ask my therapist and unfortunately simply walking out of my apartment and shouting a similar group of phrases to the ones you are now reading at the first passer by that I see is the type of behaviour that can get you placed in one of those rooms where everything is white and padded and your lunch is fed to you via syringe.

One thing I have noticed in my absence though is that the internet is rather rife with Star Wars related posts as of late. This is mainly due to the fairly recent news that Lucas has finally decided to step down from the position of Project Director of ‘Operation kill and butcher the franchise that we all knew and loved as children’ and has instead decided to pass the buck over to another party so they can do the exact same thing whilst he watches from the side lines. The other party is of course Disney and predictably enough this news has been met with a mixed reaction. I’m not going to throw my largely speculative and largely irrelevant 2 cents into this one because let’s face it; it’s pretty much just that isn’t it? Purely speculative and completely irrelevant, there’s a good chance the new trilogy is going to come out and stink worse than my Blog Monster mentioned earlier but my foot will be lodged firmly in my own mouth if it comes out and ends up being the best creation since the guy with the stick and the rock and I’ve spent the previous 2 years ripping the very concept a new arse hole.

I actually feel a little bit sorry for J.J. Abrams for being the guy selected to carry the torch for this new trilogy. The task of keeping the millions of ridiculously hard to please, not to mention, ridiculously disillusioned fan-boys happy is one that makes the prospect of Jedi training seem like a week long holiday to a five-star suite in Hawaii where, as Mr Michael once put it, the Club Tropicana drinks are indeed as free as the day is long and simply kicking your heels together gets you a free ‘massage’ from Freida Pinto and Haile Berry whenever you so desire it. The amount of damage that the recent trilogy has done to the credibility of the franchise has been detrimental in the eyes of some and it’s a little hard to argue with these people. Many people criticised the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi for being silly and pointless and saw the prospect of these 3 foot primitives armed with stones and sticks defeating a battle hardened army of 6 foot storm troopers armed with guns and a love of all things Dark Side to be ridiculous. It’s a fair point in my eyes, so the people responsible for The Phantom Menace respond to these criticisms by creating Jar-Jar Binks a character so unbelievably irritating that he makes Peaches Geldof seem bearable, so unbelievably racist and degrading that he makes the black fella’s in Cool Running’s seem factually accurate and so unbelievably stupid that he unwittingly grants the Dark Lord of the Sith who wants to destroy and rule the galaxy the authority and means to do just that. Not to mention that the character essentially ruined the career of Ahmed Best, a guy who is actually pretty damn talented and is really only guilty by association.

Then you’ve got some of the criticism centred on the character of Princess Leia. Some fan boys, particularly in A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, describe her character as broody, obnoxious and generally unlikeable, again fair points. So the team behind the newer trilogy respond to these criticisms by creating Queen Amidala of Naboo. The first thing that you’ll notice about this character when you see her is she is royalty through and through and I mean the old school kind of royalty, caked in white make-up, flamboyant garments and enough ice to make the hottest room temperature drop. The second thing you’ll notice is that she’s an arsehole, again through and through. Her planet is being invaded by an army of soulless Droids who are under orders to kill anything that gets in their way and she says that she ‘won’t condone an act that will lead us to war’. Has it not dawned on her by now that while she sits in her fancy thrown room that war is already upon her? You can’t really be ‘lead’ to something that’s already banging on your front door and wiping its dirty shoes on your welcome mat. Even worse, when the senate vote to send inspectors to her planet to survey the situation she turns them down, stating that she wants the problem resolved immediately. Surely when the inspectors get there and discover the burning buildings, the 10,000 strong metal army and the fact that every politician is either dead or under house arrest the senate would vote to do something about it? This trail of thought doesn’t cross her mind though and the plot point is dropped quicker than the 3 ‘jobber’ Jedi that get cut down by Darth Sidious right before he gets totally owned by Mace Windu aka the only black guy in the galaxy.

What really takes the biscuit though is that while the Queen is unwilling to send her own people to war she is more than happy to see a group of unwitting Gunguns take up arms to fight a near indestructible Droid army instead whose only weakness is the inability to show any form of human compassion or emotion, which given the situation isn’t really a weakness at all, and the Gunguns are armed with beach balls that carry some sort of EMP energy and ride into battle on wild animals. What-a-d*ck!

