Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

Posted in Reviews by - November 03, 2013
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

Demented sequel which excels at being simultaneously awful and awesome in equal measure. If you weren’t on board with the Power Rangers-esque PG-13 modifications to Midway’s incredibly violent computer game in the first film, then this follow up certainly won’t win you over. Ironically, the sequel ups the ante in terms of fan-boy game references, with more special moves and characters than before. This has a hyperactive effect on the acting, costumes, narrative, fight scenes and CGI, which are particularly putrid. The end of the world has never looked so cheap, and the less said about the ‘animality’ ending the better. But age has been kind; the film’s ridiculousness, dated techno and campy spirit now looks all the better for it.

Bleached deity Rayden returns in the hunky, wisecracking form of James Remar, who leads humanoids Liu Kang and co into another battle with Outworld and warlord Shao Khan, who plans to take over the earth in six days. Contractual disagreements seem to have slain most of the original cast members, including the actors playing Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage, who is rather hilariously killed off within the opening five minutes. Copious amounts of disposable baddies in fancy dress appear with no explanation and are all entertaining: a half man half stag, a woman with four arms, a banshee with a destructive scream who looks like Catherine Zeta-Jones. In one scene, Rayden acquires human form and turns out to be amazing at Capoeira. Shao Khan wears a bargain basement skull mask from Masters of the Universe and throws his own minions into fire pits. The relentless fighting is pumping, rhythmic and features stunt work from a young Tony Jaa. It’s off the planet. What’s not to like?

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