Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mortal Kombat Annihilation (1997)

"Destroy all expectations" is right..

It’s been about 15 years since I’ve seen this abomination.  Until recently viewing it again marking the second and perhaps final time I’ll watch it.  There are two distinct differences between my first view and the second.  The first time I was expecting something along the same level as the original, oh my teenage self does make me laugh at times like this I do admit.  The second time I knew this movie was awful yet I watched it anyway to torture myself.  It’s not as if this movie is so bad it’s good either, it’s simply plain bad.  It was on the drive home from the theater back in 1997, yes I went to the cinema to watch it, that my friend and I were so bummed about how terrible the movie was.  His dad offered a consoling statement that this was a sequel you can’t expect as much.  It’s an obvious enough claim now and it alerted me to the realism that its true most originals are almost always better.  I know why you’re here though so let’s get to the part where I rip apart this movie.

Halloween costume!
                The story picks up exactly where it left off from the first movie.  Why some of the lead characters have different cloths on is mystery number one.  Shouldn’t they still have the previous wardrobe in a box labeled “MK” in the studio somewhere?  If you continue from the same scene you should consider it but the filmmakers didn’t do much of that in this one.  Shao Kahn (Brian Thompson) invades earth breaking the rules of the agreement of invasion.  If you don’t win ten straight tournaments you can’t touch earth!  I want to stop for a second and ask why a white man was cast to play someone with the name “Shao Kahn”.  It’s not like Mr. Thompson nailed the role anyway so why not at least snag an Asian to portray that character? 

Come on look at this guy, seriously?
                The big deal is that the realm of earth is getting absorbed by Outworld in six days.  Rayden (James Remar) fights Shao Kahn in a nightmare display of choreography and “power ranger” types of dives, which also continue throughout the movie in other fights.  Mr. Remar is a huge step backward from Christopher Lambert as the god of thunder and lightning.  He seems more like Rayden’s lesser cousin or a younger brother named Treyden.  However you’d like to view it as it’s not an adequate substitute.  Kahn resurrects a queen named Sindel who is also Kitana’s mother and puts her under a spell to be evil.  They don’t show any of that she just appears alongside them.  Kahn eventually gets Sonya Blade (Sandra Hess) under his foot and threatens her death.  Hess is probably the only newcomer who can keep the character she’s playing not too far off pace from the previous film.  Don’t get me wrong it’s still disastrous mostly.  Rayden meanwhile has all of Kahn’s generals, about five or so bad guys on the brink of becoming burnt hot dogs with his amazing electrical attacks.  Rayden releases the generals in a deal with Kahn to spare Sonya, come on Rayden you know Kahn all too well to know he won’t do that.  Kahn proceeds to “finish her” but Johnny Cage attacks Kahn and dies instantly.  Good one bonehead Rayden, one of your guys dies and all the generals are still alive.  Fry them while you still have your powers!  He loses them when earth is fully absorbed.  I’d be frying everything in sight including Kahn.  Zap, zap, zap is all I would desperately be doing at a time like this.

Liu can't complain much I suppose right?
                The bad guys at this point are large and in charge but for some idiotic reason they all flee by teleportation.  Why run away when you could kill them all right now, shorter movie but it would have been better.  Rayden decides it’s best to split up and try to get help while pulling his hair back.  It was hilarious to see Rayden fixing his hair in a somewhat feminine way at a supposed critical time in the story.  Liu Kang (Robin Shou), Kitana (Talisa Soto) and Sonya go out looking for help.  Robin and Talisa are the only holdovers from the original but their performances aren’t nearly as well this time around.  It’s not a good plan to split up since you’d be easier to die in smaller groups or is it?  Kahn had them at his mercy practically and teleported off so perhaps the heroes feel they can try it out.

                They travel in the spheres the American gladiators used to battle with.  Sonya goes after Jax but why?  She always wants to work alone anyway.  She finds him with some metal coverings on his arms to make him stronger.  He’s in a military base of some sort but it’s entirely abandoned with him strapped to an operating table.  You’re comrades left you to die when Kahn came to suck earth into Outworld.  I’d be far more upset than Jax was.  He’s just so happy and giddy to have his new arms.  Here comes a battle with Cyrax who looks like a stormtrooper’s cousin if you ask me.  There is no intro for Cyrax so you can only assume he’s here to destroy Sonya and Jax.  A bunch of random guys in black cloaks also attack, who are they?  I guess Kahn’s goons?  It’s a terrible battle sequence in which Cyrax goes “predator” and blows up after it gets beat.  I believe Sonya performs her kiss of death fatality as well but it’s awkward.
Cyrax had anger issues..
He is furious for being cut in Star Wars!  Revenge at last!

