Mortal Kombat (1995) Poster


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Street Fighter Correction
jaywolfenstien22 September 2003
Following up the spectacular disaster of competing fighting game turned movie, Mortal Kombat succeeded where Street Fighter failed. Not a fantastic movie nor one that goes in my top ten, but Mortal Kombat (without a doubt) is one of the better game-based-films.

MK wisely avoids inventing plot in unwelcomed places and sticks to the game as frequently as it can get away with. Actually the biggest contradiction that comes to mind is Scorpion and Sub-zero on the same team. Die hard fans will call the screenwriter on this, the rest of us won't care.

All the mistakes Street Fighter made, MK avoided. Instead of colorful campy cameo-fest, Mortal Kombat comes across as a dark tale about a handful of martial artists shot with an exaggerated epic style with humorous undertones to provide comic relief every now and again. Then again, it is ironic that Street Fighter would feel cartoony and Mortal Kombat more concrete when looking at the style of the games (drawn sprites versus live actors). MK is a little silly when reproducing game effects and trademark moves, though now more and more films are moving in that direction (Matrix, anyone?)

The movie's premise is the first Mortal Kombat arcade game featuring a few plot hints (journey to Outworld) and a few characters from Mortal Kombat 2 (Kitana, Jax, a youthful Shang Tsung.)

Christopher Lambert and Cary-Hiroyuki Takawa make the most memorable impact as Thunder God Rayden and Shape-shifting Sorcerer Shang Tsung. Both ham up their performances just enough to remind us that we're watching a live-action video game, but they don't go overboard into Street Fighter's territory. The rest of the cast plays their part straight forward and makes their characters believable.

It's a quick and slick film, gets to the action and gets over with before you can ask too many questions. It's a pretty decent martial arts film, and an outstanding ‘video game' film. And in 1995, it was the best game-inspired film you could find. Today it's still in the top five.
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20 years later, still my favorite video game-to-film adaption!
sedativchunk9 January 2015
10/10 review, your eyes do not deceive you. "Mortal Kombat", simply put, is not only the best best game- to-film adaptations ever made, but one of my personal favorite movies of all time. I first seen this movie in the theaters in 1995. I was only five years old at the time! Back then it was a fantastic film, and in 2015, it's still a great film! Maybe it's nostalgia, but on the other hand compared to all the other overrated junk of 2014 and 2015, I consider this movie excellent and it is one of my favorites. This film and franchise even encouraged me to study martial arts for almost 15 years now.

Mortal Kombat, simply put, is a movie rendition of the original "Mortal Kombat" arcade video game. It's about a group of warriors from Earth who compete in an ancient martial arts tournament for the fate of the world. In more than one way, it borrows many concepts/ideas from "Enter the Dragon", but on the other hand, it has it's own unique twist and storyline to it.

Everything about this movie is awesome. Simple storyline with humor in the right spots, great casting, EXCELLENT choreography, and a fun soundtrack that still rocks today. In particular, this is one of my favorite fighting movies because the fights were excellently choreographed. Some standoffs between characters were extremely convincing and fun to watch. The fights were very dirty and not too over-the- top. They also paid homage to the video game with cool fatalities and even a funny "friendship" scene. Probably the ONLY weak spot in the film would maybe be some of the CGI (especially for Reptile); Reptile didn't look great in 1995 and the movie aging 20 years has not helped! With that being said, the non-CGI Goro looks better than any junk they would probably try to make today.

It makes me very sad that the franchise (as far as the big screen goes) is in limbo. But at least we have this great classic filmed by Paul Anderson! If you enjoy video game films, martial arts, or the new age MK video games, I recommend you check this film out. It is a fun film and worth adding to your DVD or blu ray collection.
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Fun Martial Arts/Fantasy Film
Brandt Sponseller25 January 2005
A number of martial artists converge in China, from which they're taken to a seeming alternate dimension to fight in a tournament that's only held "once each generation". This time, however, the stakes are even higher, as the outcome of the tournament will determine the fate of the Earth.

Believe it or not, this is the first time I've seen this film, and I've not yet had experience with any of the games, the other films, the animated series, the lunchboxes, or anything else related to the Mortal Kombat universe. After watching the first film, however, I definitely will seek out some of the other material, as I enjoyed the film quite a bit--it earns an 8 out of 10 from me. At this point, however, I can't compare it to any other instantiations of Mortal Kombat.

