The dirty fighting and cult violence master himself, Sonny Chiba, is back in The Street Fighter Returns – where he returns as Tsurugi from the first Streetfighter movie.
Tsurugi is cleaning himself up, in this film he’s a bit more well mannered, and seems to be fighting for a good cause – to break up a fake charity run by Yakuza – dirty bastards! But first he’s head on out to kill a man who is being held in a police station – so he gets cuffed, carried in and then takes everyone out before escaping – you get the idea he’s pretty damn deadly!
From there he bounces around from place to place taking out guys and slowly tearing the group down before running into his old nemesis form the first film. Things get tough but Tsurugi gets tougher and eventually this leads to a big showdown of eye-popping (literally) violence and karate action.
This film has less character than the first, and the story just seems to unfold in an almost linear fashion.
The character of Tsurugi himself seems less intense. In the first film he was out to serve himself, you get in his way and he’ll rip you the shreds and feed you to the dogs. In this one he’s bit more tame, still seemingly unbeatable but less vicious and more forgiving.
There’s a young girl that follows him around all the time though who he simply pushes over and aside whenever she opens her mouth, it’s somewhat sad but slightly amusing as I had to ask myself “why the hell does she care about him so much”. This almost careless abuse seems to be the only part of the original character still carried through at the same level – but even still it’s less interesting.
Luckily in Sonny Chiba is like what Bruce Lee was to Hong kong movies in China – but in Japan. His fights were unique and packed with action, so the action made this movie more so than the characters and plot.
Action & Martial Arts
There’s not penises being ripped off in this film, but the film makers have a problem with people keeping their eyes, as many characters end upblinded or eye gouged in several scenes.
Perhaps the funniest thing (pictured above) is when Tusurgi smacks a guy in the back of the head and his eye balls pop out – I laughed hysterically at that 😀
While the gore is dialed down the quality of the choreography is a little up, with Chiba moving about and showing off a variety of attacks and moves in some quick and entertaining fights – usually between him and a bunch of guys. So it seems as if he’s managed to change the direction slightly, moving away from the cult gore.
Not bad, not Chiba’s finest. Check it out if you’re a Chiba fan otherwise you may not get a lot out of it apart from a few giggles at the faces he pulls.
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Return of the Streetfighter
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
The Return Of The Street Fighter [DVD]