There are many other ridiculous plot points that are present in the newer trilogy. Like how about the way that once the Jedi Council meet Anakin for the first time and sense his potential power but also how volatile and potentially dangerous he could be they decide to have him trained anyway and despite the obvious risks they put him under the care of a Jedi who just days before was only a Padawan/Apprentice himself. Or how about the way that they then choose to send this volatile Padawan to a remote location on a faraway planet to protect a politician who is as ridiculously good looking as Natalie Portman, seemingly just as horny as he is, and who most people Anakin’s age would give their left nut for an evening with let alone an entire film! Honestly, the Jedi quite frankly deserved to meet the end they did because of their ridiculous stupidity. How can Mace Windu call himself a Jedi Master, emphasis on ‘Master’ meaning intelligent and wise, and then go to arrest the Dark Lord of the Sith, a being so powerful and deceitful that he’s managed to blend in with you and escape your gaze for decades, and only take 3 other Jedi with him for back-up? He lives in a building that houses every known Jedi in the galaxy, take 10 other Jedi with you, take 20 other Jedi with you,  you know what take the whole bloody temple with you if you can I don’t really think the phrase ‘over-kill’ applies to this situation.

What I’m trying to say is that J.J. Abrams has an order ahead of him so tall that Treebeard would probably struggle to step over it and because of that I have to feel a little bit of compassion for the guy. If he gets back a few of the original cast members this is going to create problems, Mark Hamill is distinctly past it, Harrison Ford has become notoriously hard to work with and the last time I saw Carrie Fisher she looked like the sort of person who sleeps in until 2pm and puts whiskey on her breakfast cereal. Beyond casting and plot issues though is the perception of the whole thing. Let’s face it, most people think these films are going to be terrible and nothing less than something superb is going to change that.

All in all, I’m apprehensive. I’m not expecting these new films to blow my mind like the originals did during their re-release in the 90’s but I seriously don’t expect them to achieve the new levels of mediocrity that were achieved by The Phantom Menace. In order for me to truly form a fair opinion on these films I will go into them with an open mind, I hope others will do the same.

Are you a Star Wars fan? Are you NOT a Star Wars fan? Do you agree with me? Do you think I’m full of the brown stuff? Would love to read your thoughts so please feel free to comment and sub, many thanks!

Old School Film Review (2) – House of the Dead

house_of_the_dead_ver2_xlgAm I ever a glutton for punishment? Having barely survived last month’s viewing of Street Fighter with all of my sanity, something that I probably already lacked due to the fact that I decided to view it again in the first place, I have now delved even deeper into the realm of films based on videogames. This is a realm that truly contains content more painful than a bag of salt in the eye and is about as apologetic as a new born puppy the first time it takes a shit on your brand new carpet. You wouldn’t expect the mutt to apologize for its actions and you would be a fool if you expected the director of the film I am about to review to do the same for any of his.

The director in question is Mr Uwe Boll, if you haven’t heard of him all I can say is “well done” because your life is probably richer for the lack-of experience. Often compared to Ed Wood, Mr Boll is convinced that his films carry cinematic merit despite the criticism that he has been bombarded with and has labeled his critics as ‘f*cking retards’ and even challenged them to boxing matches. I’m actually not making that last bit up, in 2006 Boll challenged his 5 harshest critics to Box against him and when he defeated all 5 opponents he proclaimed that it was proof that his films were not terrible.

The film I am about to review from Boll’s fun house of cinematic accidents is House of the Dead and it’s actually one of his better productions. Despite the fact that it has more flaws than a tower block in Peck ham and to many it’s probably about as pleasant to look at and be around I actually enjoyed it in an odd way, its classless and dirty to the point that it will probably make you feel like you’ve tried to sleep with your best friends mum but most of Boll’s other works will make you feel like you’ve succeeded so in that sense House of the Dead actually deserves some praise.

The film begins with a bunch of no-name adolescents who would probably struggle for roles in my 10 year old sisters school play meeting up on a harbor to catch a boat to, what else but, the ‘rave of the century’ which is taking place on a deserted island with thousands of other people. As an adolescent I wasn’t a massive fan of raves, a massive fan of deserted islands or a massive fan of people so I find that this scenario goes completely over my head but it is during these early sequences that the films main problem begins to rear its ugly head. This problem is that most of what happens is completely irrelevant and often makes absolutely no sense. For a start, the kids end up missing the boat, despite the fact that they are seen brandishing invitations that clearly state the departure time of said boat. Did this rave take place on a day where the clocks went forward and out of the five characters none of them were aware of it? Were they purposely tricked into missing the boat? Or was Mr. Boll more interested in showing close-up boob shots of the female protagonists, by the 5 minute point I had already counted around 4, than actually creating a coherent story. Due to the fact that this film contains more unnatural breast than a KFC restaurant during peak-trade I am inclined to go with the third option.

