The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

RETURN OF THE STREET FIGHTER (1975) ** ½

Sonny Chiba returns to kick some more ass as Terry Tsurugi in this lukewarm sequel to the immortal Street Fighter.  It’s nowhere near the same league as the original, but the first fifteen minutes plays out like some sort of mini-classic.

 

This time around Terry is ordered to kill a prisoner that is in police custody.  What does he do?  He drives his motorcycle up to the gate of the police station, does a somersault over the iron fence, and begins karate chopping coppers.  Once he gets arrested, he’s taken to the jail where he rips out his target’s throat, kung fus several cops, and then leaps out of a three story window onto his getaway car.  AND HE DOES ALL OF THIS WHILE WEARING HANDCUFFS!  What a badass.

 

Things rapidly go downhill from there, unfortunately.  After making his escape, Terry does another assassin gig and kills a dude before eluding the police by swinging around like Tarzan.  Then when the bad guys want Terry to kill his karate buddy, he refuses.  This cheeses off the gangsters big time and they send out a bunch of men (including Terry’s arch-nemesis Jojo) to kill him.

 

When I first saw Return of the Street Fighter 15 years or so ago, it was a big disappointment to me because the level of violence just wasn’t up to snuff with the original.  Seeing the unrated cut for the first time bumps the movie’s rating up an extra ½ *, even though its still kinda limp.  The unrated version is much more violent than the R rated cut and includes a batshit insane scene where Terry punches a dude in the back of the head so hard that his eyeballs pop out of his skull!  That scene alone is worth the extra ½ *.

 

Besides that nutty scene, we get some other assorted good stuff like Terry breaking a naked bitch’s arm, a solid fight scene on a ski slope, and a pretty cool part when Terry impales a guy with a revolver and THEN shoots him.  We also get a great kung fu demonstration scene where a karate instructor flails around a particular weapon and there’s a little title card at the bottom of the screen saying what each weapon is.  (If you were a Ninja Turtle fan, you will instantly recognize the nunchucks, bos, and sais and won’t need the title cards, but it’s a cool scene nonetheless.) 

 

The problem with the movie is that it slows down considerably whenever it’s just the bad guys sitting in their little offices scheming to get rid of Terry.  In fact, he disappears for a good chunk of the flick and the film never recovers from his absence.  Then there are the long black and white flashbacks to the first movie that senselessly pads out the running time and get in the way of the film’s momentum.  I could’ve also done without the annoying sidekick chick who sings along in the car to her 8 Track of Japanese folk songs.  On the plus side, Chiba kicks major ass yet again and even though the flick can’t compare to the original, it’s a solid entry in the series.  Followed by Sister Street Fighter.

 

AKA:  Street Fighter 2.

Tags: action, kung fu, r, sequel, street fighter series
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