Movie Defense Force: Mortal Kombat

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JudgeGame:
That said, it's infinitely better than that atrocious concept trailer of gritty Mortal Kombat which I hope died in production hell.

You mean the concept trailer that became this?

And they recently released a trailer for the second season.

Its certainly the best adaptation of a video-game into a film ever. Much like the game, the film gives absolutely zero fucks about anything and just does its own thing. Also when I was about nine years old I thought that the Jonny Cage ball punch was one of the funniest things I had ever seen....

This may be the best film entered into the series so far, though I'm not sure how loathed is this particular title. The second one was far more maligned, and with good reason, and at the time this came out, it WAS the best video game adaptation. These days I might argue for Prince of Persia, but all told, the video game-turned-movie that we all wanted to see was realized in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, despite not being about any particular video game.

What helps this movie was that it was directed by Paul Anderson, he of Resident Evil and AvP notoriety, and more importantly, it was produced by True Lies producer Larry Kasanoff. Put these two together and you have fidelity to source material and having fun with an obviously cheesy premise.

Because that's one of the reasons why we're supposed to go to movies. To have fun. It's easy to get carried away snobbing about movies like American Beauty or Life of Pi and forget to just go have fun. And Mortal Kombat is fun.

The casting choice I disapproved of was not Lambert's Raiden, but Bridgette Wilson as Sonya. Totally not buying her in the role, while meanwhile you have Kerri Hoskins, who aside from being a Playboy model who happens to know martial arts, did the actual mo-cap for Sonya in several of the game. How do you hire Bridgette Freaking Wilson over her?

Side Note: am I the only one who bought and totally loved the Immortals MK-themed album, of which the done-to-death theme song is only one track?

anthony87:
And they recently released a trailer for the second season.[5l3jrR5XMSU]

Hoooooooly snotballs they brought back Carey Tikahuagachawa-chiwhatevernuts as Shang Tsung. I totally have to watch this now!

Urh:

Seriously? I confess it's been a while, but the only thing I remember being remotely entertaining about Street Fighter was Raul Julia's performance as Bison. While Mortal Kombat had one truly bad casting choice (Christopher Lambert), Street Fighter had only one good one. I don't know how anybody could defend casting Jean-Claude van Damme as Guile.

I'll let Jim explain it to you.
http://www.destructoid.com/why-street-fighter-the-movie-is-a-cinematic-masterpiece-129024.phtml

So glad to hear someone other than me say that for once

Mortal Kombat wasn't a great achievement in film making, but it was exactly what I wanted as a fan of the game & as a guy watching a martial arts movie

Too many game-based movies try to add/remove themes & elements of the source material to... I dunno, get wider appeal maybe, misguided as that plan is... but Mortal Kombat was Mortal Kombat. Don't question why the ice ninja can freeze people solid; he can, it's happening, now kick him in the face!

This particular grievance came to boil with the Max Payne movie. The game was a neo-noir style story. That could not possibly be easier to turn into a movie! It would've actually been a damn good movie if they had just strung the cut scenes together & used that as the script.

So far so good. I enjoy this new show by Jim.

Which is good, cause the more it goes, the less I enjoy Escape to the Movies.
The reason being, Jim critics (positively) movies on what they are. Not what they could have been or what the represent to the industry.
Bob on the other, will critic movies (positively) on how the movie fits within the industry, what is the back story behind the movie, or how faithful it was to a random mythology no one cares about.
It's good to be curious about these things, but bottom line... you should be able to appreciate a movie as a whole without having to dig info to make you understand why it's good. But most people don't go that far and they shouldn't have to.
Plus he tends to forget who the movies are aimed for when it comes to movies not targeted to him.

About MK... the music was stellar and became a classic (yeah, others mentioned it).
I just wish they would they would have put more special moves in the combats.
When they did it, it felt like a one trick thing and a bit cheese... mostly fan service.
I would have appreciated that their combat would have been more influences by their special moves...
Instead of being regular Kung Fu... A bit more over the top violence ALA Riki-Oh could've been cool too!!

mattttherman3:
Completely agree with you jim. But this movie did not need defending. Mortal Kombat 2 however...

Seconded. And the weird thing for me is (mind you I haven't seen either in a while) I can't tell you why MK2 was measurably worse. It's not like the f/x in the first one were great (though I still love that set for the Scorpion / Cage fight) but for some reason the sequel's were jarringly bad. There's probably other stuff I've blocked from my memory... I have a sneaking suspcion there were giant, American-gladiator style balls they rolled through tunnels in.

That wasn't really a thing, was it? *wince* Oh god, I think it was.

I disagree with Jim on only one, extremely crucial, point. The fight scenes are not great. There are some great fight scenes in there, but they are peppered with really sloppily done work and lackluster martial performances.

From what I've seen, the fights in which the film's choreographer (Robin Shou, who plays Liu Kang) is a participant are the most well-paced and thought out. The others...not so much.

ShirowShirow:
There are people that thought this movie was bad? Pah. I always loved it.