Not to be deferred, the kids approach a nearby fishing vessel and bribe the captain whose name is Captain Kirk, again I am not making this up, and his first mate Salish for a ride to the island. These two characters are played by Jűrgen Prochnow and Clint Howard respectively, some would refer to these 2 actors as ‘B-Movie Icons’ I would simply refer to them as ‘actors who have been in a lot of B-Movie’s’ but having them in it is quite a nice touch and at least adds a small measure of star-power to the otherwise blander than a Chicken Korma line-up. Unfortunately this again leads to another pointless plot thread as whether the kids caught their scheduled ride on time or not, they would still have made it to the island and participated in the ensuing chaos and these two additional characters add nothing to the story as a result. Since where on the subject, what kind of person decides to throw a rave on a deserted island anyway? I think the clue is in the name, most islands are deserted because their uninhabitable and this island is no exception. Honestly, it’s the sort of place that would be perfect if Mr. Boll was looking to create a sequel to Castaway but buying that the ‘rave of the century’ is taking place on that piece of earth is like swallowing a pint of absynth, mixed with red pepper while somebody tickles your throat with a feather.

As an added addition to the list of pointless plot threads, you know things are going badly when you can justify calling it a list, Captain Kirk and his new best friends are followed to the island by the ‘United States Marine Patrol’, an organization that I’m fairly sure doesn’t actually exist, who think that Kirk is smuggling contraband. The unit is headed by Casper, played by Ellie Cornell, an actress so small in stature that she would need a cardboard box and 5 years’ experience of high-jumping in order to punch me in the thigh but one that were supposed to believe is a gun-wielding law enforcement bad ass.

You probably don’t need me to tell you that shortly after arriving on the island chaos ensues as the rave, which looked like something that Ferris Bueller could pull off in his back garden by the way, has been gate crashed by zombies. The kids and their new found companions feel about as welcome on the island as a colony of Ants at a royal picnic and with all communications cut off in typical horror film fashion they are left to fight the undead themselves. It’s at this point that the film makes another ridiculous decision by turning the group of teenagers who, up until this point seemingly wouldn’t know a wrist lock from a wrist watch, into a group of gun-toting, martial arts-knowing machines as soon as a gun is put in their manicured hands.

Its scenario’s like this and a number of other tacky filming decisions that drag this film down faster than a sprinter running through quick sand, with a hunting dart in his side and concrete slabs on his feet. The zombies themselves, while not badly designed by any means, have no consistency. One minute their lumbering around like a drunken single mother on a midlife crisis after a Sambuca fuelled evening at an 18-30’s spot and the next their moving through the terrain with the speed and agility of what would come out if Colin Jackson bred with Usain Bolt and then had its DNA spliced with Brock Lesner.

There are also some serious visual and story-based inconsistencies; for example, a scene takes place on Captain Kirk’s boat where the crazy skipper is attacked by zombies whom he promptly shoots back into the water with the type of casualness that’s usually reserved for tying your shoelaces. In this scene the rain is coming down so hard that you would swear they were shooting in Black pool but then the film cuts to the teenagers who are on the island itself and things are drier than a packet of Tesco brand Gram-Cracker’s, despite the fact that the two scenes are taking place less than a mile apart. Perhaps worse is a scene that takes place later in the film where the remaining survivors have barricaded themselves in an old cemetery building after a fight scene that I would wager at least 6 million of the films reported 9million dollar budget was blown on. The events that precede this scene all clearly take place at night but during the indoor shots sunlight can clearly be seen streaming through the curtains, meaning that this scene was actually shot in the day and no effort was made to cover it up.

As mentioned before, the plot of House of the Dead is pretty shoddy but hey, it’s a zombie movie right? When asked to respond to the negative criticism that the film was met with Boll responded by stating “It’s a movie based on a videogame where you kill zombies for 2 hours, were they expecting Schindler’s List?” This is actually a fair argument in my opinion, or it would be if Uwe Boll would have at least worked hard to create an accurate and enjoyable interpretation of the videogame. Alas, as it stands House of the Dead has about as much in common with its source material as The Green Mile has with Lesbian Vampire Killers.

I genuinely think the screen writers were higher than a giraffe’s genitals when they wrote the script, there are film techniques on show that I used in a college project 6 years ago, the acting is third rate and the action sequences are contrived but all this could be forgiven if the film didn’t slap fans in the face harder than Rampage Jackson on a happy slap crusade by completely disregarding the source material. The game takes place in a science lab where a crazed scientist has lost the plot, ironically enough, and created an army of zombies to destroy the world, the protagonists are a pair of special agents sent in to apprehend the scientist and rescue survivors. Is that really a difficult premise to translate to film? Apparently so as instead Boll goes for the deserted island, the obnoxious teenagers and a ridiculous explanation of it all involving a Spanish conquistador discovering immortality and murdering the captain and everybody else aboard the ship he was being detained on. By the way, we get conformation of this from a captains log book that were told by the character reading it, states that the conquistador killed everybody aboard the ship…Yet somebody aboard said ship was able to write all about it! How does that make sense!?