The film is basically a combination of a classic Hong Kong-styled martial arts actioner and a fantasy that leans slightly to the horror side of that genre. To the film's benefit, it's also not something that either director Paul W.S. Anderson or writer Kevin Droney take too seriously--the film is ultimately an adaptation of a popular video game, after all. There is a tongue-in-cheek, slightly campy sense of humor and playful cheesiness throughout the film, the humor being primarily fueled from two characters, Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby) and Lord Rayden (Christopher Lambert). True, Lambert has a kind of almost smarmy campiness to anything he says or does, in any film, but for me, that's part of his attractiveness--it's a large part of what sold me on the Highlander films.

The fantasy aspect was something I didn't expect before watching the film. It was a very pleasant surprise. Being a huge horror fan, I was especially taken with the set design. The fantasy characters, such as Goro, and the fantasy traits of other characters, were well done and even subtle at times.

As for the fights, which are the propelling force behind the film, they're pleasantly varied and well choreographed, although having just watched Master of the Flying Guillotine (1975) again recently, I was slightly disappointed that the fights weren't more brutal and gory (and in fact, this is one of the areas where I subtracted a point). But they almost make up for the lack of violence but their imaginativeness, especially the fights with Sub-Zero and The Scorpion. That cleverness was required over brawn in most instances was also a nice touch.

Overall, this is a great film that any fans of martial arts or fantasy films should enjoy.
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A nice adaption!
swedzin4 January 2010
MK 1995 is a fine, just fine adaption. It is pretty often for movies based upon video games to end up crappy as a final product. Well, this one was more than OK. No need to tell anything except a few things... a few good things. The acting crew is great - Robin Shou (Liu Kang), Linden Ashby (Johny Cage) and Bridgette Willson (Sonya Blade) were great in their parts. Robin Shou is not the best actor around, but he proved to be great as Liu Kang and I find him, for now, to be the best who portrayed Kang in live action film. Linden Ashby was an excellent choice for Johny Cage. He was funny, cocky and sarcastic as a character, and I think that Ashby did a great job. Bridgette Willson was OK, but not all that great. Maybe because they give her so little to work with. And when it comes to that, our leading characters are not that much developed. They are just there to win the tournament, but their backgrounds are pretty solid, and that's about it. Too bad that they didn't give them more to their character. Christopher Lambert was fine as Rayden, mysterious and tall. But his acting was a bit wooden. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was excellent was Shang Tsung, his performance was inspiring and he made Tsung with such unmitigated charisma. So far, he is my favorite Shang Tsung. Talisa Soto (Kitana) was also good, alas just like Sonya, little developed and two dimensional. She was there to increase the plot for Liu Kang. Now, the one I really found most entertaining is none else than Trevor Goddard (Kano), his Kano was very fun! His Australian accent and charm were just through the roof! To mention the fact that most voice actors in video games based their performances on Goddard's. Thanks to him, this Kano is memorized and trademarked forever. Love this Kano! The martial artist that played Reptile (Keith Cooke), Sub Zero (Francois Petit) and Scorpion (Chris Casamassa) were amazing in what they do best - kicking some butt! They really gave a 200% effort and hard work in fight scenes. Fights are excellent, dynamic and well choreographed. The atmosphere in certain scenes is good, in a way, it gives us a decent impressions of "fighting locations." The locations and studio sets were good, CGI, was not that great. But, don't despair. One of the most beautiful things in this film is Goro. Performed by special effects master and student to Stan Winston - Tom Woodruff Jr. Who did an impressive job on Goro. You just can't deny his puppetry and animatronics. All that is pretty well mixed with voice acting of Kevin Michael Richardson who voiced Goro. For the end, Paul WS Anderson is not my favorite director, nor I don't find most of his films good. But, this one is very special and it was one of his early works in Hollywood, so he had to prove it. And he did it. He did a good job. Keep it in mind that this movie offers you only a tiny amount of blood. Whereas the game is extremely violent. This movie, reasonably is not. It's a decent fun! Watch it!
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Best video game movie to date
K-Mac0175 September 2005
And that really says a lot about how the not-so-current trend of games-to-movies are received among critics. But this one was easily the best of all of them. This is easily in a league higher than the likes of Super Mario Brothers, Double Dragon, Street Fighter, Wing Commander, the Tomb Raider movies, Resident Evils 1 and 2, House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark, not to mention that this was one of the few that actually stayed true to the game, from the costumes to the tourney fights, from the characters to the plot lines, everything was done right, and it makes for one hell of a fight-'em-to-the-finish type movie.

