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Mortal Kombat - Videogame Film Review - Film Month Print E-mail
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Written by Thomas "CigDangle" Balistreri   
Tuesday, 25 September 2007

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Mortal Kombat Poster

Mortal Kombat was my favorite videogame movie, until Resident Evil was released.  The funny thing, I never thought much about it being based on a videogame.  Mortal Kombat, as with many fighting games (sans the D.O.A. series), has little if any storyline.  In essence, you fight and progress through the tournament. So, to see the storyline expanded, was interesting.  Not perfect, but unique in execution, the movie succeeds in telling a somewhat compelling storyline.  The movie was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who as you may remember, wrote all three Resident Evil films.

 

Raiden While the storyline works, it by no means makes this a great movie.  As is the norm for videogame films, Mortal Kombat presents the audience with a caliber of acting that ranges from mediocre to pretty lousy.  Christopher Lambert, probably best known for his portrayal of the title role in the Highlander films, gives a less that stellar performance as 'Raiden'.  Bridgette Wilson , the one time Miss Teen USA who turns 34 today, struggles delivering dialogSonja Fight and is less than convincing in her fighting scenes as Sonya Blade.  Interestingly, Bridgette got the role of Sonya after Cameron Diaz had to drop out, due to a broken wrist.  Thank God for small favors.  And Robin Shou, who plays Liu Kang, struggles in what was his second English language film, but is good in the martial arts sequences.  The rest of the acting is just downright crappy, particularly Linden Ashby’s ‘Johnny Cage’.

Scorpion and Johnny Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who has played the part of the Asian villain many, many times, gives the one breakout performance in this film, as Shang Tsung.  His dialogue is delivered well, and his fight scene with Robin Shou is arguably the best in the film.

The film does a number of things well: the special effects in the film are fair, especially for 1995; a number of different characters are represented, including Goran, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Kitana; and the overall Mortal Kombat 'feel'.  To accomplish this feel, the filmmakers were sure to include things like 'fatalities' and make them feel like something a gamer would have seen while playing.

One of the things that really makes this film is its soundtrack.  Utah Saints, Orbital, and KMFDM each have a track on this album and it makes for a upbeat, get-your-blood-pumping kind of soundtrack.

My Rating: 70%

fatality Mortal Kombat is by no means the best videogame film made: its not even close.  But it is a lot of fun to watch, and particularly to hear.  The soundtrack combined with a general Mortal Kombat style make this a nostalgic experience.

Anyone have an original Mortal Kombat cartridge?  I've got an urge to play... 

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 September 2007 )

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