In the early 1990s arcades were faced with some of the greatest fighting games of all time. Sure, they have been eclipsed in playability and graphical beauty, but there is no denying the arcade powerhouses that were Mortal Kombat and Streetfighter II. I was always more of a Streetfighter guy, but here was a definite allure to the bloodshed and real-looking characters of Mortal Kombat. The meteoric rise and sustained popularity helped push this title into the Hollywood eye, this getting it into movie theaters with its first film in 1995, from there they were off and running, or so we thought.
Anyway, 1995 saw Mortal Kombat become a hit on the big screen. That film also introduced us to Paul W.S. Anderson, who has gone on to helm such movies as Event Horizon and Aliens vs. Predator. This first film also featured such stars as Christopher Lambert, Bridgette Wilson, Cary Tagawa, Robin Shou, and Talisa Soto. It is not a good film, but it is certainly an entertaining B movie. With that being true, it would lead one to believe that a second film would be jus as much fun, right? Right?
Well, that isn't exactly how it went down. Two years after the initial hit, the game series is still going strong and the movie is poised to have a successful theatrical run and bring us even more characters from the series. The problems with Mortal Kombat: Annihilation are many, even before you see the film you have to be concerned that only two cast members return from the first (Robin Shou and Talisa Soto). Beyond that, the directorial reigns were handed to first timer John R. Leonetti (cinematographer on the first film).
Annihilation opens by informing us that the events of the first film have saved the Earth for another generation. Liu Kang's (Shou) defeating Shang Tsung (Tagawa) assured our safety. However, the calm does not last long as Shao Kahn (Brian Thompson) has cracked open a portal between Earth and Outworld so that the two worlds begin to merge, He'll o Earth, so to speak. It is up to Liu Kang, Sonya Blade (Sanda Hess), Kitana (Soto), and Raiden (James Remar) to stop Kahn and his cronies, which includes Kitana's mother, Syndel (Musetta Vander)