Watch the New Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist Webseries That Puts Street Fighter Movies to Shame
Unless you're into "so bad it's good." Then, you probably love the Street Fighter movie.
Street Fighter movies have been, let’s say, less than great. So, Joey Ansah, Christian Howard, Mike Moh, and some other dedicated Street Fighter fans, martial artists, and film professionals took matters into their own hands, and now you can watch the awesome results in Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist.
Assassin’s Fist plays out like a movie, but it’s broken up into an episodic webseries that chronicles the origins of Street Fighter characters like Ryu, Ken, and Akuma. We got to talk to Joey Ansah (co-writer, director, and Akuma actor) and Mike Moh (Ryu) about the series.
Ansah knew from the start that there would be a lot of stigma to overcome in trying to make something cinematic out of a video game. He said:
I think the first thing is that you’re fighting an uphill battle as far as fans are concerned, because of failure after failure after failure of video game adaptation into live action. There is now a kind of mass cynicism. To add to that, we also live in the era of the hater—the online hater, the troll—so you’re really up against it. You’re guilty until proven irrevocably innocent in this day and age, so you’ve really got to knock it out of the park.
But to him, making Assassin’s Fist resonate with people was about giving them characters they could care about. He told us:
I think great action comes from great characterization. If you really care about the character, you are utterly engrossed in the action, and you fear for the characters involved.
…Action has to have characterization and deep narrative, emotional layers, to care about it. Otherwise, it’s just purely a choreographed routine of guys slugging each other, and it may be mildly cool at the time, but it doesn’t stick in your mind, does it?
…If you watch a punch up in The Fast and the Furious films or something, it’s nonsense. You instantly delete it from your brain, because you’re not really emotionally involved in it, you know?
And they went to great pains to make sure that everything was authentic to the games and that the characters felt real. As for the physical authenticity, Moh told us about the demands of his role and how fun it was to run and fight barefoot in the woods:
Yeah, that sucked. I’m not going to lie. We didn’t have a huge team of people that were raking the grounds or checking for glass or sharp sticks, so Chris [Howard, who plays Ken] and I really had to look out for each other. We were running through the forest in a couple scenes, and I’d say, “Hey Chris, you know the fork in the road? On the left, there’s a huge shard of glass. Watch out.”
If one of us cuts our foot pretty bad, that’s it, we have to stop filming. So, that could not have been a good thing, and we had to make sure that we kept ourselves safe.
That’s certainly one way to get your lead actors to bond. He also adapted his personal martial arts style, which comes from his fourth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, to fit Ryu’s more closely. This adaptation comes from long-time Street Fighter fans and martial artists, and a lot of care was taken to make sure it does the games, and the fans, justice.
(via Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist)