Top critical review
Feel your Animality!
on 19 September 2015
You know how it is, you have one drink, then another. Before you know it, you're knee deep in a bottle of scotch and having a conversation with the television screen. Which, if I'm honest helped a great deal when viewing ''Mortal Kombat: Annihilation'' - a film so mind-bendingly awful, it sobered me up. Well, almost.
So, why the three stars? Well, this level of awfulness takes much dedication and I gotta take my hat off to the production team involved - with or without the drink, I have to scratch this one up as some sort of religious experience - as I haven't seen anything like it before... or since. Anyway, my mouth's dry. Let's pour another one, crack open a bag of scratchings and give you a quick rundown of the ''s-t-o-r-y'':
Every generation, a portal opens up between the Outerworld and Earth (steady, steady...). Emperor Shao-Kahn (a post 'Cobra' Brian Thompson) is a namby-pamby ruler and with his warriors (led by the hottest woman I have ever seen in a fright wig and Mr Motivator leggings, Musetta Vander) are intent on total domination by uniting the two worlds so they can rule the universe... or something. However, they didn't count on the combined forces of Sonya Blade (Sandra Hess), Jax (Lynn "Red" Williams), Kitana (Talisa Soto) and Liu Kang (Robin Shou) who are ready to kick some outerworld butt and restore balance to the force. I mean, the world. Luckily for our heroes, they have Obi Wan Kenobi, sorry Rayden (James Remar replacing Christopher Lambert, who clearly must have had better things to do) who is on hand to offer mystical advice, look lame in a white wig and pretend he's above all of this chop-sockey martial arts nonsense. Until he forgets all of that and beats the living rhubarb out of some back-flipping sci-fi ninja types - then apparently he's okay with it.
Director John R. Leonetti is a respected cinematographer, but when it comes to directing he's well... erm, not. Dropping the ball at every available turn, his movie fumbles along like a school play made by an angry kid-hating teacher on crack. The pacing is non-existent, the cast look like they are just standing around looking for motivation and the whole endeavour would make the production team behind a 1984 episode of 'Dr Who' blush. Production design, fight choreography and visual effects are well below par and I can only imagine what the real fans of the game made of this when it was first released: I'm sure the game's original story was no great shakes, but I wager it was like a blooming Lars Von Trier movie in comparison. However, even with all being said, I can do nothing but recommend it. You want awful acting? Step right up. You need to witness sheer awfulness up close and personal? Take a seat. You wish to laugh so hard you almost burp up a Dorito? Come right in. This movies got it all. Or nothing. Or everything. I just don't know anymore.
Warner's Blu Ray release sports a sold transfer with vibrant audio - sadly, this also highlights the shortcomings of the production: Awful CG effects work that look like they were created on a Commodore Amiga 500 (ask your Dad), lacklustre set design where everything resembles foam and below par fight choreography is accentuated for all to see. But, screw it! It doesn't matter what I think - just sit back and let it all wash over you. If you can't do that, just crack open another beer. And another. And probably another. Just incase.