Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation isn’t the worst film adapted from a video game, that dis-honor goes to Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, but it’s a close second. Here is a film with near-constant action, a pulsating soundtrack, and acrobatic martial arts mayhem. So, why is it so boring? John R. Leonetti, who served as cinematographer on the gorgeous looking first movie, takes over as director on this sequel. It’s still a good-looking picture, but this time around the magic is totally absent from the screen.

In defiance of the Elder Lords, the evil outworlders are back to wreak havoc on Earth. Led by the mighty Shao Khan (Brian Thompson), their gruesome goal is humanity’s complete and utter destruction. Earth’s last and only hope is the mighty martial arts warrior Liu Kang (Robin Shou), and his gang of ferocious friends.

It’s hard to pin-point who deserves the blame for this final product. I believe the fault lies with the writers and an over-zealous producer who tries to up the ante on everything including fights, characters, special effects, and locations of said fights. The creative team behind Mortal Kombat: Annihilation makes a deadly miscalculation by killing off Johnny Cage, the first film’s most likable character, in the opening moments of the sequel. That is a mortal wound the film never recovers from.

Director: John R. Leonetti
Robin Shou, Talisa Soto, Brian Thompson James Remar

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