But heed my warning: AVOID THE SEQUEL AT ALL COST! Just stick with the original. You won't be disappointed (well, maybe you will, just maybe).
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Though showing its age, "Kombat" is still as entertaining as it was in its heyday
SwingBatta7 March 2002
I was living in San Diego (particularly in the suburban armpit of Del Mar) in 1995, and I remember waiting eagerly well over a year for MK's release. And it was definitely worth the wait; I saw it a total of 13 times, which stood as my all-time record for nearly four and a half years. When all was said and done, it had grossed a strong $70 million domestically, plus $100 million worldwide.

I'm not a Mortal Kombat fanatic anymore, but in retrospect MK was one of the most entertaining movies of the 1990s. It was easily the first video game-turned-movie to contain a halfway decent plot, exciting special effects, good acting and spectacular martial arts action, the latter which was before all the present-day "Crouching Tiger" wire-work nonsense. The actors underwent a three-month crash course in martial arts training, and their hard work paid off beautifully. On screen, they looked like they were really performing those moves instead of just imitating them. Unlike previous video game movie washouts like "Double Dragon" and "Street Fighter," MK also had a comprehensible plot that remained faithful to the games, and in the end won a space in gamers' hearts.

Along with the supporting cast of well-renowned martial artists, MK featured a nice cache of actors: Linden Ashby – whose screen personalities have all had a bit of a humorous smartass element to them – was perfect as Johnny Cage, likewise then-rising star Bridgette Wilson as Sonya Blade and Robin Shou as the film's centerpiece, Liu Kang. Christopher Lambert gave a witty performance as thunder god Raiden (constantly misspelled as "Rayden," much to the aggravation of many MK fans like myself), and nobody cared that he was a French actor playing a Japanese character. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who recently starred in Tim Burton's version of "Planet of the Apes," clearly had a ball playing the evil Shang Tsung, and it showed. (Heck, how many evil sorcerers get to wear cool black leather jackets?)

Unfortunately, save for Tagawa and Wilson, MK unfortunately did not spell the worldwide exposure that many had predicted would come to the stars following the film's success, and the art of animatronics, used here to bring the four-armed Goro to life, is all but extinct in this day and age, but there was no denying that back in the day, the cast and filmmakers knew they had made an entertaining movie. While I hardly watch MK anymore, the bottom line is that it was undeniably a kick in the pants during its time, and for that reason alone it continues to maintain my highest vote to this day. 10/10
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Awesome adaptation!
MoffatLP4 June 2012
The only way I can review this is the pros, cons, similarities, and differences between the game and the movie.


1. The characters from the game series make appearances. Some of these include Kano, Sonya, Rayden, Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Kitana, Shang Tsung, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Reptile, and Goro.

2. Scorpion has his iconic "Get over here!" accompanied by the blades that stick out from his hands.

3. Each character for the most part have relatively similar backgrounds when it comes to the movie and the game.

4. MK theme was present in a few fight scenes. The kick-ass theme song that sticks in your head was used in the opening credits and the closing ones.

5. Three words: Johnny Cage's nutshots.


1. Little to no, and I mean NO, fatalities are present in the movie. There is a lot of MK-like action throughout but the one thing that truly made the games awesome is completely left out. To fill you in if you haven't played the games, fatalities are pretty much an attempt (and success) at you being able to brutally murder your opponent in as gruesome style as possible.

2. No blood. I understand that New Line is trying to make the movie more appealing to wide varieties of audiences, but Mortal Kombat without blood isn't Mortal Kombat. This is probably the reason why no fatalities are involved.


1. The movie has some damn good action scenes in it. They were simply entertaining to watch and each fight didn't drag out for a long excessive period of time.

2. The acting wasn't mediocre like I believed it would be. Like so many other game-to-movie crossovers the major appeal is to display the perception of how games "should" be made. I put 'should' in quotes because it fails most of the time, but Mortal Kombat managed to put all of that behind it and made a pretty good movie.