I think it disappointed some. It got really hyped and looked awesome in trailers, but the end results was a disappointment for some. It was mostly being PG-13, so no gore like the games. Of course MK:Annihilation made the first one look like Casablanca.

JudgeGame:
I dunno. I liked Mortal Kombat 2 more.

You are definitely in the minority there. Annihilation tried way too hard to be serious. Plus it made the Street Fighter mistake: "Let's get every single character in this movie, even if it's just 5 seconds, so we can pander the fanboys."

FirebirdXR:
Sterling forgot one of the greatest things about the MK movie!

Absolutely! Shame on you Jim for leaving out the music or the shout "MORTAL KOMBAT!!!!"

o.0

wait... what? people conciser this a 'bad movie'? since when? sure it might not have been a 'great' movie but it was always 'good', cheesy sure, but still good

I actually really like this movie and the sequel. Yeah they're garbage, but goddammit they're trying.

I love the scene where Sub-Zero walks down the stairs, it gives me....CHILLS.:P

Yeah, this one doesnt need defending, its the best video game movie ever made("cheesy" is not a bad thing when done right), and Annihilation is the best comedy ever made.

Yea I loved this movie. I can forgive its shortcomings such as

- Scorpions Vagina hand
- The Fact that the most bad ass character ever Sub-Zero died by having a bucket of water thrown at him.
- Christopher Lambert barely being able to speak.

because its just corny fun, and Jonny Cage punching Goro in the dick is the greatest movie moment of all time.

FirebirdXR:
Sterling forgot one of the greatest things about the MK movie!

Dude it is awesome! Your avatar seems to be rocking out to the song :D

But yeah, this is one hammy B movie that I can respect..... It made sense within the universe, even if that universe makes no sense anywhere else.

Lunar Templar:
o.0

wait... what? people conciser this a 'bad movie'? since when? sure it might not have been a 'great' movie but it was always 'good', cheesy sure, but still good

I believe Moviebob held it up as an example of the bad kind of corny.

shintakie10:

Lunar Templar:
o.0

wait... what? people conciser this a 'bad movie'? since when? sure it might not have been a 'great' movie but it was always 'good', cheesy sure, but still good

I believe Moviebob held it up as an example of the bad kind of corny.

I don't remember this. did he say it here or some where else?

not that it matters MK is still one of the best 'movie based on a game' out there.

Dude mortal kombat is the gold standard for all video game based movies.I still love this movie.

I have to argue one point, the best video game movie ever is Postal

I'm not too proud to admit that I quite enjoyed Mortal Kombat when it came out. It's special effects weren't actually bad for the time, the action was pretty well played, the script made a certain amount of sense (at least, as much as it could within the framework it was given to work with), and if some of the performances may have been over-the-top, no one was "phoning it in" either. No one seemed to think it was "beneath" them to be doing the movie they were doing.

It was the fight-scene packed, techno-soundtracked movie my nineteen-year-old self was gunning to see; I can hardly fault it for that.

Pity about Annihilation, though...

Wrong. Prince of Persia is just as faithful to its source material.

TheSchaef:
What helps this movie was that it was directed by Paul Anderson, he of Resident Evil and AvP notoriety, and more importantly, it was produced by True Lies producer Larry Kasanoff. Put these two together and you have fidelity to source material and having fun with an obviously cheesy premise.

In the commentary track on one of the Resident Evil movies Paul actually talks about how this movie taught him a LOT about how to do a video game movie. Basically, early in production Scorpion and Sub-Zero were written to basically be buddies...which kind of caused a ****storm when it was shown to fans.

Needless to say, Paul removed that bit from the film and started to look at the production differently. At the time, Hollywood was making garbage like the SMB movie where they just used the game essentially as the springboard for an original story that was a radical redesign of the original property. Paul decided to instead stay as true to the source as he could reasonably do and hoped that fans would embrace the film because of that...which many did!

Sidenote: Believe it or not, he actually applies some of that philosophy to the Res Evil movies. They're not *direct* adaptations like Mortal Kombat was, and instead exist more as side stories. For example, in Res Evil: Apocalypse (2nd movie) he was getting pressure to add in "Fast Zombies" (28 Days Later was a big hit at the time) in order to sort of up the ante. He didn't end up doing that in the film, basically because there were no fast zombies in the Res Evil series at the time. He did, however, add in the Nemesis and certain scenes that were heavily influenced by Code Veronica.

In Res Evil: Extinction (3rd movie) though, faster moving zombies had shown up in the game universe, which is why they were added to the film in the Las Vegas scene. In this way (at least through Extinction, not sure how the latter ones track according to the games) he was basically trying to ensure that while there wasn't a *strict* continuity in the way of Mortal Kombat (such as making a movie about following Leon Kennedy through the events of Res Evil 2), their two stories would be parallel and made up of the same basic building blocks.

Basically, say what you will about the quality of Paul Anderson's films, but I think that he served an important role in showing that creating a movie about a video game could actually WORK when you try to stay faithful to the source material. Hopefully more people will follow his example and we'll keep getting better quality adaptations in the future.

