Reviewed by: Tyson Gibson
Starring: Robin Shou, Talisa Soto, Brian Thompson, Sandra Hess, Lynn Williams, James Remar, Musetta Vander / Director: John Leonetti / Released by: New Line Cinema
Ever see the original “Mortal Kombat”? If so, you’ll see nothing new in this second film, save for the addition of the subtitle. Initially, I thought the theatre was trying to trick the audience by showing the original “Mortal Kombat”.
Thankfully, the story is different enough to consider it a separate movie, though I still had a strong feeling of deja vu throughout. They even rehash what the original “MK” was about, just in case you had forgotten. To have a premise for the story, it seems that Shao Kahn (Brian Thompson) has broken the rule of Mortal Kombat that Earth can win its independence and is taking over the Earth despite the fact that this was already accomplished in the first film.
Shao Kahn makes the threatening statement, “The Earth was created in six days, so too shall it be destroyed and on the seventh day, mankind will rest… in peace!” Oooo… Never fear! The original fighters Sonja (Sandra Hess) and Liu Kang (Robin Shou) are back, with a little help from Rayden (James Remar) and Kitana (Talisa Soto), and this time, they have a lot more gods to destroy to save the world from merging with Outworld!
Although the film was advertised as having made improvements over the original, film quality was obviously not one of them. The actors (even the new ones) still cannot act, and even though there were several opportunities for some fancy photography, the film makers opted for plain shots. The fighting wasn’t exciting and much of it had the appearance of fakeness. It seems that the producer (Lawrence Kasanoff) simply relied on the popularity of the well-known arcade games to carry this movie.
It is not without any redeeming quality, however. The storyline was better than the original, even though the dialog was still weak. There was a surprising lack of blood and language which credits the producer with keeping the target audience in mind. I was also surprised (and pleased) to hear the reference to Creation made…
However, it seems that the writers (Friedman, Zabel) forgot to credit the Creator. Instead, they opted to bring in elder gods composed of the elements of earth: wind, water, and fire. The only moral that a Christian could squeeze from the story is teamwork and the importance of family as Rayden insists on the discouraged fighters to help one another. Also, Rayden seems almost a Christlike character in that he sacrifices himself for mankind because he loves them so. Ironically, he is killed by Shao Khan who shoots him with something that looks like a pentagram. Hmmm… interesting. Still, it’s reaching. Besides these weak morals and analogies, the movie is not worth your money.
Year of Release—1997