Netflix Pick – Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist

The Partner In Crime (henceforth to be known as The PIC, as I now find the acronymed moniker of “OH” [Other Half] to be insulting to both of our whole selves) has this desperate habit of making me watch horrific films on Netflix. He’ll choose something suitably B-movie and say, “I’ll just put this on for ten minutes, just to see how awful it is”. I mean, WHY!? Why would you do that to yourself? To me? Fast forward to a half an hour later and I’m completely enthralled by what I’m watching. The black hole of terribleness has sucked me in, and there’s no going back.

Admittedly, sometimes this queer habit of his pays off. Mostly it doesn’t, mind (like the time he made me watch Waterworld, just so we could “laugh at it”), but sometimes, sometimes he gets to turn to me as the credits roll and gloat, “Now, aren’t you glad I turned it on?” And I’ll grit my teeth and nod ever-so-slightly and let him have his moment to be right because, Maker knows, he doesn’t get that opportunity very often with me as his chick.

So when I walked in the door a few weeks ago and sat down to find him with the PS4 controller in his hand, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist ready to be played, and when he’d begun his usual, “I’ll just put this on for ten minutes…” spiel, I just sighed, told him to put the kettle on and resigned myself to more immersive B-movie hell. Fortunately though, this was one of those times when his blatant attempt to torture me actually came up V, because I secretly really enjoyed it.

Street Fighter - Assassin's Fist Poster

“Christian Howard’s ridiculous hair.”

 

Assassin’s Fist follows the story of Ken and Ryu; their formative years and their training in the ancient fighting style of “Ansatsuken”. Together, and under the tutelage of Master Gôken, they live the traditional warrior life in the Japanese wilderness. They fight together, learn together and stay together, and love each other like brothers. Despite the series being billed by many as this pairs’ back-story, the true essence of Assassin’s Fist is actually the dark tale of their master, Gôken, and his brother, Gôki, and Gôki’s eventual transformation into Akuma.

 

The Bad:

  • During my first watch of Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, I found the pacing to be somewhat off. It felt unsteady in parts, and frequently lacked smooth flow and transition. However, upon some further research I found that Assassin’s Fist was originally a twelve-part web-series, then a six-part TV mini-series, and then finally a 2+ hours uncut feature release. It makes a lot more sense to watch Assassin’s Fist as a mini-series than it does a feature piece, and as a result I found that the editing really did leave something to be desired.
  • Some of the acting here, as you can probably guess, isn’t exactly award-worthy. Christian Howard (Streetfighter: Legacy) as Ken, in particular, was pretty dire. One would presume that the writing and script should assume some blame here, but in all honesty, despite his obvious physical skills, Howard was just bad.
  • Christian Howard’s ridiculous hair.
From left to right: Ryu, Ken's hair extensions.

From left to right: Ryu, Ken’s hair extensions.

 

The Good:

  • The fighting! There’s no doubt that all involved had some serious moves. Fans of the Street Fighter games will delight in a lot of the familiar kicks and flicks, even their stances were perfect. In this, Assassin’s Fist wonderfully balances appropriate fan service with genre integrity.
  • The brightest stars of this film were Akira Koieyama (47 Ronin) as Gôken, Shogen (Samurai of the Dead) as Gôken’s younger self, Gaku Space as his brother Goki, and Joey Ansah (Streetfighter: Legacy) as Akuma. With their palpable chemistry on-screen, you could not help but be dragged along for the dark ride of their violent pasts. 
  • Ryu’s Hadouken.
Hadouken!

Hadouken!

  • This was very much a passion project for all involved, and I seriously respect what they’ve accomplished here. Created by, developed by, written by, directed by, and starring Christian Howard and Joey Ansah, you can instantly tell how much love and effort was poured into making Assassin’s Fist. Independently and privately backed, and with no help from Capcom at all, it is, by all accounts, a success. Simply put, this independent production is vastly superior to many of its predecessors, most definitely including the woeful Street Fighter and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.

 

Recommended for: Fans of the Street Fighter franchise. Fans of martial arts films. Anyone who has ever tried to do a hadouken in real life.

IMDB Rating: 7.7
Do I agree?: It’s a solid 7. I had a lot of unexpected fun with this, and provided you can get over the hair extensions (they proved to be very distracting for me), then I’d safely wager that any fan of the games will most definitely enjoy it.

 

Verbal Spew Suggestion: Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist is primarily in Japanese, so you’ll need to turn on the subtitles. Neither of us wanted to bother to get up off our hoops and find the controller to activate them, so for approximately the first forty-five minutes we entertained ourselves by guessing what everyone was saying during the flashbacks.

PIC's contributing caption: "Check out my necklace, it's made from giant anal beads."

PIC’s contributing caption: “Check out my necklace, it’s made from giant anal beads.”

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Categories: Film, Review

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39 replies

  1. Be thankful he hasn’t made you watch the entire series of True Blood, like my ex did. Haha. I did secretly like some of them. He used to do exactly the same, “I only like this to laugh at it”, I had my doubts.

    I haven’t been off Netflix very long after downloading it, keeping me company while I do some much needed DIY!! I have binge watched almost all of Breaking Bad, haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Forced into watching True Blood!? Ugh. You have my deepest sympathies. To be honest I actually rather enjoyed the first season. After that though… mostly rubbish. However I did watch the whole thing, so I don’t know what that says about me either. :D

      Binging Breaking Bad, though! YAY! BB can be a tough one to binge, but it’s an amazing show. What series is next on your list? I know you already watch Orphan Black, that’s always one of my top recs.

