Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monster Crap Inductee: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

Monster Crap Inductee: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
November 1997

I remember watching the original Mortal Kombat movie and I remember loving that movie very much. The fact that every character was given a good sendoff when they died and the fact that they were given a good introduction and a good background story made this movie that good. So it was very exciting to hear that Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was being made. However, when I went to theaters, this was the first movie I could not truly review the first time. Why? Because the audio in the theater went bad during the middle of the movie which screwed me of maybe some important lines. I remember that Mortal Kombat: Annihilation opened at #1 in the box office. However, it dropped all the way to #6 the next week. I should have known that the movie was terrible by the drop. Not many movies did that. Only terrible movies made a huge drop like that. But like always, my stubborn mind would not allow it. So when the movie first came on video, I went to see it. And boy, did I not miss much with the audio problems.

First, we begin where the first one left off where the first one ended, where our great heroes celebrate their victory in the last Mortal Kombat. Suddenly, the huge tower falls and down comes several Outworlders, led by Shao Kahn. I wish I could show you who was with him, however, that picture if not available. However, I remember and I can tell you who was with him. We had Motaro, Ermac, Rain, Sindel and Sheeva.

The Earth fighters try to fight, but the battle is short and ends with Johnny Cage getting killed. Now, I have no problem with that because in the video games, he does get killed by the time the second Mortal Kombat arrives.

However, I noticed several changes to several key characters that can’t go unnoticed in this review. Rayden changed actors from Christopher Lambert to James Remar. Now a short look wouldn’t make much of the difference, but during the movie when James Remar started talking….the difference was evident

Also, Sonya Blade, who will get a lot more time in this movie, also changed actresses. In the first picture it was Bridgette Wilson, now the role is played by Sandra Hess. Again, you could obviously tell the difference between the two.

Also if you check, Johnny Cage had a new actor at the helm. Linden Ashby did it originally and now the quick role was done by Chris Conrad.

The problem with this is not that they were bad; the problem lies with whoever directed it, which in this case, happens to be John R. Leonetti. The fact that it looked like he was merely looking for someone who looked like those actors insults fans’ intelligence. And when you start to insult fans’ intelligence, you start to go downhill. Anyway, we figure out that our heroes have only seven days to save Earth from Shao Kahn. So what do you do when you don’t know where your enemy is and the fact that his enemy is everywhere? Easy, you split up. Liu Kang and Kitana go to find a warrior named Nightwolf while Sonya Blade goes to find her partner, Jax.

What The Hell??

Actually, to be fair, it was rarely taken off because in one video game and several comics, Shao Khan has a very deformed face. During that scene, we find out that Shinnok, an elder god, is Shao Kahn’s father. Fans will note that Shinnok only appeared in Mortal Kombat Four and is in no way related to Shao Kahn.

However, they bump into Smoke and Smoke decides to fight them. Huge problem here is in the movie, Smoke shoots missiles. However, anyone who has played the game knows that Sektor shot missiles and Smoke was a Scorpion clone who shot wired spears from his stomach.

Also, Smoke is killed by Sub-Zero, who later takes his mask off. He reveals that the Sub-Zero that was killed in the first movie was his brother. Now while that makes sense, what doesn’t make sense is that we are never told the relationship between Sub-Zero and Smoke. Also, Scorpion makes a brief appearance to kidnap Princess Kitana. Now it seems that the people making the second movie forgot that Scorpion was killed in the first movie because after he makes his brief appearance, he is never seen from again. Talk about screw-ups that still made the cut, this is a huge gap.

Sonya does meet Jax and sees that Jax has gotten himself metal arms. Problem with that is that
Jax had his arms ripped off by Kano and since Kano is dead, they go with the idea that Jax has a confidence problem so he gets his arms cybernetically enhanced. During this meeting the two will face Cyrax, who I have no problems with at all. I mean, they keep the whole net, although they add that it will kill you upon contact and he has two little grenades that are awesome

Cyrax cannot defeat the team of Jax and Sonya Blade and he dies.

Anyway, we also hear that Kabal and Stryker are killed. Also, in a brief disagreement, Rain is killed by Shao Kahn. They also show that Motaro and Shiva definitely have problems with each other. However, Motaro is not the general of the Execution Squad. Instead, Rain was the general and that position was given to Sindel after Rain is killed

Liu Kang finally reaches Nightwolf who gives Liu Kang the gift of Animality and that is all we see out of Nightwolf as well. We also are introduced to Jade, who is Asian? Now I am in no way a racist, but the fact is that Jade is black in the games. Jade later reveals that she is aligned with Shao Kahn and helps Sindel escape capture. However, because she didn’t fight, she is killed.
We see Mileena and Sonya Blade get into a fight, in the mud. This scene is pointless except for proving one thing. That John Leonetti loves mud wrestling. We also see that with each Outsider dead, a dragon is released and of course, one less dragon is one less opening for the gate.
We also see that Rayden has given up his powers so that he can help the earthlings. Rayden also gets a haircut, which never happens in the series. More rules broken. His first challenge is to face a bunch of Reptiles.
I have only two problems with the Reptile scene. One is that the scene is incredibly short seeing as how Reptile gave Liu Kang problems in the first one. Second is that Reptile is one person, not many. Before this fight, we see that Sindel is at least useful because she can scream real loud and her screams can create rock falls.

We also reveal that while saving Kitana, Liu Kang gets into a fight with the jailer who is none other than Baraka. Baraka easily defeated in battle and Liu Kang is able to rescue Kitana. Sheeva comes in and unfortunately for her, she gets squashed by a cage so we never get to see her ever fight.
Finally after all the crap we have seen, we get the final fight. We also reveal that Rayden is also the son of Shinnok so basically Shao Kahn and Rayden are brothers, which makes no sense in too many reasons. Rayden tries to fight Shao Kahn, but Kahn proves the better and Rayden is dead. Now we get a sight person tag team match style format where four battles are happening simultaneously. Jax takes on Motaro or as he calls him “Mr. Ed”, Kitana takes on her mother Sindel, Sonya decides to take the remains which to her is Ermac and finally Liu Kang decides to face Shao Kahn. First we see Jax fight Motaro, but his arms seem to too much trouble. He finally loses the cybernetics in his arms to reveal his real arms. Jax’ confidence comes through and Motaro is defeated. Next we see Sonya vs. Ermac. Sonya gets the early advantage until Ermac splits into Ermac and Noob Saibot. Now, I’m also not even touching the problems with this. Anyways…as expected, Sonya defeats Ermac and is able to beat Noob Saibot thanks to Jax.
Totally Worth Dying For....

The battle between Kitana and Sindel proves to be uneventful as Kitana easily defeats her mother.
This leaves us with Liu Kang vs. Shao Kahn. Shao Kahn gets the early advantage until we get the Animality Battle. No offense, but the special effects are really bad. So bad that you can immediately tell that they are computer animated. After a quick battle, Kahn bleeds. Shinnok tries to interfere, but is stopped by the elder gods. Liu Kang defeats Shao Kahn quickly after and for his intentions, Shinnok is killed by the other elder gods. Rayden is resurrected and then becomes a member of the elder gods. The movie ends with everyone living happily ever after.

Sorry, but this movie has too many flaws for it not to be a failure. John R. Leonetti proved that he was not a director. In fact, he is a good cinematographer and is one of those people who should stay at his original position. He is right now directing the potential crap known as Butterfly Effect 2. I also hear that there have been talks on making a third Mortal Kombat movie. Personally, they might want to take note of this movie and know that insulting the intelligence of the fans is very bad.

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