3. Paul W.S. Anderson. Again he has managed to do an awesome job with these video game adaptations. Although it was after, his best work I believe was with the Resident Evil movie seven years later. Personally, I think he's best when it comes to adapting, which is a rare cause when it comes to these types of movies. For example: Uwe Boll. Worst director of all time and he always managed to ruin some pretty good games (House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, Far Cry, Postal).


1. The CGI. Oh my lord was this film's CGI terrible. I mean it was just simply AWFUL. Goro looked like it was animated by a first grader. The visual scenery is great and all the money probably went towards making that aspect look real but they completely ignored this very one distracting aspect.

2. The costumes weren't bad, but they weren't as good as I would have expected. I like how Reptile was a ninja, but Rayden doesn't look anything like he does in the games. An argument can be made that he was in mortal form during the video games to compete in the tournament so that's why they look so differently, but I object to that because he looks just so ridiculous.

3. Like I stated before, no blood is present. It's understandable that the attempt was made to make it PG-13 and all but if this could be remade with more blood...a lot more blood, then it could be made better. That's not something I would usually say, but hey, it's Mortal Kombat, and Mortal Kombat is all about brutality.

Despite the cons and differences it doesn't make this movie any less enjoyable to watch. It's all around pretty good, could have been better, but I'm still fine by what I received.
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Underrated excellent martial arts Sci-Fi flick based on video game my favorite flick!
ivo-cobra89 October 2016
Mortal Kombat (1995) is my favorite martial arts sci-fi action classic flick based on a video game that I have grown up! I grew up playing Mortal Kombat II video game, I played in a hospital with my friends. I heard about Street Fighter (1994) movie that played Jean-Claude Van Damme in it and that time I thought that movie is one of the best Van Damme movies, that just come out recently in the 90's but boy was I wrong! Street Fighter sucks ass! Jean-Claude Van Damme sucked ass in Street Fighter! Mortal Kombat is the opposite of that film, I love this film to death and it is my favorite Paul W. S. Anderson film that he ever directed! In my honest opinion I think is the best video game movie ever made, that was before Resident Evil movies were made! I love the theme song Techno-Syndrome (7inch mix) by The Immortals! I love this movie to death it is a classic my favorite childhood movie of all time!! Too bad it got a sequel 1997 and ruined this movie. This in my opinion is a classic Sci-Fi underrated martial arts flick that I love it so damn much!!!

"A handful of people on a leaky boat are going to save the world?"

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

"Nothing in this world has prepared you for this." Summoned to a mysterious island, three martial arts warriors engage in the ultimate battle of good against evil -the supernatural tournament of Mortal Kombat. Starring Christopher Lambert (Higlander), Talisa Soto (Don Juan DeMarco) and featuring world class martial arts champion Robin Shou (Tiger Cage II), it's the most awesome, action-jammed, reality-shattering adventure the Universe has ever witnessed!

In this movie we have a beautiful cast as Christopher Lambert from Highlander, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson, Robin Shou from Tiger Cage II and Beverly Hills Ninja, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as the bad guy, every time I watch a movie from the 90's, I see this guy in it been a bad guy! Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was a perfect choice for playing the bad guy sorcerer Shang Tsung, who killed Liu Kang's brother. I absolutely love this film, it is my childhood film, I love the fight choreography in this movie, the plot and story was really great. I really like the special visual practical effects and the fight choreographer did a decent job showing those martial arts.

It has a beautiful ending, a beautiful song to the movie, I love the fight scenes with Johnny Cage and Scorpion and it is the best one in the movie, the fight scene between Liu Kang and Reptile is perfect the second best martial arts scenes. This is an awesome movie and the games are incredible. That has the REAL Mortal Kombat song. This is a film that is actually about martial arts tournament, it has a great characters. Johnny Cage is my favorite character of all time! Linden Ashby was so great and excellent as Johnny Cage I wish he would play more roles like he did his character. I really love this movie one of the most underrated 90's movies, I really enjoy and love this film it is fun flick to watch and I grew up with it!

Overall: I own this movie on Blu-ray and I absolutely love this movie! I used to had on VSH both of the movies that my mom bought me Mortal Kombat: Annihilation on my wish list and I love this one but Annihilation was such a disappointment I hate that movie. I also don't get why this movie got so many hate? I love this film and I don't agree with critics and haters with this film! I think your wrong this movie get's 10 out of 10!

