Mortal Kombat (1995) starring Christopher Lambert, Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras directed by Paul W.S. Anderson Movie Review

Mortal Kombat (1995)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Robin Shou and Bridgette Wilson Sampras in Mortal Kombat (1995)

Game On

In my early 20s I got into the gaming thing, it even took over from movies as my main love for a short while but I would never say I was a big gamer, as someone once commented my style of playing was banging the buttons especially when it came to fighting games such as "Mortal Kombat". So whilst I am sure that there were many who were excited when "Mortal Kombat" was turned into a movie and looked forward to seeing some live action fighting and the story brought to life I wasn't that bothered. I am still not that bothered as having watched "Mortal Kombat" a few times over the years I can't say it is anything than more than average with a well chosen cast but not much else.

Martial arts fighter Liu Kang (Robin Shou), Hollywood action star Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby - Wyatt Earp) and U.S. soldier Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson Sampras - Last Action Hero) all find themselves heading to an international martial arts tournament called "Mortal Kombat" for different reasons. Kang wants to avenge the death of his brother, Cage wants to prove he is no fake and Blade is after a criminal called Kano. But they learn on their way from Lord Rayden (Christopher Lambert - Highlander) that their purpose is far greater than their individual mission as if Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa - Rising Sun) and his mutants win again evil will take over the Earth.

Linden Ashby in Mortal Kombat (1995)

Trying to put myself in the shoes of someone who cared about "Mortal Kombat" the game I would think I would be impressed. The look of the movie is dark, the action is frequent, quick and snappy and many of the characters are recreated with the trio of Robin Shou, Linden Ashby and Bridgette Wilson Sampras being well cast. Yes even from my sketchy memory it seems that some things have been altered to make it work in the confines of a movie but it does a nice job of bringing the action of the game to the big screen.

But as someone who played the game more out of a desire to get to the end rather than because the story and characters interested me "Mortal Kombat" is a different kettle of fish. The hokey dialogue is utterly corny and the storyline whilst there and takes us to an out of this world experience is no different to so many movies about a martial arts tournament. But as someone who doesn't really care the action is so cut up that there is no flow to it which is a shame as that is the real appeal for those who didn't care for the game, they want to see lots of great fight scenes not overly edited ones.

As for the acting, well in many ways that is the best thing about the movie but more because the actors who have been chosen do a good job of recreating the pixelated counterparts rather than for actually being good characters. I suppose that is what you expect from this sort of movie where the top priority is the look rather than anything close to depth but maybe once someone will think past just doing the obvious and try and make something more than pretty.

What this all boils down to is that "Mortal Kombat is entertaining even for a someone who was only casually interested in the games but its real appeal is for those who loved the games more than just for the fun of it.