What to Watch: It Has Begun!!!! 1995's Mortal Kombat! on Netflix
Updated: Sep 5
As I was looking through Netflix to find some movies to take my mind off of the world's situation. I found my childhood movie/game Mortal Kombat! Immediately I was transported back into that dark movie theater in 1995 when I first saw the film in theaters. Mortal Kombat, first and foremost, is one of the best games of the '90s and today. We will get into a little bit of background info about the game, and then I will go into the movie.
According to IGN.com, Mortal Kombat was developed in contrast to the Street Fighter II game, which was developed by Capcom. Street Fighter II was one of the few games that helped bring the fighting game genre into the mainstream. Midway, the developer of Mortal Kombat (MK) was looking to make a name for itself in the gaming market during the 1980s. Two of Midways' newest employees, John Tobias, a game developer for Smash TV and game programmer Ed Boon began working on an attempt at their first fighter game. Tobias used inspiration from Jean- Claude Van Damme, King Fu movies of the 80s, and Chinese Mythology to develop unique fighting characters for MK. Ed Boon began working with Tobias in designing the graphics for the game, and the rest is history!
Mortal Kombat stood out among the crowd of fighter games because of the ingenuity from Tobias and Boon. The characters of the game had deep story plots wrapped in Chinese folklore along with a sleek style of the 1990s. Also, the violence was much more calculated than the other games, which made it a target during the censorship era of the 1990s of protecting young children from violent images in games and tv. Mortal Kombat today is still relevant as it was in the '90s with up to date visual graphics and new characters. The latest edition Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath comes out June 16, 2020, or May 26? the articles were fuzzy on the actual release date but is available for download now.
Now back to the movie! Mortal Kombat the film centers around Liu Kang (Robin Shou), who is seeking revenge for his brothers' murder, Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson), who is pursuing Kano, the fugitive responsible for killing her partner in the line of duty, and Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), the famous martial arts movie star looking to revamp his career. Each of these three is secretly chosen by Raiden (Christoper Lambert), the god of thunder and lightning; aka could be Thor's true father? The three characters are selected to participate in an age-old martial arts tournament conducted by the powerful sorcerer Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). This tournament is unlike other martial arts ones in which the opponents are from otherworldly realms. It is equivalent to Thor fighting against the Hulk but ten times worst! Fighters worldwide come to face these otherworldly opponents. Still, Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade are the chosen ones sent to defeat the sorcerer and save the world as a whole.
Now I know the plot is a lot to take in, but if you have played the games throughout the years, you can buy into the wacky plotline and cheesy 1990s special effects such as Scorpion who is one of the supernatural opponents that can shoot a metal creature out of his hand to kill you! The effects looked like something from the 1990s but still holds up. Some of my favorite scenes are the fighting ones between Liu Kang and Sub Zero. I thought Sub Zero should have gotten a more extended scene as he can freeze a person by summoning ice from his hands. Also, I am biased because he was my favorite character to play in the game. Another scene I liked was Sonya Blade fighting Kano, and Johnny Cage defeating Scorpion and leaving behind his autograph picture.
The kids nowadays will not know the struggle of finding a quarter and playing Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter in the mall arcade or laundry mat! Do they even have those arcades anymore? Soon after the release of Mortal Kombat, the sequel Annihilation came out, which was not as good as the first MK movie but just as great in its own right. According to Screen Rant.com, there will be a Mortal Kombat movie reboot in 2021! the trailer will be released sometime this summer! Stay tuned as I geek out about that with you all. Despite its flaws, the 1995 movie is considered as one of the best video game to movie adaptations of its time. Of course, we have Resident Evil, which is just as badass! and other films. With news of the 2021 reboot of MK, I hope that a new audience can appreciate and see how passionate the cult following is! Plus damnit! My childhood deserves to be rebooted! If Pokemon: Pikachu Detective can look awesome, why cant my Mortal Kombat! I demand it to be awesome! In the meantime, check out the trailers for the original movie and Annihilation along with the original MK game trailer from 1993 below.
( Librarian Ninja Girl)