Monday, February 28, 2011

Back in Time Reviews: Mortal Kombat (1995)

If you're of a certain age you spent a lot of time in arcades "back in the day," and one of the games you played was Mortal Kombat. You loved it so much that Hollywood decided you'd love a movie about it, too.

Yeah, not so much.

It's not a BAD movie...well, maybe it is. But along with its badness there is a certain quirky likability. It's the dorky, sweet cousin you wouldn't want to live with but is fun to visit.

How do they turn a violent fighting game into a feature length movie? With a contrived situation, of course. The IMDB short description: "Three unknowing martial artists are summoned to a mysterious island to compete in a tournament whose outcome will decide the fate of the world." (Cue the cheesy, intense music. Then scream "MORTAL KOMBAT!")

Fortunately there's plenty of action, some clever lines, and enough beefcake/cheesecake for the casual movie watcher to stay entertained. Most of the special effects look dated but in some ways that just adds to its dorky charm (similar to Voyages of Sinbad). We consider it a guilty pleasure like the empty calories of a chocolate bar.

The Commander's Rating: Three out of five Vulcan salutes.
Pros: Mindless action flick (if that's your mood). Wacky humor. Talisa Soto. Robin Shou. The best exercise soundtrack this side of "Jock Jams."
Cons: Christopher Lambert (Seriously? He's the ancient Japanese god of thunder and lightening?) Dorkiness.
Recommendation: A fun watch when you don't have anything better to do - like wash the cat, do some laundry, watch some paint dry... Ok, it's better than that. It's fun when you're in the right mood.

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