Mortal Kombat – The plot starts with Raiden encouraging Liu Kang, Jonny Cage and Sonya Blade to compete in a fighting tournament against his rival Shang Tsung’s forces. The special effects, whether characters or their powers such as Raiden’s lightning is awful. Scorpion was so bad it had me laughing. The general look of the film and camera quality are quite bad. The costumes are pretty good for the time and match up to some of the early video game character designs. Liu Kang is the likable hero, Sonya is the stern soldier and Cage is a bit of comic relief. Kano, Kitana, Reptile and Gorro all feature too. Combat is generally pretty good when physical martial arts are used but it looks awful when powers are used. When it comes to the games they stick to the character ideas and stories quite well, even having Tsung say things like Fatality and Flawless Victory. Iconic fighting moves like Jonny Cage’s Nut Punch, Liu Kang’s Bicycle Kick and Scorpion’s Get Over Here are all used. The plot is sidelined for the sake of getting more fights in which also fits with the games. Although it has some held decent connections to the early games the movie is terrible, unless you like watching slow martial arts combined with ok acting and not-so-great writing then I can’t recommend watching this one.
Mortal Kombat Annihilation – Earthrealm won the fighting tournament in the first movie, but that doesn’t stop Shao Kahn and his Outworld followers attempting to invade. There are sub-plots like Kitana reuniting with her undead mother, Raiden having a family crisis resulting in a question of how much he values his immortality and Liu Kang conquering his own self doubt as he learns to use his animality (like Mortal Kombat 3). The writing from an ideas point isn’t bad and we’re it remade these days could be good. We also get game connections like Scorpion shouting “Get over here!” plus a few other bits of dialogue. We get some very bad dialogue too like Liu Kang being warned about a trap after it’s been sprung or Scorpion shouting “Suckers”. Jax was used in this movie as the clueless guy for comic relief which didn’t fit how I imagined the strong personality and Jonny Cage was written out early on. The absolute worst thing about this movie were the visual effects; way too much slow motion was used with a lot of silly looking jumping that was trying to be exciting but really gave off the wrong tone; there were also people turning into dragons and a weird skinless dragon monster that didn’t make sense. Thankfully the costumes were mostly accurate but Baraka just looked bad. The timing of movement in combat looked awful with delayed reactions and there was only one good thing in the entire movie which was the thumping soundtrack. It was a more enjoyable watch than the first though, purely because it was so bad I was laughing at it all the way through.