Mortal Kombat is a 1995 American fantasy martial arts film written by Kevin Droney, directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, produced by Lawrence Kasanoff.

10/10 Score: Bad Ass Seal Of Approval Studio: New Line Cinema Starring: Robin Shou, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto, Christopher Lambert, Trevor Goddard, Chris Casamassa, François Petit, Keith Cooke Director: Paul W. S. Anderson Producer: Lawrence Kasanoff Screenplay by Kevin Droney Based on Mortal Kombat by Ed Boon, John Tobias Midway Games Rated: PG-13 Running Time: 1 Hrs. 41 Mins. Budget: $18.000.000 Box Office: $122,195,920
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Paul Anderson's only good movie.
Shawn Watson31 October 2000
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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Test your might
Kristine30 November 2003
"Mortal Kombat" in my opinion is just an awesome movie. I think because I was such a fan of the video games, the days when Sega was the "thang". LOL, way before Playstation there was Sega! But, I really just loved the characters and this story just always appealed to me. I think because also my friends and I enjoyed acting the movie and video game out. No, we didn't kill each other, we just loved the characters.

Yes, despite this being a typical video game movie, I still think it was cool to watch, still to this day I don't mind watching. It has an awesome soundtrack, excellent moves, and a great look and feel to the movie itself. Just let go and have fun with it, if you enjoyed the video games, I think you should enjoy "Mortal Kombat". It's just cool to watch and keeps you on the edge of your seat in excitement!

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Rob12 August 2005
'Mortal Kombat' is a fast-paced adventure with unbelievable action and acting. The story is told brilliantly and it makes for a fun, edge-of-your-seat martial arts tale. Two men and one woman enter a contest that will decide the fate of the world - a tournament to end all tournaments. It's a very dark, shadowy film that prides itself on a gloomy atmosphere for which to muster its ground-breaking fight scenes. Few movies in recent years can match the grittiness and pure painfulness of these fights. If you're an action junkie, or just someone who wants a gripping, enjoyable movie then 'Mortal Kombat' is just what you need. A story of revenge, pride, power, weakness, determination, friendship, danger, life and death. Superb entertainment - my absolute favourite.
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Liu Kang and the warriors of Earth must protect their realm from the armies of Outerworld in a competition known as MORTAL KOMBAT.
sancho_panza14 July 2005
Nine viewings of Mortal Kombat (MK) may not be enough to convince the movie fan of its brilliance, but undoubtedly the tenth will provide an epiphany of Outerworld proportions. MK will no longer be seen as a cheesy "Rock-em, Sock-em, action flick," but as a revolutionary film that is as astute as it is subtle. Students of the martial arts will be mesmerized by the display of skill and talent that is only found in the greatest of actor-warriors. Students of cinema will be humbled by the simplicity and utter genius of the cinematography. Students of philosophy will be enthralled by this film's interpretation of Heidegger's Dasein and will find their understanding of it born anew. This film has something for everyone and is without doubt the greatest film of the twentieth century.

MK3 or bust!
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One of the better video game movies ever made
badfeelinganger24 September 2014
Director Paul Anderson and writer Kevin Droney effect a viable balance between exquisitely choreographed action and ironic visual and verbal counterpoint.It's silly, of course, but more importantly, it's a hell of a lot of fun, with plenty of above-average gags. We'll concede that four-armed Prince Goro is a hoot, Christopher Lambert looks fabulous in a flowing white wig, and Talisa Soto, who plays some kind of princess, can lord it over us anytime. Paul W.S. Anderson who, quite sadly, never really branched beyond the demographic of this feature film, knows well enough to keep his shots wide during the fighting set pieces, which is the film's biggest saving grace. What it's missing, ironically, is the edge that's made Mortal Kombat the video game such a powerful icon in pop culture.It is one continuous fight sequence from opening scene to final credits, but lacks the blood, profanity, and gore that would have merited a more adult rating.
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Best video game adaption movie.
crumptimothy30 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This movie certainly did not disappoint me at all. I remember watching this when it first came out on VHS and have seen it multiple times since it's release and still enjoy it from start to finish. All fight scenes were very entertaining my favorites were Johnny Cage vs Scorpion and Liu Kang vs Reptile.