"Get yourself over here" for the rest of the movie
                Liu and Kitana are looking for Nightwolf since he knows the super duper secret to defeating Kahn.  Liu seems very confident deprived suddenly in this movie.  Extremely recent since this movie does pick up exactly where the other left off, Liu was riding high on confidence having beaten the evil sorcerer.  Now he is unable to defeat Kahn?  It doesn’t connect or explain why he can’t it just forces the issue he can’t so as to prolong the movie.  They get attacked by Smoke, who looks very similar to Cyrax the up and coming stormtrooper apprentice.  Sub-Zero shows up and saves them with his freezing attacks.  Wait I thought he was dead in the last movie?  What is he doing here?  I’m so confused, how can I ever figure this out?  He is apparently the younger brother of Sub-Zero and has a cheaper looking outfit as well.  It looks Halloween costume-“esque”.  Scorpion shows up although he died in the last movie too, which isn’t explained as to why he’s back.  Sub-Zero and he fight in a somewhat boring battle.  Scorpion can’t be beaten and Liu wishes now that Johnny Cage were alive since he knows how to kill him.  Anyway Scorpion captures Kitana and teleports away while saying, “Sucker”.  I guess it’s a line he says in the video games.  We see no more Scorpion for some reason though as he seems to be very effective in his scene.  Can’t we at least get some clarity of what happened to him?  Did he teleport to the bottom of the ocean on accident after taking Kitana to Kahn’s place?  Sub-Zero preaches to stay together and not be alone in the fight against Kahn then promptly leaves Liu hanging by mysteriously vanishing!  Thanks you jerk!  Was this merely a cameo for you?  The power to freeze could have come in handy.

Liu's new girlfriend, it seems to be working out
                Rayden meets with gods of some sort and asks why Kahn is allowed to break the rules.  He also asks how to stop him.  It’s freaking Mortal Kombat, you kill him with a fatality if possible you moron.  What a waste of dialogue.  Rayden opts to become mortal to show how much he loves the humans.  I guess you might as well be human since your powers are dissipating anyway.   Liu finally finds Nightwolf to be taught about bestiality, I mean animality!  It’s a technique that turns you into an animal to fight as, it’s random as to what animal you get so hope it’s not a gerbil or rabbit.  It’s pretty stupid actually but oh well.  And that’s the end of Nightwolf, he’s in like one scene and that’s that, OK.  After travelling this far for a cause that seemingly is a big plot moment it cuts off abruptly.  Liu gets involved with a chick named Jade, who looks like she is up to no good, and offers to help defeat Kahn.  He accepts and off they go all of a sudden to meet Rayden where the gods live at a temple.  It’s bone crushingly bad dialogue after dialogue.  It’s less than B-movie worthy quality and all the computer effects are so tacky.  I still don’t know how it was released to theaters.  I’ve side tracked let’s continue if I have the strength to.

Hey Kitana, where's Liu? -Sonya
                Sonya and Jax get stopped by Mileena who Sonya thinks is Kitana.  Give me a break; they are totally different from their outfits to their weapons.  Why would you think Kitana would be attacking you anyway?  It’s a mud wrestling fight to the finish as Sonya wins of course.  It’s another bumbling battle but at least it’s a mud fight with women.  It quite possibly is the most memorable part for me.  What?  Is that so terrible?  Jax beats up some demon creature in “Whack-a-mole” style.  He really pounds on this terrible CGI monster then it goes back down its hole, it’s really a funny scene.  I mean it’s a vital part of the story as Jax rescues Sonya from danger.  They meet up with Rayden and Liu at the temple where Rayden sports his new hair due he’s so proud of.  He also can now officially fight with them against Kahn as a mortal.  I don’t get why that’s necessary though, keep your powers as long as possible unless the budget for electricity is out!  They all teleport with Rayden to rescue Kitana from Kahn’s fortress when they’re supposed to be stopping earth from being absorbed by Outworld right?  It’s confusing at times; they need to get their priorities in order.  Meanwhile Kahn, Sindel and his knight’s are marching through a canyon toward the temple.  What’s up with the knights?  Where do armored knights fit into this?  All of a sudden we’ll be laying siege to a castle!  They watch them teleport away while laughing like complete idiots.  It’s weird, I don’t know.

MiB Alien Cockroach right?
                Liu and Jade save Kitana and fight off a bunch of Barakas.  Baraka is another character with no intro and such.  They cram so many characters into this movie you never know what’s going on.  Who is that?  What do they do?  What’s the story on them?  Etc.  I’ll skip ahead to the finale as I grow weary of going over petty dialogue that actually gets them to the boss fights.  Seriously it’s horrible conversation after the next.

                Jax, Liu, Kitana and Sonya all fight against a boss one on one.  The fights are atrocious and I’ll leave it at that.  Rayden is revealed to be the brother of Kahn with some old guy (Shinnok) as their father.  Liu and Kahn turn into a hydra and Godzilla like beast.  They fight it out, change back to humans; fight some more until Liu wins.  Rayden dies then get revived at the end by the gods.  It’s silly, uninteresting and so poorly executed that even completing the review for it is extremely tedious.  Don’t ever watch this movie, pretend it doesn’t exist.  You’ll live longer for it.

                It’s a bumbling display of battle scenes accompanied with some of the poorest acting I have ever seen.  I felt by watching this that it was forced into production simply to capitalize on the franchises success with the previous film and all the video games.  What I didn’t enjoy mostly was the severe lack of character introductions.  If you didn’t follow the games then you get left wondering what everyone’s name is and at times whose side they’re on.  Earth is also incredibly desolate as if all humans, animals and even insects were all destroyed.  You only see the handful of characters from start to finish.  Character development is shallow and almost nonexistent.  It’s really a movie I would guess most viewers wouldn’t be able to watch all the way through and I can’t blame them.

                Rating: 1 of 10

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