A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

May 11, 2011

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

This is not the movie we thought it was. This was one of a bunch of movies we bought for two dollars a piece. It was in the box for Mortal Kombat though, so until we put it in our DVD player we thought we were going to be watching the first movie, not this one. The first Mortal Kombat movie is something I remember watching in the theaters when it first came out for the stupid spectacle of it. This laughably absurd sequel I associate with late night ridicule in a dorm room with a bunch of Amanda’s college friends. I’m not sure if it actually even had a theatrical release – it has a direct to video fee to it. Or a made for cable TV feel. I was kind of looking forward to seeing a movie with Christopher Lambert tonight too.

In spite of my lifelong love of video games I never was any good at fighting games. I’ve tried so many times – I just can’t figure out the rhythm of them. I do remember watching a lot of people pump quarters into the Mortal Kombat machine in the lounge in the Oxy student union back when it was a brand new game. It had such cool photo-realistic high tech graphics.

Those graphics translate very well to this cheesy movie. It has the same pasted together look of cheap special effects as the game I remember with such fondness. Everything about this movie screams “low budget.” They couldn’t even afford the one b-list star they had in the first movie (Christopher Lambert) and instead they have somebody completely different playing Rayden. As with the game itself there are a lot of interchangeable foes in masks – like Scorpion, Sub Zero and Reptile – all of whom are there to act as roadblocks on the path our heroes must walk to complete their quest.

After returning to Earth victorious in the inter-dimensional martial arts competition that he won on behalf of humanity Liu Kang thought that he could relax and rest for a while. The rules of the competition state that if he wins the powers of evil may not invade our world for another generation. Except that would make for a really boring movie so no sooner do Liu Kang, Kitana, Sonya and Johnny get back to Earth with their demi-god sponsor Rayden than all kinds of inter-dimensional portals start opening and anonymous black pajama wearing henchmen start falling from the sky like little meteors. A horned centaur thing (which was never in the first Mortal Kombat game but must have been introduced to take Goro’s place in later games) and lady Goro and evil masked dude with a mighty big hammer all show up and to prove they mean business they quickly kill Johnny Cage. Oh, and there’s Kitana’s dead mother who has joined the bad guys too.

Our heroes flee into some underground tunnels with giant gerbil balls and split up to search out other mighty heroes so they can face the forces of darkness and close the portals. From there, well, I kind of fade into a bad-movie induced coma. There are a whole bunch of fight scenes. Some new characters are introduced. (Jax with his cyborg arms and the mysterious Jade for example.) Kitana gets kidnapped. Rayden decides to become mortal for some reason. Everything hinges on reuniting Kitana with her dead mother. Except that isn’t true at all.

It all ends with Mortal Kombat. Of course.

The plot is nonsense. The best actor in the whole movie is an American Gladiator. The accents are all over the place. The effects are some of the most fake looking ever filmed. At one point there’s an epic duel between a CGI dragon and a CGI hydra and there are moments where it looks like they released the film with the place-holder animatics edited in instead of completed effects shots. There is at least one martial arts kickboxing scene every five or ten minutes.

Jax fights the centaur. Kitana fights her mother. Sonya fights… some random dude in red. Rayden is honored to die a mortal, because dying an immortal would have been much harder. The movie staggers about and stumbles drunkenly to its inevitable conclusion.

I have to admit that I had a lot of fun watching this tonight. It’s way into the realm of so bad its good. I just kind of wish w had a riff track for it or something. It feels like a movie that was made to make fun of. A big glorious silly mess.

May 11, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,

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