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Based on the wildly popular video game series, MK & MK Annihilation graced our theatres in 1995 & 1997. So how do they stand up today?
First off, these movies will make absolutely no sense to anyone who is not an advocate of the games, so I strongly recommend ignoring them unless you are at least, a MK novice.
As MK1 kicks off, the Elder Gods have arranged an inter-dimensional martial arts tournament known as 'Mortal Kombat' & warriors from the 'Outworld' have won the previous 9 tournaments. Should they win 10 in a row under the watchful eye of soul-pilfering Shang Tsung (Cary Tagawa), the portals between Earth & the Outworld will open & the warriors under control of Emperor Shao Kahn will be able to invade Earth. (What this means precisely is what this writer believes to be unintentionally ambiguous - what, that means all these unholy warrior freaks are going jump through a vortex & karate kick our arses every day for fun?)
Anyhoo, suffice it to say it would be bad news for us mere mortals on Earth so Thunder God Raiden (ably played by Christopher Lambert) who is also our protector hand picks a number of Earth's warriors to take the Outworlders on. We're introduced to Liu Kang (Robert Shou) who is seeking revenge for the death of his brother at the hands of Shang Tsung, Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson) who is seeking revenge for the death of her partner at the hands of Kano (So much vengeance! Where is the love?) & the egotistical Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), a movie star who feels he is a fraud & wants to prove himself, all sail to a mysterious island where the tournament will take place. There, they team up with the feisty Princess Kitana (Ah, there's the love...) who will help guide them on their quest.Read more ›
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I openly admit it: I have never played "Mortal Kombat" video games, so I had no preconceptions about what these movies would be like.
And the results are... mixed. "Mortal Kombat" is a cheesy, weird, predictable movie that is nevertheless strangely fun and entertaining... until "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" comes on, and stupefies you with its wretched acting, lack of plot and eye-melting special effects. In short: enjoy the first, ignore the second.
Brief backstory: Mortal Kombat (with a K!) is a once-a-generation tournament in which fighters battle for the sake of their respective worlds. If the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and his evil minions win this one, he gets the Earth.
And he's successfully manipulated three humans into going: Liu Kang (Robin Shou) who wants to avenge his brother, actor Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby) who wants to revive his career, and agent Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson) who wants to avenge her dead partner. They're guided by the mysterious thunder god Raiden (Christopher Lambert), who... doesn't fight.
But even before the three fighters arrive at the island where the tournament will take place, they're confronted by danger -- Shang Tsung has brought his deadliest three fighters to destroy all three of them, and they don't care much about rules.
And in "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation," the gang are immediately confronted by Shao Khan (Brian Thompson), who plans to merge Earth with the Outworld despite Liu Kang's triumph in Mortal Kombat. So the surviving fighters... go out to do... something. I'm not entirely clear on what their plan is, but they set out to find allies to help defeat Shao Khan.Read more ›
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