Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

Genres - Action, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Adventure, Martial Arts  |   Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Jason Gibner

Continuing in the tradition of shockingly putrid video game film adaptations, comes this sequel to Paul W.S. Anderson's surprise hit version of the fighting game Mortal Kombat. Whereas the first film was a guilty schlock pleasure, this sequel is an exercise in the art of genuinely beautiful trash cinema. Directed by acclaimed cinematographer John R. Leonetti, the film portends bad things when the star of the original, Christopher Lambert, is replaced by James Remar and one of the first film's big heroes, Johnny Cage (Chris Conrad), is killed off in the first ten minutes. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation never takes the foot off the accelerator as our heroes fight endless kung fu robots, travel under the Earth in giant balls, and encounter creatures made with some the most offensive CGI effects ever seen. In between all of this, the audience gets to hear some gloriously stupid dialogue and acting so bad it's no shock that much of the film's cast has yet to be seen onscreen since. Perhaps the slogan "Destroy All Expectations" was meant not as a tool to sell the film to the video game-obsessed youth at whom it was targeted, but as a warning to all going into Mortal Kombat Annihilation expecting any kind of reality onscreen. Lovers of extreme cinema will delight in the film, which has already found a devoted cult following, but all others are recommended to keep an extreme distance.