The age of Wreck-It Ralph is now ten. The first one still stands as one of the better approaches to the massive crossover subgenre, whereas the sequel was a huge, shoddy muddle of internet references.
Because of this, even though Ralph and Felix, played by John C. Reilly and Jack McBrayer, are parodies of Donkey Kong and Mario, respectively, their universe (or minimized multiverse? ), is populated by a large number of existing video game characters. People like Q*Bert and Dig Dug frequently appear as background characters or supporting actors.
Of course, Bad Anon, a support group for video game baddies that serves as the film’s bookends, makes the most use of the crossover plot element. There, Ralph exposes his soul to his many video game equivalents. Some of them are actual figures from video games, such as Clyde from Pac-Man and Neff from Altered Beast.
Then there are many who are clearly merely Kano and Smoke from Mortal Kombat in an unofficial capacity, such as Cyborg and Shinobi, who are legally unique types. Years later, some of these characters—including Bowser and Dr. Robotnik—would go on to land significant movie roles of their own.
Since Zangief is a hero to kids all across the world, Zangief from Street Fighter II gets his chance to give Ralph advice, which is still complete bullshit. He is not a bad guy! His best friend is E. Honda! I will never forgive Disney for the filthy work they did on the Red Cyclone.
On the other hand, M. Bison, the game’s final boss, is also from Street Fighter II. To be honest, Bison doesn’t do anything in Wreck-It Ralph. He asks Ralph whether he’s going “Turbo,” which is a reference to the movie’s villain hidden beneath a reference to the video game Street Fighter II Turbo, at the Bad Anon meeting (which, granted, does not make much sense in that context).
He participates in the group speech and mentions that he won’t be able to bring food to the meeting the following week as everyone is leaving. That’s it for M. Bison between that, attending a wedding later in the film, and appearing on Wreck-It Ralph‘s poster.
Notably, Bison is the only member of Bad Anon to have his in-game actor speak his character. It’s great that Gerald C. Rivers will be reprising his role as Bison on the big screen because he absolutely crushes it as the English actor in Street Fighter IV.
But as you can see, M. Bison has a very important reason for being in Wreck-It Ralph. A very significant factor. Disney recognized the real key to filmmaking. The fundamental truth of how movies work is this:
In every movie he appears in, M. Bison is the standout performer.
And we have the proof to support that.
Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie
It’s not great, but The Street Fighter anime movie is an attempt to have all 16 characters appear on screen at least once (17 if you add Akuma’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo).
For the first time, Bison is depicted as a large brick wall-like figure, as he would be in the Street Fighter Alpha video games. Tom Wyner’s character, Bison, is obsessed with finding Ryu so he can use him as his ultimate weapon throughout the entire movie.
This movie has a lot of charming moments. The Ryu vs. Sagat opening battle is awesome. Chun-Li vs. Vega is an awesome match. But nothing, my friends, comes close to the absurd conclusion where Ryu believes he has finally killed Bison, only for Bison to commandeer a truck and attempt to run Ryu over as a freeze-frame cliffhanger.
Street Fighter: The Movie
Every now and again, we are fortunate to witness a very talented actor excel in the role of a cartoon supervillain. The best performers, through a stroke of luck, get to the point where their performance is legendary. Similar to Frank Langella’s portrayal of Skeletor in the 1987 Master of the Universe film, Raul Julia’s portrayal of Bison in the 1994 live-action Street Fighter film elevates the entire production.
Julia chewing the scenery holds it all together in a movie that somehow transforms a martial arts tournament plot into a good versus. evil GI Joe imitation.
That was memorable It was Chun-attempt Li to remind Bison of his war crimes that prompted him to utter the remark, “Tuesday,” which has come to be associated with Bison to the point where he quotes it in the games itself.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
While the original Street Fighter live-action film is generally a good time, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li falls short in this regard (2009). In this film, very little is funny and a lot of it is embarrassing. This is especially true whenever Chris Klein appears on screen as Charlie Nash. Oof.
This time around, Neal McDonough plays Bison, and he may be the only thing keeping it going.
Although his performance is in no way comparable to Raul Julia’s, he does manage to crack a few wisecracks, and they even went so far as to include Bison’s absurd in-game backstory, in which he magically exorcised all of his good out of his body in order to transform himself into a being of pure evil. I’ll give the movie credit for that because it gave the plot a brief pulse.
Am I saying that Wreck-It Ralph was a wonderful movie just because M. Bison appeared for two lines and then hung out in the background at the end of the film? That would be foolish, so no. What I’m trying to convey is that M. Bison only appeared for two lines in Wreck-It Ralph before hanging out in the background.