I really don’t know what to make of House of the Dead if I’m honest. Its low budget, clichéd and at times very derivative but it still has a certain charm. The first 45-50 minutes contain some fairly enjoyable action sequences, the female cast members are all hotter than the type of curry that’s sold in a restaurant that will give you the meal for free if you finish it and although the dialog is generally awful it does contain a few giggles here and there. A frequent criticism of Uwe Boll’s work is that he struggles with pacing and House of the Dead is no exception, the first 30 minutes are to slow, the second 30 minutes are the best of the bunch as it’s here that most of the action takes place and the final 30 minutes are where the writers rush to create some incentive for the audience to care about the meat sacks left alive by making them all full in love and snog each other.

All in all House of the Dead knows what it is but that doesn’t excuse its shortcomings. It’s fun in parts but is also seriously flawed to the point that it becomes difficult to recommend. I won’t scold it as much as other critics have in the past but I will say that viewers should probably pass it up if their not a fan of B-movies or not as tolerant of amateurish film-making as I am.

P.S The soundtrack is actually really good and worth checking out.      

Old School Film Review (1) – Street Fighter (1994)


I have decided that at the end of every month I will post a review of a film that is at least 8 years old and see how it holds up by today’s standards. The twist is that most of the films that I will be reviewing faired about as well critically when they were first released as a blind man with no arms in a boxing match. The first film to step into the metaphorical Octagon that is my critical gaze is absolutely no exception, I present Street Fighter.

If that name sounds like something you were once playing on your home console system that’s because it probably is, this film was based on the immensely popular arcade franchise of the same name that is still going strong today. Unfortunately the directors of this cinematic abortion probably weren’t hit with the same feeling of Déjà vu during the creative process. The game and the film have very little in common and it feels as if the directors simply tacked the name Street Fighter onto the film to stir up more buzz. This film is technically a part of the Street Fighter franchise but to me that’s like saying that a Tesco value microwaveable Chicken Korma meal that cost 97p, is 6 weeks out of date and has been left to fester in the sun for double that amount of time is still technically a curry. Perhaps even more unfortunate is the fact that the directors were also not hit with any type of financial consequences for their incompetence. This film somehow grossed just under $100million at the box-office but I still struggle to see where the $35million budget went, my only guess is that the service provided by the caters was simply exceptional.

The first gripe I have with this film is that it literally features no street fighting what so ever. It’s like the equivalent of George Lucas creating Star Wars and then setting the entire thing under water.

The name Jean-Claude Van Damme and the words ‘captivating’, ‘heartfelt’ and even simply ‘entertaining’ aren’t often used in the same sentence and it’s here where Street Fighter’s main problems lie. Van Damme has always seemed to me like even at the height of his popularity he was somewhat B-list, always playing second fiddle to the likes of Schwarzenegger and Stallone and it’s not hard to see why in this film. Van Damme plays the role of Colonel Guile who heads an A.N. military operation in the fictional city of Shadaloo, which we are told is in South-East Asia but oddly enough most of the scenery looks more like Australia or New Zealand. Bad dialog can be blamed to an extent and believe me there is enough in this film to make the script from Transformers 3 read like Shakespeare but Van Damme’s overall performance and delivery throughout is horrible. In a number of scenes he appears uninterested and I even get the impression that his breath may have smelt a little bit like whiskey during a number of the takes. This is never more evident than a scene around the halfway point where Guile is attempting to motivate his troops to ride into battle with him through a riveting motivational speech. Well, I’m sure it would have been riveting if it were not 50% un-eligible, read like it was written by a gung-ho 8 year old and didn’t feature Jean-Claude Van Damme in any capacity of any kind.

The casting for this film also strikes me as unusual because if I didn’t know better I’d guess that a number of the actors left their English dictionaries in their trailers and forgot about them. Honestly, Kenya Sawada who oddly enough plays the part of a character named Captain Sawada delivers his lines with all the sureness and confidence of a Rhinoceros on a tight-rope.  Jay Tavare on the other hand who plays the part of Vega simply doesn’t speak at all and has his one line in the entire film delivered off screen by a voice-over. Outside of his fight scenes, Tavare seems confused and stares into space aimlessly as if he’s unaware that the camera is on him or maybe he’s praying that nobody will notice he’s in the film at all, I can’t say I blame him if I’m honest. The strangeness of the casting also stretches to the implied ethnicity of the characters. We are told that Viktor Sagat is a South-East Asian crime lord; however he is played by Wes Studi who is of Cherokee ancestry and as a result this character is about as easy to swallow as a frozen rock cake. Andrew Bryniarski dons a purely synthetic Russian accent for the part of Zangief and seems similarly out of place and at odds with everything around him. Yes, Zangief was Russian in the video game but he appeared in a far different context.

Perhaps the biggest injustice with regards to the casting of this film centers on the main antagonist of both the film and its source material, General M. Bison. This is not because the character is played or cast badly; in fact it’s quite the contrary, General M. Bison is played by non-other than Raúl Juliá and is one of few characters that looks anything like his source material and doesn’t completely phone his performance in. The character of Bison is kitted out in a red suit and cloak and is a drug lord-turned dictator who is so camp that he makes Doctor Evil seem like Hitler. Surprisingly his aims and ambitions are centered on a deep and meaningful concept that stems from his traumatic upbringing and complex way of thinking. No, I’m just building you up; typical plots for world domination are on the cliché menu and its double helpings this time around because Bison’s motivations and back story are about as deep as a muddy puddle on a sunny afternoon and have as many dimensions as a stick man drawn on a flat surface. Yet despite this and in true testament to what a class act he really was Julià attacks the role with all of the enthusiasm and zest that a 54 year old practically on his death bed can muster. Despite his ill health Julià was excited about this role as his children were huge fans of the franchise and wanted him to take the job and although he was pronounced dead a mere 2 months later his performance still blows everybody else about this film out of the water. It’s just a shame that such a consummate professional has to make do with this film as his final swan-song.

As is a common trait for most films based on video games, the plot of Street Fighter contains holes so deep you could abseil down them and so wide you could park your car in them. The problem is that the film features so many characters and sub plots and they all fight so hard for screen time that they all end up missing out on the one thing their all trying to get, a point. A major plot point occurs when Guile convinces two vastly underdeveloped interpretations of Ken and Ryu, played by Damian Chapa and Byron Mann respectively to infiltrate Sagat’s ranks as he believes it will help him find the whereabouts of M. Bison, or at least where made to assume this as its never clearly explained on screen. During the operation Guile wears a bullet proof vest and fakes his own death when he is shot by Ken, therefore gaining Ryu and Ken the trust of Sagat and ultimately M. Bison. This is all well and good and could have been potentially interesting if not for the fact that around 20 minutes later Guile reveals himself to both M. Bison and Sagat showing that he is alive and well. This makes the entire plot thread completely irrelevant and after this scene where given nothing but some badly edited fight scenes to tide us over until the credits.

Speaking of fight scenes this film has them by the truck-load. In most films a punch being thrown at somebody is a big deal and emphasizes a major plot point, in Street Fighter it’s how most of the characters greet each other.

Perhaps I’m knit-picking now but Street Fighter is just packed with weird conventions and odd direction throughout. For a start, why do most of the A.N. soldiers look 10 years old and wear Blue Camouflage? It’s as if they were expecting to fight M. Bison’s soldiers underwater, in the terrain that the actual battle takes place in they stand out more than I would in a Lauren Hill music video. What’s also odd is that when the main battle takes place not a single A.N. soldier or ‘good guy’ is killed on screen. How in the world did M. Bison rise to any position of power when his soldiers can’t seem to hit a barn door, and despite carrying machine guns and being kitted out in full body armor they can’t seem to get the best of even un-armed opponents wearing no protective gear at all?

The motives behind certain events are also very questionable. Towards the end of the film Guile and a group of A.N. soldiers corner and out-number Bison and a small group of his troops. They literally have him in their sights and by shooting Bison there and then the tragic war would be over and the poor people who paid their money to see this film in theatres would get to go home 15 minutes early. Despite this obvious reality, Guile instead opts to order his troops out of the room so he can face Bison one-on-one. What instead follows is another badly edited sequence of shots showing Van Damme beat up a man almost twice his senior, not exactly riveting stuff.

Despite all of the criticisms listed above I have to admit that part of me enjoyed seeing this film again, if only slightly. It’s camp and ridiculous to the point that it’s almost oddly entertaining but it’s hard to determine whether or not it’s entertaining by design. What isn’t hard to determine however is the shoddy plot, mostly awful acting and badly edited fight scenes, along with the fact that some directorial decisions really just don’t sit well with the average viewer. Let me just say in closing that there is a reason why Kylie Minogue’s acting career didn’t progress much further after this film. Yes, you read that right, Kylie Minogue is indeed featured in this film and it’s at least as bad as you can imagine it to be.