The characters are very convincing. Sonya with her cockiness, Johnny with his spoiled Hollywood lifestyle, Liu kang with his stubbornness, and so on and so on. But all in all this is a great kung fu movie with plenty of action and fighting scenes so if your a fan of the games this is a must see for you.
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Best Video Game to Movie translation.
hadjiquest7911 June 2005
I've watched this film originally in the theatres. I love this film so much. Bridgette Wilson-Sampras fit that role of Sonya Blade very well. Mortal Kombat was a phenomenon. Linden Ashby fit Johnny Cage's role very well. Goro looked fierce, but was no problem for Cage. My favourite part was when Johnny Cage does the ballbreaker move on Goro. Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa looked ugly enough to portray Shang Tsung. The soundtrack rules. I still got the CD soundtrack. I have Midway Arcade Treasures 2 for my PlayStation 2 which includes Mortal Kombat 2 & 3. I recently got Mortal Kombat Deception premium pack for my PS2 which includes the First-original Mortal Kombat arcade version. I still love to play Mortal Kombat for my Sega Genesis.
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it's a brilliant adaptation of a great game
movieman19-112 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The movie has the perfect balance, the plot is easy to follow, yet doesn't come under the category mindless fun, (unlike the sequel which just comes under mindless) the film has great fight sequences that contribute to the story, and there just being the right amount that it doesn't out way the story, the characters were great, especially Christopher Lambert as raydan, as his character is a bit of a smart ass and Lambert portrays that brilliantly. The special effect that were used in the film were great they were simple to do and to do well, it didn't look trashy, at all so, good one there, the costumes looked realistic and not a though they came straight out of the game, this is one of the best film that has been adapted from a video game and it a good contender against the Lara croft films, and I'd recommend this film to anyone, just not the sequel, as that one should never have been made.
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Decent action flick, gets more flak than it deserves
horrorflicklover23 October 2013
I don't think the critics were fair with this movie. In all honesty, it's a solid action flick, and stays focused on its source material. Perhaps it's boosted by the sea of terrible video game-to-film adaptations that were coming out around the same time. I mean, when you compare it to the live-action Street Fighter*, Double Dragon, and Super Mario Bros. films that came out in the mid-90's, it easily accomplishes what they failed to do (and failed badly at that).

The Good: coherent story, keeps you entertained, great actions scenes, stays faithful to the material, kick ass soundtrack.

The bad: Not the strongest dialog, some characters not utilized properly.

My only major complaint with Mortal Kombat is that certain fight sequences could have definitely been better, and could have shown off the characters better as well. Sub-Zero and Goro don't really get strong fights, Rayden doesn't get a fight at all, and they're all MK favorites. However, Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Lui Kang, Reptile, and Shang Tsung all have solid outings. I think they're worth the price of admission alone.

If you're a fan of the series, it's definitely worth a viewing.

*If you're looking for a good Street Fighter film, check out the anime Street Fighter II.
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I love this Mortal Kombat!
Movie Nuttball13 November 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Minor Spoilers

