MORTAL KOMBAT: ANNIHILATION
* * * (1997, 95 minutes, Rated PG-13)
Do not underestimate the power of the human spirit!
By Camiele White, special to the Bargain Bin Review. There are those films that when you’re a
kid you have an instant connection to. From the opening scene you know this is a film that will not
only stay with you, but also last the test of time as one of your favourite films --for whatever reason.
Unfortunately, the first time I saw Mortal Kombat: Annihilation I hated every single thing about it,
including those characters who I’d loved since the original, four character arcade game. At the
tender age of 10 years old I was convinced that I had been punked and someone was attempting
to swindle people out of their hard earned cash.
The opening scene, I’m sorry to say, tainted the rest of the film experience for me --which only got
worse as the celluloid rolled on. Imagine it: an unspecified village that we can only assume is a
rural Asian prefecture --complete with monks in orange robes, children running barefoot, and the
ubiquitous religious sculpture acting as the focal point of the town. There are multi-coloured
banners being waved in commemoration of our heroes returning from Outworld after having
defeated Shang Tsung.
Suddenly, there’s an ominous gust of wind and a darkened cloud floats in like a ghost raiding
the refrigerator. And then...holy jumping ninjas! The evil
forces that rule Outworld splinter through cracks of
lightening that litter the moody sky to proclaim the
human world as their domain.
Now, I ask you: What in the world am I supposed to
think at this point?
Well, if I wasn’t already sick to my stomach by the
healthy serving of failure pie, I notice that a few of my
favourite characters had been randomly genetically
altered from the 20 minutes we’re supposed to perceive
as the time between when the MK Krew returns from
Outworld. The badass Sonya Blade, originally portrayed
by the take-no-mess Bridgette Wilson, was replaced
with a whimpering, whining female with less than stellar
dialogue and even more disappointing ninja skills --
Every now and then, Nolahn will take a break from
reviewing crappy films no one has ever heard of to review
spectacularly bad films that everyone has heard of. Brace
yourself for another installment of...
CRAP OF THE TITANS!
|Who you gonna call if there's a
ghost raiding your refrigerator?
coming in the form of Sandra Hess. Raiden, the God of Thunder (and Highlander guru),
Christopher Lambert, is replaced by a man going through a serious mid-life crisis, and thusly has
been sucked of his thunder powers (and ability to inspire any hope whatsoever in his band of
What kept me intrigued was that more and more of my favourite characters from the franchise
begun to make their way onto the screen, none quite as scintillating as the ruthlessly hot mama,
Sindel --with hair that could would make Beyoncé jealous. She enters in appropriate seductive
|You know that she's evil by
the highlights in her hair.
fashion behind a host of masked ninjas and a couple MK fan
favourites (Motaro, Sheeva, and, of course, his royal highness,
Shao Kahn). We learn a bit about Sindel’s family history in as
little as 15 seconds, delivering both the most tragically awful and
ludicrously awesome line in film history.
Kitana: Mother! You’re alive!
Sindel: Too bad YOU will die!
Of course, what would any action film be without an impromptu
ballet of fighting? Wrought with more iconic moves than Breakin’
2: Electric Boogaloo, the film truly begins to party. We’ve got
Sindel fighting the insanely sexy Kitana in one corner, Raiden
and Shao Kahn going toe-to-toe on the other end, and Liu Kang
doing what he does best -- killing anyone that gets in his path.
To make matters more obscenely ridiculous, we have our first
main character death in Johnny Cage and heartbreaking
goodbye sequence between him and Sonya. All this in 2:30
Well, seeing as the first scene always sets the tone for the rest of the film, you can only imagine the
how infuriated my ten-year-old psyche became. There’s almost no use going into any other
scene. The set up is basically the same --meaningless dialogue resulting in a barrage of famous
baddies from the franchise sneaking up on our heroes; EXPLOSIONS, EXPLOSIONS, and for good
measure, EXPLOSIONS; followed by a touching romance scene and more filler until the final
battle. Mix in a bit of soul searching and corny quips about the moral fabric of humanity and you’ve
basically summed up Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
Of course, the cherry on the top of this epic failure sundae is the introduction of the jive talkin’, kickin’
-ass-and-taking-the-census-later, Jackson Briggs. He, of course, provides the only non-white, non-
Asian element in the film, thus entering us into a new era of Blaxploitation (he spouts more “Yeah
Boy!”s than Flava Flav).
As soon as Jax enters the picture, it becomes an R-rated episode of the power rangers: Sonya
|Mortal Kombat: Annihilation: The least colorful
episode of "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers"
acting as the Pink Ranger; Kitana, the
Yellow Ranger; the Black Ranger could
only be Jax; the late Johnny Cage
providing the Green Ranger credit;
Raiden, our de-locked Thunder God, the
White Ranger; and, of course, Liu Kang
makes the perfect Red Ranger. Their
mission: save the world...again.
How are they going to do it, you may
ask? By kicking as much ninja and robot
(yes, there are robots abound) bootay as
they possibly can possibly, getting felt up
by half-naked sex-bombs, and defeating
the Overlord of Evil...in 48 hours. And go!
Fifteen minutes of this nonsense and I officially gave up (remember I was all of ten years old at this
After 13 years, the spine-tingling atrocity that is this regrettable sequel has grown on me
significantly. Though I still consider it one of the most grotesque films ever conceived, I have to
say, a glance at the picture after over a decade of negligence has made me actually enjoy the
fantastic folly of it all.
It doesn’t deserve my respect, but it certainly deserves three stars for at least making me laugh out
loud for the better part of 90 minutes.
With a frightening obsession with film, Camiele White has run the gamut of debating, laughing, and
writing about the stuff. She's been a writer all her life, but was never captured by film until the age
of 11 when her father introduced her to her first horror film, A Nightmare on Elm Street. Camiele
has been hooked since, and now she gets her jabberjaw jollies writing about costumes for
If you want to give Camiele a buzz, she can be reached at cmlewhite at gmail [dot] com.