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STREET FIGHTER: RESURRECTION - Episode 4 Summary & Review
I should start off by saying this: I have had the best time covering any and all things Street Fighter-related, and specifically when it comes to the recent webseries efforts. Street Fighter: Legacy led the way in 2010 with Owen Trevor and Joey Ansah presenting a fantastic proof-of-concept that finally got the ball rolling for what eventually led to the hit 2014 webseries/feature film, Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist. Now, in the wake of a new game as of last month, we have Machinima's newest presentation, Street Fighter: Resurrection to whet the appetites of fans until we he hear more on the forthcoming Assassin's Fist sequel, Street Fighter: World Warrior. That said, those of you who are slightly more familiar with the possible story elements of the game franchise may have a few more ideas than people like myself about how World Warrior will play out after Resurrection when all the pieces are finally put in place. For now though, we get something very exciting and visceral from Ansah sitting back in the director's chair since Assassin's Fist, and with a miniseries that reads very much into a possible third major series after this, and honestly, I'm already sold.
Street Fighter: Resurrection brings Mike Moh and Christian Howard back into the fray as Ryu and Ken following a mysterious omen during Ryu's journey of solitude and Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu heiress Laura Matsuda's emergence at Ken's gym. Soon enough, a challenge from the once-presumed dead Major Charlie Nash sets things in motion for a major Interpol sting operation in London with our heroes summoned as "outside contractors" to observe the mission as all signs could point to the likely resurgence of the global criminal organization, Shadowloo. Alas, we now come to the conclusive fourth episode , "Countdown", which picks up where last week's episode left off as Interpol's mission to infiltrate the sellers of a mysterious weapon goes haywire. In the heat of gunfire, loyal Bison Doll, Decapre, barely escapes with the weapon - Dark Hadou Bomb that was initially intended for Interpol's capture, and receives immediate orders via earpiece to set the bomb off and destroy everything in sight. With destruction looming, Laura intercepts Decapre and an intense battle ensues with Decapre wielding her deadly claws and going in for the kill against Laura's electrifying fighting prowess. But the bomb is ticking, and with Nash acting presumably on his own accord, it will be up to Ken and Ryu to move in before Nash goes too far.
Much like Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist, everything in the last four weeks has built this series up almost perfectly for fans who have been disenfranchised by Hollywood's previous efforts to bring the beloved Capcom property to life on the big screen. Everything from the attention to detail in costume design, fight choreography and set pieces to editing and overall acting and drama are all key to the many positives about this series. Sure, some things could have been fleshed out more, although that may have helped if the series were bigger in size and budget.
Natascha Hopkins returns to the series for the show's explosive finale as Laura opposite Decapre, played by Katrina Durden. As far as critiques go, the fight gets a teeny bit frenetic in a few angles. Other than that, most of the action plays out in fantastic shape with great sequencing and cuts while fans finally get to see Laura tap a little more into her special abilities, on top of exhibiting yet another watchable and notable action gem from an experienced filmmaker with a passionate vision for action and storytelling. Durden brings an imposing and ferocious presentation as Decapre with some glistening moments that echo deeper into her portrayal, making Decapre even more interesting and intriguing to watch as she was last week. Moussi also returns to role of Nash, and, in turn, continues to impress meittle by little as an actor capable of performing all the necessary tasks required for a role dramatic on some level. He looks and executes the part of Nash excellently, marking this as one of several great firsts in acting along with skilled folks like Hopkins and Durden.
The series ends on perhaps the best, most HIGHEST note I have ever hoped for in a webseries, let alone Ansah's treatment of Street Fighter, and all thanks to a rewarding cameo by Transporter 3 and D.O.A.: Dead Or Alive co-star, actor and martial artist Silvio Simac in full-fledged form as the sinister Shadowloo crimeboss, Bison. The costume itself is just awesome - black cape, red suit, dark features, shoulder pads, glowing Psycho fists and all, and I've only ever imagined a role like this for Simac in the last two years, which really does make this a dream come true for me as a fan. Bison is a character many of us have waited for for more than two decades since late actor Raul Julia left us with an albeit memorable iconizing of said villain, and with Ansah and co. at the forefront of a new movement in filmmaking for the video game niche, Simac's tease here, as rewarding as it is, is only the beginning.
