“Mortal Kombat” was directed by Paul Anderson who also did “Event Horizon”, “Alien VS. Predator”, “Death Race” & the “Resident Evil” series. The film is based on the video games series of the same name which came out in 1992. The film stars Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa & Christopher Lambert. The film is based on the first game in the series but has elements of the 1993 sequel included such as characters and plot points.
After learning about his brother’s death, Liu Kang (Shou) returns home to The Temple of Light and prepares for an upcoming fighting tournament. In Hong Kong, a Special Forces officer, Sonya Blade (Wilson) is in pursuit of Kano, an black arms dealer who is heading to the same tournament. In Los Angeles, Hollywood martial artist, Johnny Cage (Ashby) is facing criticism for faking his fighting abilities and is invited to participate in this tournament as well. The tournament is known as Mortal Kombat, held by a demon sorcerer, Shang Tsung (Tawaga). In order to enter the realm of Earth, Shang Tsung and his warriors must win 10 tournaments. Liu Kang, Sonya and Cage are advised by Lord Raiden (Lambert), the god of thunder and lightning and protector of the realm. Princess Kitana (Soto) also advises but only to stop Shang Tsung from within. The fate of the world is in the hands of 3 warriors from different backgrounds and have different motivations to participate. They must put it all aside to save the world or suffer the consequences of an unimaginable death.
Out of all the films that are based on video games, this is the best one, however that really isn’t saying much. This was a solid action fantasy film which fits in for the mid 90s. The acting is solid, the visuals are great and the fight scenes are top notch. While the film is nowhere near as violent and dark as the video game, it does a great transferring from the game to bug screen. Its a basic story with great visuals and fight scenes.
“Mortal Kombat” was not the first film that was based on a video game. Others like “Tron”, “Super Mario Bros.” & “Street Fighter” had all come out prior to 1995. 2 years later, the sequel, “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” was released with a new director and saw Robin Shou & Talisa Soto return from the previous film. The film was a disaster and almost destroyed the nostalgia of the game. Paul Anderson would go on and directed another video game film in 2002, “Resident Evil”, starring his soon to be wife, Milla Jovovich. The film went on to spawn 5 more sequels, making it the highest grossing film series based on a video game with Anderson directing and Jovovich starring in all 6 films despite the 4 films being complete disasters.