Mortal Kombat

"Movie Magazine International" Review -- Air Date: Week Of 8/23/95

By John A. Lavin

They all laughed at me when I REQUESTED to see New Line Cinema's video-game based movie, "Mortal Kombat". They said,"Mortal Kombat? Are you kidding? Why would you want to see a piece of crap like that?" Well, friends, once again I, your loyal Movie Magazine crusader for the nerdier joys of life, get the last laugh. For you see, "Mortal Kombat" is one of the most enjoyable mindless action movies I've seen in ages!

For those of you not familiar with the subtle nuances of the video game in which you can rip out the spine of your opponent, "Mortal Kombat" is basically a game that involves fighting, maiming, and killing, and lots of it. As a player, your objective is to decimate your opponent, and win the tournament of death you've entered. The movie "Mortal Kombat" takes this concept, and all the characters in the game, and creates a martial arts movie that's very reminiscent of Bruce Lee's masterpiece, "Enter the Dragon". The fighting comes fast and furious, as we discover that the fate of all humanity rests on the fighting skills of three martial artists. For nine generations, the evil sorceror, Shang Tsung, has led his evil minions to victory against the best fighters the Earth could offer. Should he win the tenth Mortal Kombat tournament in a row, humanity's screwed. So, the good and powerful Rayden, a mysterious Thunder God, recruits three fighters to save the world.

He chooses Johnny Cage, a smart-alecky martial arts movie star; Sonya Blade, a revenge seeking, butt-kicking cop; and the mighty Liu Kang, the best fighter of the three, and a buffed out cross between Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Together, they travel to a remote, mist shrouded island, where they face the twisted minions of the evil Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat. Now doesn't that sound cool? It is. Or at least, I like to think so.

As the film progresses, the fights get more and more intense; the special effects become downright spectacular, with sorcerous opponents and multi-armed villains; and the wit and humor of the film's hidden diamond-in-the-rough, Christopher Lambert, comes to the fore. He provides comic relief as the all powerful Thunder God, and displays the versatility and brilliance that we've all come to expect from everyone's favorite Highlander. So, let's face it, the only real question here is why WOULDN'T you go to see a movie like this? C'mon, get off that high horse!

Copyright 1995 John A. Lavin

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