      Like

      • Yeah I’ve watched all of orphan black already, we had that free here on bbc. I’ve got to watch better call Saul and daredevil and house of cards and omg so many things to watch!!!
        I love breaking bad it’s actually my second time watching it.

        I think Sam sniffing the sheets was when I thought “wtf am I watching” with true blood. I did have a thing for him and Eric, I guess that’s how I got through it, eye candy!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes! Sam sniffing the sheets! That moment is actually really clear in my head, because I remember thinking, “WTF is this. He’s obviously a sociopathic serial killer.” To be fair, that makes more sense than shape shifter. :D And Eric. Yum. Sexy mofo.

          House of Cards is brilliant. Daredevil is very enjoyable, too. I’ve just started Better Call Saul and seeing Saul’s life before Walt is very interesting.

          Like

  2. Well, you have to give your PIC credit for thinking about your needs and choosing films with a variety female oriented eye candy. It’s a never-ending source of conversation between Linda and I as to why most of the movies I watch repeatedly have one or more women wearing a leather catsuit. Thank you Kate Beckinsale, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson.

    When you’re as old as I am, you can get away with saying stuff like that. People just roll their eyes, sigh and start talking about seconds childhoods. He, he, he.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ain’t nothing wrong with admiring a nice catsuit! ;) Honestly though, it’s usually me with all of my lady crushes that makes him watch those kinds of movies. He doesn’t complain though. :D I think that’s one of the reasons why we enjoyed watching Spartacus together. Naked ladies for him, naked gladiators for me. Everybody wins. Teehee!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. PIC is a fantastic term and much more suitable than OH.

    I had the pleasure to watch this on YouTube as a web series and I think you can still find it. That is if you care about it enough to give it a 2nd watch.

    The hair! It’s so amazingly fake. And yeah, in terms of performances Ken is the weakest.

    I enjoyed the Akuma flashback story, including his extra-fun-size anal bead collar hahaha.

    It’s a very fun series with good aesthetics and a lot of style. the choreographies are top notch!

    Have you seen the 2 seasons of Mortal Kombat Legacy? Also web series?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahah, so this is one of those SO bad it’s good then? Funny that sometimes we’re expecting to be repulsed but ended up being drawn to it. Not sure this is for me tho, as I don’t know anything about the game and this is the first time I’ve even heard of hadouken :P Well, unless Stanley’s in it… but on second thoughts, no, I won’t even watch Sword of Vengeance (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3622332/?ref_=nv_sr_1) and Stanley’s the lead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seriously! I don’t know what it is; I’m drawn into the bad story or suddenly latch on to one character, or maybe it’s more that I’m too lazy to turn it off. It’s happened to me so many times with these types of B flicks. And with TV in general. I remember one time I watched over three hours of “How It’s Made/How Do They Do It” on Discovery, because the remote was under the sofa somewhere and I found it just so mind-numbingly interesting, if that makes any sense at all. :D

      Wow, Sword of Vengeance looks awful. Haha! Is that even out yet? If it makes its way to Netflix I may give it a whirl. For science. ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I always wondered what they were saying and now I know. I finally know thanks to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All of Netflix at your disposal and you pick THIS! Haha.

    Tbf, this movie has been in the corner of my eye. Netflix keeps suggesting it, like rather than choosing movies from my preferences, it is engaging me in a game of dares.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVE so bad it’s good movies! My PIC try to outdo each other with snarkiness😏😏😏 I don’t usually watch movies like this but I may have to make an exception!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think you made a mistake V. You put Ken’s hair in the ‘bad’ section instead of the ‘fucking awesome’ section.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My husband does the exact same thing! He’ll queue up anything that looks/sounds remotely interesting, and *anything* sci-fi always make the list. (This particular SF movie hasn’t made it onto his list, at least to my knowledge, but if it’s out there, he’ll find it.) He has an extremely high tolerance for bad/weird/nearly unwatchable movies, while I would rather watch just about anything else.

    P. S. Assassin’s Fist does sound like fun though. I mean, Ken’s hair, Akuma’s eyebrows…it’s like a delicious feast of bad!

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG Cary, I’m not alone. What is wrong with them? To be fair though, it’s a habit that is usually the source of much amusement. There is so much awful on Netflix; there’s a never-ending SF B-movie pool to pull from and torture us with.

      And P.S. Assassin’s Fist was actually quite enjoyable. :D I gave him that win. But I can’t forgive him, because the odds are never in my favour.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Shame that the makers didn’t have the budget of the Van Damne disaster. With more funding it sounds like they could have made a really good SF flick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely. It was originally a Kickstarter, which was then pulled when someone came forward and offered to privately back them. From the reading I’ve done about the project and various convention articles, it would appear that fans are really eager for the second season, so I’d imagine they could look for crowd funding if they needed it.

      Like

  11. You secretly enjoyed it! :)
    I get dragged into movies I’d normally never even consider too – a lot. And every once in a tiny little while, one is good. But I could never admit it. wouldn’t want his head to get too big.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha Jay! It’s a double-edged sword, isn’t it? I agreed that yes, it was a good choice, and then all of a sudden that gives him free reign over the Netflix choices, because now he thinks he’s the embodiment of good taste. :D

      Like

  12. I enjoyed this film for what it was. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but you’ve gotta love that Hadouken though :].

    Like

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