Plot: What’s it about?
Movies are basically based on anything these days, in earlier times they were based on Shakespeare, novels and even poems. Well, this is now the 21st Century and we get a lot of our ideas for movies from Comic Books, old movies that were based on novels and such, and video games. Yes, it’s happened more than once, too. From the most popular titles like “Double Dragon”, “Super Mario Brothers” and “Street Fighter”. Now what’s interesting is that Street Fighter the video game started a whole craze that is, to my knowledge, still going on. The craze is the combat fighting, you versus against some other person who fight in a series of karate-type moves that no mere mortal could do. In my opinion, Mortal Kombat (the game still) was a direct ripoff of the Street Fighter game, but was more successful due to it’s graphic violence and the addition of “fatalities” (which allow you to set your opponent on fire or cut off his head after he or she is already down for the count…nice touch,eh?). So the natural progression from video game to feature film is now set…
Mortal Kombat came out and to an unexpected suprise was a big hit. The movie keeps it simple, mainly for the young viewing audience, and basically adapts the game to the screen. The main characters (the good guys) feature Johnny Cage, the top grossing Hollywood action superstar type (think Jean Claude Van Damme), special agent Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson) and resident karateman, Liu Kang. These three are all mysteriously taken to a world to fight in a tournament to save the world. This tournament comes around once every 1000 years, and low and behold if isn’t on these guys shoulders! After working out their personal differences, the tournament quickly gets underway and we meet some of the bad guys. Kano, the arch nemisis of Sonya Blade, Scorpion and Sub Zero (two Ninja’s with very unusal powers) and the baddest guy of them all, the resident champion, Goro. Goro is scary, he still scares me! The four handed 10 foot tall monster is the most feared and respected champion of Mortal Kombat and if he wins this time, the Earth is in some deep trouble.
Sporting a really rockin’ soundtrack, the fights are very cool to watch. The moves are almost unbelievable and it’s obvious that they really took their time and tried to make some sort of movie with a plot. Mortal Kombat is all about good clean fun. True, it does target a younger audience, or that of which plays and is familar with the video game, anyway. While the characters are not really developed, the action more than makes up for the plot, or lack of it. If you’re in the mood for a movie that isn’t trying to win any awards and is just out to make you have a good time, then you’ve found what you have been looking for. Though if you’re over 30, you may not know what is goind on!
Video: How does it look?
One of the first releases on DVD, this is one of the first releases from New Line. Out of their very impressive catalog, New Line has done three releases that are not 16:9 enhanced…this is one of them (The Mask and Se7en are the other two). While it’s clear (no pun intended) to see that the picture lacks the benefit of anamorphic enhancement, the picture overall is very clear. While some scenes suffer from artifacting and severe oversaturation (Johnny Cage vs. Scorpion comes to mind), it could be a lot worse. Still, I’m still holding to the belief that New Line will take these three older titles (Se7en is already announced as an upcoming SE) and do it justice.
Audio: How does it sound?
While lacking in plot, video and extras, we figure that this film has got to have some redeeming value. It does. If a movie featuring a techno soundtrack and fighting doesn’t sound good, then what will? The soundtrack sounds great as the fights are going, but I noticed that a few of the scenes sounded a bit “muffled” which kind of disturbed me. Still, for the most part the mix is very agressive and will not disappoint.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Trailer and some cast bios (real cast bios of the character’s, not actors) are included. Oddly, the commentary track that was included on the LD (Laserdisc) was not included…oh well.