Mortal Kombat (1995)

Posted in Reviews by - October 29, 2013
Mortal Kombat (1995)

Perhaps the best movie adaptation of a popular video game (compared to absolute stinkers like Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter), not only does Paul Anderson’s action-packed adventure satisfy hardened computer nerds but also the martial arts aficionado. It’s one of the best American fight films of the 90s. A hammy fantasy with harmless cartoon violence, the story focuses on the plight of the human race as they do battle in a surreal kung fu tournament on Outworld, run by an evil emperor and his sorcerer minion, Shang Tsung (the wonderfully dramatic Tagawa). They have plans to possess the Earth, but not if the plucky humans can help it. The mortal protagonists are Liu Kang (Shou), desperate to avenge the death of his brother; Johnny Cage (Ashby), a Hollywood actor eager to prove himself as a real fighter; and Sonja Blade (Wilson), on a similar quest for revenge. Together with whispering sage and thunder god Lord Raiden (Lambert), our unsuspecting heroes set about saving the world with flying fists and feet. The competition, however, won’t be easy. The four-armed Prince Goro stands in their way, along with hoards of supernaturally powered ninja adversaries led by evil sorcerer Shang who can suck the souls from defeated warriors. The movie is fun and exciting throughout and the cast do well to retain the charm, accompanied by some smart set-pieces, flashy CGI and pumping techno soundtrack.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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