The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

MORTAL KOMBAT (1995) ***

Mortal Kombat is one of the best movies based on a video game ever made and will probably remain the best version of a big screen MK movie that one could hope for.  (In a PG-13 format that is.)  It's got everything a MK fan could want:  Kano acting like an asshole, Scorpion saying, "Get over here!", Sub Zero freezing people, Shang Tsung saying "Flawless Victory!" and "Finish Him!", Reptile's cameo, Goro kicking ass, Johnny Cage doing a "Friendship" (leaving his autograph) on Scorpion, etc.  It's all here.  I think everybody out there who likes the game likes the movie.

 

All of the performances are spot on.  (Well, for a movie based on a video game anyway.)  Christopher Lambert makes for a perfectly cheesy Rayden.  Lambert gets a lot of incredibly over-the-top lines including, "You're a coward, sorcerer!" and his deadpan delivery (and misplaced French accent) is hysterical.  Although he doesn't fight during the tournament (he mostly just hangs back and chills), he's still pretty cool.  ('95 was a great year for Lambert.  Not only did he appear in this but he also starred in the underrated samurai vs. ninja bloodbath, The Hunted.)  Linden Ashby makes for a great Johnny Cage and his cocky wiseass attitude fits the character perfectly.  As the villainous Shang Tsung, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa really seems to be having the most fun as he chomps down on the scenery like it's nobody's business. 

 

Director Paul Anderson (who would later go on to direct and/or produce several other movies based on video games such as Resident Evil), films all the fight scenes in an energetic manner and keeps them fresh by cleverly incorporating the settings into the fights.  Unfortunately, I gotta take off a star for not being as gory as the video game.  (It is PG-13 after all.)  We do get a couple good "Fatalities" though.  Overall, it's not quite a "Flawless Victory", but it's still one heck of a good time.

Tags: action, based on a video game, kung fu, lambert, m
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