For those who know nothing about “Mortal Kombat” here’s the basic premise!
The series takes place in a fictional universe consisting of eighteen surviving realms which, according to in-game backstories, were created by the Elder Gods. The Mortal Kombat: Deception manual described six of the realms as: “Earthrealm, home to such legendary heroes as Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, and Jax Briggs, and also under the protection of the Thunder God Raiden; Netherrealm, the fiery depths of which are inhospitable to all but the most vile, a realm of demons and shadowy warriors such as Quan Chi and Noob Saibot; Outworld, a realm of constant strife which Emperor Shao Kahn claims as his own; Seido, the Realm of Order, whose inhabitants prize structure and order above all else; the Realm of Chaos, whose inhabitants do not abide by any rules whatsoever, and where constant turmoil and change are worshiped; and Edenia, which is known for its beauty, artistic expression, and the longevity of its inhabitants.” The Elder Gods decreed that the denizens of one realm could only conquer another realm by defeating the defending realm’s greatest warriors in ten consecutive Mortal Kombat tournaments.
The series has a reputation for high levels of graphic violence, including, most notably, its Fatalities (finishing moves allowing the player to finish off their defeated opponent). So I may not be a huge expert of the video game franchise or even a diehard fan, but I know enough to keep me invested whether for the only “Mortal Kombat” video game I played from 2011 or in the case of this post these four movies, which I will personally rank from least to greatest, now on with the tournament.
4) Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
Every generation, a portal opens up between the Outerworld and Earth. Emperor Shao-Kahn , ruler of the mythical Outerworld, pounces the moment the portal reopens and slips through with his mighty warriors, intent on total domination and uniting the two worlds. However, he has only seven days to complete his task. In the meantime, opposition grows and warriors Sonya Blade, Jax, Kitana and Liu Kang get ready for war. The film stars Robin Shou, Talisa Soto, James Remar, Sandra Hess, Lynn Red Williams, and Brian Thompson.
Overall this is easily one of the worst video game adaptations ever made, especially thanks to its misuse of Mortal Kombat characters (such as killing off Johnny Cage in the first few minutes), nonsensical story and of coarse its god-awful special effects; but can be classified into the so bad its entertaining category, such as for that cheesy “Too bad, you will die!” one-liner!
3) Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge (2020)
Hanzo Hasashi loses his clan, family, and his life during an attack by a rival ninja clan the Lin Kuei. He is given the chance by to compete in an inter-dimensional tournament to save his loved ones while other fighters Johnny Cage, Liu Kang and Sonya Blade try to save the Earth realm from annihilation.
Overall this animated adaptation is the first Mortal Kombat movie to fully embrace its bloody roots, however over the top and gory it might be, but being a showcase for one of its most popular rivalries in video games Scorpion and Sub Zero as well as the comic relief of Johnny Cage is what kept me invested throughout!
2) Mortal Kombat (1995)
Lord Rayden handpicks three martial artists — federal agent Sonya Blade, Shaolin monk Lui Kang and action movie sensation Johnny Cage and mentors them. After intense training, Rayden transports the trio to Outworld, the site of an inter-dimensional fighting tournament. There, the three humans must defeat the demonic warriors of the evil Shang Sung or allow Sung to take over the Earth. The film stars Linden Ashby, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Robin Shou, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto, and Christopher Lambert.
Overall the first ever live-action adaptation of Mortal Kombat lack the bloody violence of the original video game and its bogged down by hammy dialogue, questionable casting decisions such as a non-Asian Raiden and special effects that haven’t aged well; but its (Power Rangers-like) martial arts fights, awesome soundtrack and 90’s nostalgia are to hard for me to resist!
1) Mortal Kombat (2021)
Hunted by the fearsome warrior Sub-Zero, MMA fighter Cole Young finds sanctuary at the temple of Lord Raiden. Training with experienced fighters Liu Kang, Kung Lao and the rogue mercenary Kano, Cole prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions to take on the enemies from Outworld in a high-stakes battle for the universe. The film stars Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, and Hiroyuki Sanada.
Overall this live-action adaptation of Mortal Kombat is a step in the right direction as it embraces its R-Rated source material and giving us martial arts fight scenes that look awesome thanks to the video game references and fatalities, however a complete lack of the actual tournament (which is apparently the intention for this planned trilogy) or the questionable studio decision to introduce a brand new character Cole Young as the lead (where’s Johnny Cage or Kitana), he may have a connection to fan favorite character Scorpion, but I still thought it was pointless!