5.8/10
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301 user 79 critic

Mortal Kombat (1995)

Three unknowing martial artists are summoned to a mysterious island to compete in a tournament whose outcome will decide the fate of the world.

Director:

Paul W.S. Anderson (as Paul Anderson)

Writers:

Ed Boon (video games), John Tobias (video games) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,449 ( 165)

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ON DISC
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Lambert ... Lord Raiden
Robin Shou ... Liu Kang
Linden Ashby ... Johnny Cage
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ... Shang Tsung
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras ... Sonya Blade (as Bridgette Wilson)
Talisa Soto ... Kitana
Trevor Goddard ... Kano
Chris Casamassa ... Scorpion
François Petit ... Sub-Zero
Keith Cooke ... Reptile (as Keith H. Cooke)
Hakim Alston Hakim Alston ... Fighting Monk
Kenneth Edwards Kenneth Edwards ... Art Lean
John Fujioka ... Chief Priest
Daniel Haggard Daniel Haggard ... Assistant Director
Sandy Helberg ... Director
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Storyline

Based on the popular video game of the same name "Mortal Kombat" tells the story of an ancient tournament where the best of the best of different Realms fight each other. The goal - ten wins to be able to legally invade the losing Realm. Outworld has so far collected nine wins against Earthrealm, so it's up to Lord Rayden and his fighters to stop Outworld from reaching the final victory... Written by CyberRax

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Test Your Might See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for non-stop martial arts action and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

The Threshold Network

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 August 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Combate Mortal See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Monica, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,283,887, 20 August 1995

Gross USA:

$70,454,098

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$122,195,920
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was the filmmakers' first and only choice for the role of Shang Tsung. He came to the audition in a costume, and read his lines while standing on a chair. Shang Tsung was depicted as relatively younger in the film in order to avoid the excessive makeup that would have been required to duplicate his aged appearance in the game. See more »

Goofs

(at around 49 mins) During the fight in Scorpion's tomb, a hole in the rear of Johnny's pants disappears. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Chan: No! Please!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After all of the credits have rolled, you hear Emperor Shao Khan, from the games, say "Excellent! *maniacal laugh*!!! Flawless victory!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood's Top Ten: Alive and Kicking (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I Reject
Performed by Bile
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Paul Anderson's only good movie.
31 October 2000 | by CuriosityKilledShawnSee all my reviews

I've always believed that video-games will never make good movies. But Warner don't seem to understand what a goldmine they're sitting on when it comes to Mortal Kombat. The franchise has so many characters, complex back-stories, and mythology that it honestly dwarfs the X-Men. There is a huge amount of potential in Mortal Kombat. This juvenile 1995 effort only scratches the surface of that potential, but still manages to be an enjoyable no-brainer.

I remember when this was released back in October 1995. It had been No. 1 at the US box office for three straight weeks. The audience did actually manage to go along with the silly, tongue-in-cheek hokum, and it worked. By modern standards this film is laughably awful. The CGI effects look like they were rendered on a Commodore 64, even when the technology to make much better was readily available at the time. I feel so old thinking about how dated and retro Mortal Kombat is.

A bunch of muscular tough-guys are called to an exotic island to take part in a fighting tournament that could decide the fate of the planet. The Outworld Emperor wants Earth as his new dominion and is one tournament away from victory. His mortal, demonic minions, led by the brilliantly over-the-top Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa as dark sorcerer Shang Tsung, must fight Earth's toughest warriors. All but three are expendable: Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade. The film follows them as they fight their way through many colorful environments.

It looks and feels very much like an old-fashioned kung-fu movie. The production design is frequently wonderful, and there's hardly any unlikeable characters. Even 4-armed Prince Goro (brought to life by lovely puppetry) is fun to watch. The story however is paper-thin. Like I said, it could be so much more but the talent or motivation to make such a film in 1995 just wasn't there.

I've never been a fan of Paul Anderson (as a matter-of-fact, he's one of the worst filmmakers currently working), but his US debut is a fun, little pot-boiler with some funky 90s techno.


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