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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Robin Shou
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Christopher Lambert.
Directors
Paul Anderson
Paul W S Anderson.
Screenwriters
Kevin Droney.
Running Time
101 minutes

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Mortal Kombat
Video game to big screen action.


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Plot
Movie adaption of the popular martial arts video game.


Review
So far, the record of computer game-to-movie adaptations is dismal: Super Mario Bros, Double Dragon and Street Fighter were all knocked out of the ring before the opening weekend figures were in. Based on the most violently popular (or popularly violent) game of all, Mortal Kombat is, like its heroes, fighting for the existence of its species. As if that weren't handicap enough, this also falls into the dreaded category of First American Film From A British Director Whose First British Film Wasn't That Much Cop, as Paul Anderson (responsible for the woeful Shopping) steps up to bat after the strike-out of Danny Cannon's Judge Dredd.

The filmmakers try to solve the problem of turning an experience which merely consists of a series of fights into a story by... ignoring it, presenting a film which merely consists of a series of fights. The set-up cross-breeds Enter The Dragon with Dr. Strange as cosmic goodie Rayden (Lambert, doing the David Carradine role) and baddie Shung Tsu (Tagawa) pick up sides for a martial arts tournament which will decide the fate of the Earth.

In our corner are Chinese ass-kicking sensation Liu Kang (Shou), Rambette Special Forces butt-walloper Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson) and preening, bum-bashing movie star Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), all of whom have martial arts moves to spare. Lined up in opposition are a bunch of petulant, smug, super-powered stooges, one of whom has four arms.

Anderson does a good job of edging humour into dumbness - Lambert gets a few witty looks - and the art direction and effects are okay. But all the head-crushing and thigh-flexing doesn't compensate for the monotony of a story that simply traipses from one combat (sorry, kombat) to the next.


Verdict
By the time the big, world-saving bout comes around, it's hard not to wish that Shung Tsu would settle the fate of mankind by asking Liu Kang what the capital of Venezuela is... rather than engaging him in yet another round of supernaturally assisted dirty fighting.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Mortal Kombat
Empire Star Rating

RE: Mortal Kombat

I love this movie: the Johnny Cage character was my favourite by far... "Those are three-hundred dollar sunglasses, asshole." I also think that Robin Shou's hair should have its own credit in Mortal Kombat, there was so much bounce and sheen, he put the Harmony "is she or isn't she" girls to shame. Sonya was pretty hot as DGribble says... but her asskickery let her down a bit. Then again, it was 1995! I can't believe that, I just looked on IMDB cos I was going to say "Compare the ass... More

Posted by Russ Whitfield at 10:50, 21 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Mortal Kombat

The first and best of the 'MK' movies, I saw this on cinematic release and thought it was slightly OK, apon watching it again I still feel its slightly OK, extremely hokey and tacky but it holds its own to a degree. At the time it was either this or 'Street Fighter' with JCVD and MK won hands down. Its basically a continuous setup for various fights between popular characters, unfortunately the fights are very basic and don't even look too good haha but they were fine for the time and the chara... More

Posted by Phubbs at 23:12, 20 May 2012 | Report This Post


Get over here!

One of the best video game movies ever and prooves that Paul Anderson can make a decent movie, the plot is daft and the dialouge is cheesy but all in a good way, the fight scenes are cool and at times realistic, also for you perverts out there Sonya is pretty hot, and Kano has the best death ever. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dgribble at 19:26, 20 February 2008 | Report This Post


PWN3D

its like, incredible, with nifty phrases such as "get over here" amd "come'er!" and of course the timeless "get down here!", will never be forgotten, gives real depth to the character. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by topgunmaverick at 21:53, 10 October 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Mortal Kombat

ts seems now more than before that they are putting great films on late at night and the crap ones earlier forcing to watch them while you are waiting for that good film. ... More

Posted by anakin solo at 15:07, 03 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Mortal Kombat

A fun film. Nothing more. As game to film adaptations go though, this pisses on most of them from a great height. It never takes itself too seriously and is all the better for it. I like the characters, heck, even Christopher Lambert, and the fights are enjoyable. This, for me, is the legendary Paul W.S Andersons best work. The sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, however, is quite possibly one of the worst films ever made. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by PedroSanchez at 10:29, 03 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Mortal Kombat

This film totally rocks, it's one of the best fight flicks to ever come out of the west and easily the best videogame-to-movie adaption. All the actors nail their 2D counter parts and every single ruck is shot with style. Can't pick a favourite. Lui Kang Vs Reptile stands out though. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by MoBiUGeArSkIn at 13:59, 02 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Mortal Kombat

i like this film. good fun to watch , i especially like the part where that meathead does his tricks infornt of subzero, and he makes that ice   ball thing and freezes him with it. i think its brilliant!   also the part where sonia fights that dude on the beach and grabs him with her legs, and turns upside down and her tits look lovely.    wouldnt i like to be him right then! ... More

Posted by kumar at 12:31, 02 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Mortal Kombat

I always start to watch this movie but never finish watching it maybe because when its on the telly its on so late i can't stay awake or it just sucks. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by zombiemaster at 08:41, 02 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Mortal Kombat

agree this film is one of the best game to film ever made, then again it hasn't had any real competition really. And of course christopher lambert is in it i think that its his best role apart from highlander, shame johnny cage never got to do his shadow kick against scorpian which is the best and longest fight in the film.5/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by anakin solo at 15:42, 30 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Mortal Kombat

I used to love this film too, I have to admit. Christopher Lambert was brilliant with his lightening bolt blue eyes and his mocking laugh - c'mon, you all smiled when he did! It was fantastic! My favourite part was where Johnny - the cool, not-so-smooth operator - was fighting Scorpio on the shaky (and if I recall correctly, rather dusty) bridge. Imaginative powers and fantasy fights, although I absolutely hated the character of Sonia - what a prude. Princess Kitana was much more mysterious and... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jessica_ca_ca_ca at 08:58, 09 May 2006 | Report This Post


I loved tihs film as a kid, and grew up wathcing it over and over again, i would probably only give it 3 star was it not for this factor, but surely it deserves 4 stars if it was able to capture my imagination so wonderfully. I loved the soundtrack too, that was brilliant and cool. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mcguirk12 at 10:23, 08 May 2006 | Report This Post


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