DRUNKEN MASTER II- * * * - Jackie Chan; in Chinese, with English subtitles; not rated, probable PG-13 (violence, profanity); exclusively at the Tower Theater.

STREET FIGHTER - * 1/2 - Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Wes Studi; rated PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity); Century 9 Theaters, Cineplex Odeon Holladay Center, Midvalley, South Towne Center, Trolley Corners and Trolley North Cinemas, the Reel Theaters.Two action-packed martial-arts pictures opened Friday - Jackie Chan's latest Hong Kong import, "Drunken Master II," and "Street Fighter," which marks Jean-Claude Van Damme's first foray into PG-13 territory.

- "DRUNKEN MASTER II" is another feather in Chan's martial arts cap, with all the ingredients for which he is known - slapstick humor, precisely choreographed karate kicks and aerodynamic-defying wild stunts designed to take the breath away from audience members.

The setup and characters are also familiar. In fact, they are rather overworked in films like this.

Set in pre-World War I China, the story has Chan playing a young fighting champion who is still living with his parents (though Chan himself is actually 40 years old now). He has to keep his kick-'em-up antics from his father (Ti Lung), a martial arts master who eschews violence, with comical aid from his mother (Anita Mui), who secretly plays mahjong for money and is always ready for a fight . . . even more so than her son.

Apparently, the film is a sequel to the original 16-year-old "Drunken Master" movie, also known as "Drunken Monkey in a Tiger's Eye," which was one of Chan's biggest hits.

The plot here has to do with evil British soldiers who are attempting to smuggle historical Chinese artifacts out of the country, and who also operate a local steel mill, exploiting the workers. But Chan will save the day, of course, using a method of karate known as "drunken boxing," at which he shows more talent when intoxicated. (The result is sort of a karate version of Red Skelton's old "Guzzler's Gin" routine.)

As with many such films, the exposition sequences are a bit muddled (and boy, do those English subtitles zip by) . . . but once the action and comedy kick into gear, all is forgiven.

Chan is in great form here, falling into a pit of red-hot coals, dodging dozens of bad guys with spears, leaping in the air with incredible force (and taking equally incredible falls) . . . and, as is his custom, Chan shows us how painful an actor's life can be in the end-credit outtakes.

Great fun for action fans. And if you haven't tried one of these Hong Kong stunt-packed thrillers, this one may get you hooked.

"Drunken Master II" is not rated but is in PG-13 territory, with quite a bit of mayhem and a few scattered profanities.

- "STREET FIGHTER," based on the popular video game "Street Fighter II," boasts an orange-haired, short-cropped Jean-Claude Van Damme (with an American flag tattooed on his right arm) as the hero, Col. Guile, and features Raul Julia in his final film role as psychotic warlord Gen. Bison.

Julia passed away earlier this year and may have been ill when he shot this picture. But he seems to be having a good time, with bold line readings and a campy sense of fun, making his villain the film's most enjoyable aspect.

And there's not much to enjoy about the rest of "Street Fighter," which offers an uneasy mix of off-the-wall farce and violent mayhem in its first half and then gives way to heavy-handed gunplay and a ridiculously high body count during its second half. (With inspiration from a myriad of other films, from "Escape From New York" to "A Nightmare on Elm Street.")

Col. Guile leads a specially trained troop of soldiers charged with keeping world peace, but he has a personal vendetta against Gen. Bison. And he's not the only one - a television cable network reporter (Ming-Na Wen, of "The Joy Luck Club") also wants revenge.

Meanwhile, Bison is holding hostages for a $20 billion ransom and also has imprisoned an old friend of Guile's, whom he has turned over to a scientist for some kind of green-faced "Incredible Hulk" experiment. (This is the second steroid-enhanced human who becomes a monster in a video-game movie - it was also a subplot in "Double Dragon" earlier this year.)

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And there are plenty of other characters in tow, including Wes Studi ("Geronimo," "Last of the Mohicans"), as an eye-patched gun-runner.

But plot is secondary to action, and this film begins noisily and fast-paced, and the loud and often frenzied violence never seems to let up. (Never mind that most of it is unimaginative gunplay.)

As for Van Damme . . . well, he still can't act, but he does have a sense of humor about himself. Too bad he doesn't have better writers.

"Street Fighter" is rated PG-13 and is aimed at preteen video game players, and is loaded with mayhem. There is also some profanity and vulgarity.

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