I haven’t seen it since opening night in 1997, but don’t think I was eager to see it. It was a Friday, some friends and I were looking for something to do, so we found ourselves in a sold out show of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. The movie was terrible, but what made the experience so memorable is about 20 minutes into the movie every person in the theater also realized the movie was a piece of shit. For the remainder of the movie, the audience took turns making fun of it as the entire theater laughed hysterically. I had so much fun, and it was this beautiful sequence of events that led to something I’ll probably never experience again. Well, now nearly 20 years later I decided to put down the controller to my Sega Genesis and try some Fatalities as I find some things to like in 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
With so many fight scenes, there are bound to be some stinkers in there and the difference between the good and bad ones mostly revolve around the actors or actresses doing the fighting. There are essentially two types of actors in MK:A: the person who is trying to get into the movie business, or the person who is a badass martial artists and was signed on to do this movie. For example, you have moments where JJ Perry, a stunt coordinator and martial artist, fighting someone like Robin Shou (Liu Kang) and the fights are great. Then four minutes later you’re in a fight scene where Lynn “Red” Williams -- a former American Gladiator -- is literally just swinging fake punches at CGI characters. When it works, it works well enough for an action movie fan like myself.
I’ve spoken in the past that there are movies out there where it is clear that no one involved with the movie cared at all about the movie. It’s VERY clear that MK:A was a money grab after a moderately successful first movie, but I do think there are people involved with this that are honestly trying to make a good movie. Not to keep picking on Lynn Williams, but he’s a perfect example of what to like and hate about MK:A. He’s given shitty things to say that border on racist as the token black character. His fight scenes are terrible and he’s not a very good actor… but hell if that guy isn’t trying his ass off. Unfortunately, though, wanting and trying doesn’t make a good movie and MK:A is filled with that.