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Why is Street Fighter So Ashamed of Kristin Kreuk?

Let me start off by saying that I am not a big fan of Smallville. It's done some interesting things lately by bringing in more superheroes and supervillains from the comics, but before this season, I hadn't watched in years. So I am not some kind of Kreukaholic. I think Kristin Kreuk is pretty, and has a pleasant speaking voice, and I would like to see her in other roles, but that's about it. So when I found out that she was cast as Chun Li in the new Street Fighter movie, I was excited, since I love that game. Little did I know that the studio would later decide that they had made some kind of mistake.

Because the movie is subtitled The Legend of Chun Li, and the game's male stars Ryu, Ken and Guile aren't in it, I assumed it was going to be a movie all about Chun Li, and therefore all about Kristin Kreuk. A starring vehicle, if you will. But if you look at the poster and the trailer, Kreuk is kind of an afterthought. I'll admit that Michael Clarke Duncan is arguably the biggest name on the marquee, with Neal McDonough and Chris Klein coming in third and fourth after Kreuk, but how do Moon Bloodgood and the guy in a cheap Vega mask make it onto the poster? (Vega actually makes it on twice, and in neither case can you tell that he is played by the Black-Eyed Peas' Taboo.) Get them out of there, and make Kreuk the big picture! Why else did you hire a beautiful primetime TV star?

Poster aside, we see Kristin Kreuk's face, like, twice in that trailer, and she says approximately zero lines. Sure, there are half a dozen shots where she's fighting, but the camera always seems to cut away right before her face enters the frame. I keep waiting for her to strike a dramatic pose as the announcer says something profound, but it's like the sound and the picture aren't even synched up. When the announcer says "You must decide what you fight for," they show Moon Bloodgood taking off her motorcycle helmet. I don't think anyone's fighting for Moon Bloodgood, and I don't think Moon Bloodgood is fighting at all. There's one spot in the trailer with potential, where Chun Li catches a sword with her bare hands, and the announcer calls her (or somebody) a "master," but we can only see the top of her head, for some reason. Massive fail!

As far as I can tell, the Japanese trailer does a slightly better job with the editing, but they still don't showcase Kreuk's face at all, and McDonough gets the trailer's only line. My only explanation for any of this is that 1) Kreuk does not deliver any of her sure-to-be-terrible dialogue with any sort of mastery, or 2) that Hyde Park Films is reacting to the fact that many gamers don't think of her as Chun Li material and are trying to cover it up. Of course, when people are used to the image of Chun Li that's on posters on their walls, and you decide to lead with a first-look photo of a dirty Kristin Kreuk in an army jacket, that's not an auspicious start to promoting your Street Fighter film.

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