Based on one of the greatest fighting games ever is very entertaining and is filled with action,good acting,and great special effects.Most of the original characters are here.Christopher Lambert plays Lord Rayden very well and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa plays Shang Tsung excellent!Goro is huge and is very powerful in this just like he is in the video game.He speaks aswell and those four arms of his is menacing.Mortal Kombat fans will love this movie!
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The best video game adaptation???
JosephCurwenJr5 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is so dense I don't know where to start. Yes, density is here a compliment : no pause in character development, action, story, FX, incredible settings ... Paul W.S. Anderson debuts with a BANG with Mortal Kombat. The cast is really good and portrays admirably the main characters : Linden Ashby is cool and classy with good quotes (It was easy ... We're standing, they're not! ; This is where you fall down), Robin Shou plays the tormented Liu Kang, feeling responsible for his brother's death, but refusing to believe in the supernatural tournament because of pride, Bridgette Wilson plays the tough girl Sonya Blade, wanting to avenge her partner and refusing the help of others, Trevor Goddard playing the disgusting Kano with no pride and manners, always ready to gain some money and power (I still use the "almost lost my lunch" quote); Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa portraying Shang Tsung the evil sorcerer getting power from fallen warriors's souls and tyrannic leader of monster fighters. Using limited SFX to their fullest in the story, Anderson gives life to incredible characters and situations, with a simple story inspired by the Acclaimed (aha) Mortal Kombat video game, using some of the background story. Anderson manages to stay quite faithful to the game (even if blood is nowhere to be found), using SFX where needed, letting actors have fun ; oh yes, I forgot Christopher Lambert portraying Rayden, with quite some humor, but being the wise God dispensing knowledge to human fighters ... Fun, fun and fun is what you'll get her, enjoy!
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Fun action-packed movie
saviovega30 December 2001
I recently watched this movie again after I saw it a couple of years ago in the theater. It was exactly as I remembered it: a fun action-packed movie. Johnny Cage (played by Linden Ashby) is the most entertaining character in the movie. He delivers a couple of one-liners which will surely make you laugh. Christopher Lambert as Rayden was also a good casting choice. If you were a fan of the video game, I'm sure you'll love this movie. My rating: 8/10.
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A Cool Director Makes A Cool Movie
TEAQUIEMORO12 April 2006
I don't care what people say,Paul W.S. Anderson rules! I saw this guy's movies and they are pretty hot.Mortal Kombat,Resident Evil, and Alien Vs. Predator were his best.Mortal Kombat had cool,real martial arts characters(based on the video game),nice looking location fighting arenas and the music kicked ass,especially the Jhonny Cage Vs. Scorpian battle.This guy is one of the coolest directors I've ever read and heard about.His movie should have been one of the top movies there are, I like that much.I always want to know what other movies he has in store for. No other director can make a movie like this.Well thats all I can say about Anderson, except that he really kicks ass.I hope the Mortal Kombat will get many awards for this cool karate moves.Now I'll go play the game on it.This is just as good as the second Mortal Kombat which was good as this.
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Mortal Kombat has begun...
ThePhelpsTwinsROCK12 September 2003
Warning: Spoilers
... and then straight away it ends. Did they not realize when they wrote this movie that if they strayed from the storyline at all it would flop?? Well I guess not. Lui Kang (Robin Shou) was a student at the Shaolin Temple, so why did they write it so that he left? They felt there was another movie needed to suggest that you cannot fight your destiny? Give me a break!

Straight away we see Lui Kang's brother, Chan Kang (Steven Ho), being killed by Shang Tsung (Hiroyuki Tagawa) at the Shaolin Temple. There is a definite problem with this. Did Lui Kang have a brother at all??. Where was Kung Lao during all this? Kung Lao is the last descendant of the one who fought in the first Mortal Kombat and won, his name sake. Did they study the history at all? The introduction to this movie would have been one hundred times better if they looked into the history of this game. It would have been so much better having Lui Kang as a devoted student of the Shaolin Temple and Shang Tsung carried into the temple on a pagoda and Goro behind him completely covered and hidden by a cloak.

Making a prequel to this would have blown away the majority of the fans of Mortal Kombat. It would have also brought in much more money. I have no idea what possessed the people who produced this movie to let it out in the condition that they did. It should have been left on the cutting room floor.

Okay. I have said enough about the storyline. But that is not where it stops going down hill. The settings looked completely fake and was sadly lacking in atmosphere. The settings look like painted cardboard plastered onto the structure pulled together to make the setting with no form what so ever. I expected the walls to cave in whenever there was a fight scene. When the camera zoomed out as they climbed up the staircase when they first arrived at Shang Tsung's Island, it looked like it belonged in "Krull". Now "Krull" isn't a bad movie, for what it was. But let's face it. MK was made 20 years later. Hence the comparison. The sets and scenery should have been 20 years to the better. Not 20 years behind. As for the atmosphere, it felt like a pirates' den rather than the island of a great sorcerer in another realm.

The fight scenes; where do I start? Robin Shou took part as one of the fight choreographers. Unfortunately this does not save the movie. There seems to be no natural flow in any of the fight scenes and how they repeatedly jump off the walls is over the top. Laughter passes my lips every now and then.

