General M. Bison
Review by JoshB
You have to remember; back in 1994 I was a HUGE Street Fighter fan. I dropped enough quarters on Street Fighter II machines to put a kid through college. When the movie was announced, my friends and I all made a plan to go see the movie. We didn’t have the internet then, so we had no idea if it was going to be any good or not. We were just Street Fighter fans, so we had to go.
We went to a nighttime showing at the Showcase Cinemas in Lawrence Massachusetts. The theatre was basically empty. Not a good sign.
Now that I think about it, this may have been my first experience with Hollywood basically raping a franchise that I was into. We’re used to it now, but back then most of the movies I saw were pretty good, and not necessarily translations from comic books or video games. Maybe this was the beginning of the end. Has there ever been a good video game movie?
To go into detail about why the movie was so horrible would be to drudge up repressed memories that would likely leave me crying in the fetal position in the corner. First of all, the movie centered on Guile, of all people. Jean-Claude Van Damme played Guile, while the key characters in the game, Ken and Ryu, are but a side story, but the big shame was Raoul Julia as M. Bison.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Raoul Julia. I thought he was a tremendous actor. He brought the only bit of spark into that entire movie, but you see, Raoul Julia was suffering from stomach cancer when he took on the role of M. Bison. Poor, frail, gaunt Raoul Julia was stuffed into a muscle suit, hung from wires, and swung all over the place in a travesty of a movie. He played the part as well as he could, much more than was required for a movie of that caliber. It was his last theatrical role; he suffered a stroke and died before the movie was released. Perhaps it was better that way.
As with any major kids movie, there were toys. There weren’t a lot of Street Fighter Movie toys thankfully. Those that were released were put out by Hasbro.
The figures were basically GI Joe figures, and the vehicles were repurposed GI Joe vehicles. The toy line was handled pretty much the same way the movie was: with as little grace and finesse as possible. On purpose, I bought none of them.
Sixteen years later, I am at a yard sale, and I spy M Bison in a pile of action figures. I pick him up for a dime. He’s worth a dime.
Separated from the feelings from the movie, the figure is as good as any other Joe figure at the time. Swivel biceps, that waist held in place by a rubber band – both Joe hallmarks.
The figure does have two things going for it. For one, it’s got a cloth cape, which is permanently attached, so there is no chance in losing it. Secondly, the hands glow, mimicking M. Bisons’s evil force lightning. Oh, wait…
I think this is the first time I am glad an action figure looks nothing like the actor that played it. Maybe that’s by request. Maybe somewhere in Raoul Julia’s contract there was a clause that forbids his likeness being used for toys from that piece of crap movie. I wouldn’t have blamed him.
Imagine your cancer-ridden likeness being sculpted into a GI Joe figure. What kid wouldn’t want that?
|Posted 18 July, 2010 - 11:09 by JoshB|