Joey Ansah's direction for this saga is not one to be taken for granted. Not commercially and definitely not from a corporate viewpoint; Anyone and everyone who loved his work on Legacy and Assassin's Fist DESERVED to watch this series as simultaneously as folks in North America did, and it's a shame that Machinima's content deal with Verizon got in the way of that.
All else aside, I'll leave on this final note: I love this series, I love the direction in which everything is going, and I love Ansah and the cast and crew for making this project happen. I love the fact that this movement is being led by film professionals who not only love acting as well as martial arts, but have woven a formula together for vision that fully redefines and revitalizes what it means to take a videogame and adapt it to film and TV, and I love the prospects that await this series and all its participants. I love how lucky Ansah has been with all the hard work he's put into making these projects into a set-in-stone reality, meeting and working with people like Howard and Moh who have all but shown the truest devotion to charcters as iconic as these. I love that Ansah took a chance on people like Moussi, granting martial arts fans a chance to see him much earlier on camera as an actor, lest we wait longer to see how well he bodes later this year in Kickboxer: Vengeance. I love that someone like Hopkins is under my radar, as beautiful and athletic as she is, and in a role that fully invites someone with her looks and delightful screen charm, and that someone like Durden comes our way to give us a screen villain that immerses us even further into the saga. Moreover, I love that fans are taking notice and are supporting the hell out of this movement to give it the traction it needs, because it takes the masses to make something like this possible, even if the chances are slimmer than we prefer them to be.
Needless to say, until Ansah screws this all up, you won't hear me complain one bit. I, and the rest of the world, wait with bated breath for World Warrior, and I couldn't be more ready for it than I am now.
Among many of the film, TV and independent projects I've followed up on, one stood out as something worth following in its early days as I had known of the folks working on its action for its director, Charlie Dennis. Fast forward three Winters later and we were introduced to the world of gritty martial arts short, Deep Pan Fury, with UK actor Andrew Koji, whose extensive TV and film acting and stunt credits include 2007 Muay Thai flick, Fighting Beat, Justin Lin's Furious 6 and as the voice of Hien in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood.
Conclusively, I couldn't be more proud of Koji this week, and that brings us to the longstanding developments of Cinemax's upcoming ten-episode martial arts drama, Warrior which is set to go before cameras in South Africa on October 22. Netflix series Fauda helmer Assaf Bernstein is directing from a script by Banshee creator Jonathan Tropper, in turn inspired by the unproduced work of late martial artist multihyphenate, entertainer and fil…
Action star Jean-Claude Van Damme's peak success in the decade or so has been refreshing to observe. His acting and performances overall have turned solid and even a little more introspective to a degree, and his latest effort, Jean-Claude Van Johnson looks to echo that effort. Jean-Claude Van Johnson stars global martial arts and film sensation Jean-Claude Van Damme as “Jean-Claude Van Damme,” a global martial arts and film sensation…and, operating under the simple alias of ‘Johnson,” the most dangerous undercover operative in the world. Unhappily retired, he’s now whiling away his days in superficial Hollywood… until a chance encounter with a lost love lures him back into the game, eventually forcing him to confront the greatest enemy he’s ever faced: a Bulgarian drug cartel.
Just kidding it’s himself.
Jean-Claude Van Johnson stars Van Damme along with Kat Foster (Your Family or Mine), Moises Arias (The Middle), and Phylicia Rashad (Creed). The show is executive produced by Dave…
Having extensively covered Universal Pictures's famed Fast franchise, this week's latest bit of coverage has to be the closest I've come. It's primarily attributed to the forthcoming live show which kicks off in London in January and obviously with a film saga so action packed, of course it's going to need a crew of some very talented stunt performers to take to task the very feats attendees can expect.
For this, it is with great pleasure to have been able to share an auspicious chat with Adam Brashaw, someone whose work thusfar in stunts, film and television have been all but impressive. He's only appeared in The Hit List a few times having done three shortfilms (two of which I have seen), and you need only to see the results for yourself apart from his exceptional work reel just above.
Brashaw is going nine years strong in his field with multiple credits to his name, including at least one upcoming film project which he discusses a bit about later in this in…