Game: Millions of players engaged in hours of expert combat
Legend: The entire cast and crew were hired at an anti-violence protest for cripples
Street Fighter: The Movie might have had the most poorly choreographed fight scenes since the Star Wars Kid got in front of a camcorder, but Van Damme is at least known for fighting. Of Legend's 96-minute runtime there are maybe five minutes of fisticuffs, and they only count because of the anesthetic effects of the rest of the movie. They spend longer in temples and boardrooms than in combat. If you got a paper cut after watching this you'd expect time to slow down and the Requiem for a Dream theme to start playing because it would be the most dramatic violence you'd seen in hours.
They were especially challenged by how neither of the leads could land a blow on a sleeping sumo wrestler, leading to an incredible number of jump cuts and half of everyone involved being out of frame, under the impression that if at least the camera man was leaping around and cutting people in half with the edge of the frame it'd look like violence. That would be unforgivable in any fighting flick, but where the entire point of the game is "two people visibly hitting each other" we'll have to invent five new gods just to not forgive the filmmakers hard enough.
Short form: If you're a full half-hour into your action movie before the title character hits someone, kill everyone involved including yourself, but spare the Key Grip so that future action filmmakers will learn from your tragedy.
Game: Assortment of brilliantly lunatic movies
Movie: A few punches and kicks which sort of look a bit like the game's special moves, if you squint and you've been hit in the head by every single one of them
Legend: They might as well have thrown a blue shell at someone
They spend the entire movie building up to Chun-Li's ability to throw fireballs. Protip: don't spend an entire Street Fighter movie preparing the characters for being Street Fighters. Worse, Chun-Li can throw fireballs the way Wolverine can murder you with his eyes; sure, it's possible, but they've got friends way better at it and better known moves of their own. The one thing the film gets right is that her fireball is just as pathetic and totally ineffective as in the game.
When she finally launches into a Spinning Bird Kick to beat up five gunmen, it takes place in a room full of stripper poles. This scene shouldn't have just been good, it should have been ten thousand nerd dreams coalesced into one wet wand of pandering cinema. And when you've released Street Fighter: Legend of This Time We're Just Focusing On The Hot Asian, "pandering" is no longer a flaw but your entire marketing strategy. It even makes sense, since a strip club is the only place you could conceivably find Chun-Li's costume.
Yes, the filmmakers torture us for a good hour of racially insulting, intelligence assaulting build up only to provide a set up that could redeem the whole thing. An accountants convention couldn't make the concept of "Chinese girl beats off men by doing the splits upside down and spinning" boring if they injected your brain and genitals with Novocain. These guys did it with a camera.
Game: A globe-spanning series of battles capped by a final climactic battle (and 20 continues)
Movie: Guile punches Bison into the world's first television-based atomic reactor
Legend: Bison staggers around with powder in his eyes, wondering who stole this ending from a Disney movie
Legend's final showdown is a worse catalog of disaster than Skymall For Supervillains. Chun-Li defeats her mortal enemy by accident, knocking cement powder from an utterly unexplained building site in the heart of Bison's fortress into his eyes. He staggers around like a crippled Make-a-Wish kid whose final desire was to be a guest villain in Home Alone, waiting a full five minutes until Chun-Li believes in herself hard enough to throw a fireball, despite having absolutely no reason to do that instead of just walking over and kicking him.
Legend isn't just a poor sequel, it's an attempt to rewrite history. The plan was clearly for it to suck so badly it would become a black hole, travel back in time and make Van Damme's movie look brilliant by comparison, and that would have worked. If we'd seen Legend first, Van Damme's "sequel" would have been so much better it would actually have been called Street Fighter II.
You can read more Luke McKinney, watch him compare Tin Cans to an iPhone or watch an Ultimate Fighter attack the game developers who gave him bad fighting stats.
For more games that could be movies soon, check out 12 Great Video Games With Ridiculous Premises. Or learn about some movies that Hollywood passed over to make the above travesty, in The 10 Most Awesome Movies Hollywood Ever Killed.