When I first saw this movie in the cinema I had high hopes, but the more I watched it the worse it became. Characters were left out, they mixed one and two and there was very little of the background stories for any of the characters. I do have a complement to give however. The casting was spot on. Robin Shou as Lui Kang, Hiroyuki Tagawa as Shang Tsung, Linden Ashby as Johnny Cage, Brigette Wilson as Sonya Blade and Christopher Lambert as Lord Rayden did an exemplary job at playing their part. They were believable and easy to follow with no complexity or hesitations. The dialogue was well written also, with both comical and storyline based scenes.

"A hand full of people on a leaky boat are going to save the world?", Brigette Wilson. "Exactly!", Christopher Lambert. A wonderfully delivered and written scene. Unfortunately there are times where the dialogue is melo-dramatic, mainly Shang Tsung's one liners. "It has begun." and "Your soul is mine!" although delivered well are too melo-dramatic and are two of only 3 or 4 lines which were taken from the game at all.

There were a lot of games made for this series. If they played their cards right they could have made several great movies all following the rich history and storyline created by the game makers, and brought in more money and provided a better level of entertainment. After all if they don't provide us with entertainment they don't get our money. I am very disappointed with this movie and I will not be viewing the third installment to this disaster.

This movie gets 1 carrot.
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Fast paced fight movie.
Aaron137519 February 2003
This movie is about a tournament called of course "Mortal Kombat". Based on the video game it is a fast paced action movie. It does a rather good job, unfortunately the one's who made this film focus the film on the character of Liu Kang instead of the more likable Johnny Kage...they also kill Kano way to quick. All in all though it is a fun movie not to be taken to seriously. The highlight of this one has got to be the fight between Scorpian and Cage as it looked the coolest and had the best martial arts. The fights with the big monster though are stupid and I didn't really like the way the last fight concluded. On the plus side it was a better ending fight than in the sequel.
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Gives an idea of where the film went wrong...
DeepJedi7 October 2000
I've just watched this film on T.V. because it was the most interesting thing on and I fancied seeing something I hadn't seen before. It was rubbish. This is just another of those martial arts movies that can only appeal to children and those who need to be told (but still don't believe) that WWF Wrestling is faked. The kind of people who think that Steven Seagal really is one of the hardest men on the planet. These films are always full of fights that are choreographed by people who seem never to have seen a real fight (or even a decent movie fight), the characters taking turns to execute their ridiculous moves. If this is your thing, then I envy you; it means you can get enjoyment from the worst of movies as well as the best. It is a huge mistake to make a film with such a violent premise as gladiatorial death matches for children; it can't be done! Kids from 6 to 13 years would have loved this film had the violence been trimmed to make it suitable for them and yet as it stands, the adult viewer is disappointed with the *lack* of violence. Another problem was Christopher Lambert; he is quite a big name and would have undoubtedly taken a serious chunk out of the budget. I think they would have been wiser to have hired another newcomer for the role of Rayden and kept the money they would have saved for better art direction and SFX. They had the script in their hands and must have known that it wouldn't make money on its own; so they gambled on star-power to save them. What they forgot was that even Lawrence Olivier can look awful with a bad script. They gambled and lost. The film was obviously short of money; the sets were of television standard and lighting has its limits on what it can do to hide this sort of thing. The effects were the same; a small effects house with an inexperienced team cannot hope to look as good as the likes of the masters at I.L.M. The acting was unremarkable, nothing that any soap actor couldn't have done. The female interest was lacklustre and ordinary looking with even Talisa Soto so poorly lit she looked bland. The plot was weak as wet tissue paper and the fact that the movie was based on a video game is no excuse; it was so full of holes the cast could have fallen through them (and I wish they had)! The soundtrack was a vulgar synthesized effort that any music student still in university could have knocked up in his bedroom. Still, as I said, it will appeal to some people...because some people can get excited by monster trucks! Rating: Very poor, 2/10.
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Flawless victory.
Davyd Teather16 September 2011
Mortal Kombat is a fast paced martial arts action movie with lots of action throughout. The story is told brilliantly and the acting is just superb. I have also played some of the video games and I enjoyed them too. The Mortal Kombat game I like the most is Mortal Kombat 3. This is definitely one of Paul W.S. Anderson best films he has ever directed. But the sequel is just a total disaster. Most of the cast members in the second film replaced cast members from this movie. This movie has a lot of heart and soul. And there are a lot of characters that you really care about. By far the best video game adapted screenplay ever. This is a fun roller-coaster ride of a movie
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