FirebirdXR:
Sterling forgot one of the greatest things about the MK movie!

Man, I had completely forgot about that song! It really is great, I think I had the cd with the OST for this movie

I love Mortal Kombat. I actually purchased the DVD long before I even *had* a DVD player. Yes, Raiden doesn't do much fighting. but the rest of the stuff was just too good in my opinion. The second one suffered from too many characters, but at least it had actors who could do their own fighting without relying on body doubles. Linden Ashby was set to come back as Johnny Cage before he realized he'd only be in the movie for, like 5 to 7 minutes! Only Robin Shou and Talisa Soto reprised their roles, and the guy who played Shao Khan was Bloody effing awful! Yes, I know he played the Brujah Clan Leader, Eddie, on Kindred: The Embraced, and he has a very powerful physique, but he's not in the least oriental (as someone named Shao Khan probably should be), and he spent the entire movie wearing that Godawful Helmet so he could only emote with his voice and body language and not his face.

I'll confess- I was never interested in the game, but the movie was great fun. And the second movie, I didn't know who half of those characters were supposed to be, except Jax was Sonya's Partner, and the robot ninja guy was Noob Saibot, who was named after the two guys who created the game. Oh, and Sheeva (four armed girl) was related to Goro from the first movie... somehow. And they were half Dragon or something. I have both movies on DVD. The martial arts fighting in the second movie seemed to be slightly better from the main characters, but the rest of the movie was so bad and silly and the fights so forgettable, it didn't matter much.

DVS BSTrD:
I'm kinda surprised you did this movie and not the sequel.

Probably because the sequel is genuinely terrible.

I love the Mortal Kombat movie.

It's probably one of my favorite movies ever and I watched that movie a lot growing up. The soundtrack was the best thing that ever came out from that movie, and the soundtrack was the only thing I liked about the second one. I remember there being a cartoon too, and I remember liking it, but then again, the memory can be a fickle and traitorous thing.

I also remember that when I used to do Taekwondo my instructor used to play that soundtrack when we were warming up. Best music ever for that. :D

Megacherv:
I have to argue one point, the best video game movie ever is Postal

Is it possible there's actually an Uwe Boll movie that isn't total shite on a cracker, or are the two positives I've heard so far for Postal just a minority?

This is the first of the series I had a mixed feelings about, never the less the arguement is solid and all points are valid. Neat video

I never understood the dislike of this movie, despite some bad animation it was a very fun flick and that Scorpion Fight is legendary :)

malestrithe:
Wrong. Prince of Persia is just as faithful to its source material.

Eh. Prince of Persia had the sand knife - with only the rewind power - a nimble prince and a lippy princess. That's about it.

In the game, the sands are unleashed on the palace and the king actually is his father. In the movie, he had brothers suddenly, and he traveled far and wide, meeting Doctor Octopus and such.

I consider PoP to be about as faithful to the Sands of Time as the Jurassic Park movie was to the book; and like Jurassic Park, I think they did well to keep the general framework of the PoP concept and play to the strengths of storytelling through cinema, which differs from storytelling in a game. Resident Evil works for this reason, also.

Doctor Proctor:
Basically, say what you will about the quality of Paul Anderson's films, but I think that he served an important role in showing that creating a movie about a video game could actually WORK when you try to stay faithful to the source material. Hopefully more people will follow his example and we'll keep getting better quality adaptations in the future.

Well, many consider the RE movies to be some of the better VG films being made, and each subsequent one is supposed to be better quality than the last (I say these things with the qualifier that I only ever saw the first, and am simply reporting what has been said to me by others). So I agree: Paul does seem to be "doing it right".

What I particularly like about the way he framed the film continuity, is having Alice as the central character across all the adventures, with other named characters in supporting roles. Credit the RE games for having different leads in different games, but they kind of overdid it, because now there's like 800 characters and they're all inter-related across the different games like a soap opera, and then all these plot contrivances have to be created to tie it all together. That wouldn't have worked on film; it kinda doesn't really work in the games, either.

I've always loved this movie! I'm glad to see that Jim also views it as the most successful movie adaptation of a video game, even if Scorpion and Sub-zero's backgrounds were kind of ignored.

Actually, I kind of liked the Silent Hill movie. Yeah, I'll fucking say it. Sure, Pyramid Head being there was kind of weird, but everything else about the movie pretty much worked for me. I didn't mind that instead of an evil, demon worshiping cult, we got Christian zealots instead. It was interesting. Not as interesting as the game, but it didn't, in my opinion, violate the spirit of the Silent Hill story.

Silent Hill: Revelations is terrible, though. It tried to make the movie series faithful to the game's mythos, and at that point, you can't take it back. Revelations is worth watching though, because it's fucking hilarious. I laughed my ass off the whole time, and it was totally worth it.

What?, Jim defending an already great (read awesome) movie?, what madness is this!?.

I guess that not even Jim can defend MK2 or that silly Street Fighter movie, although it'd be interesting if he does.

I remember seeing this movie with my grandma and her freaking out at how 'horrid' and 'sinful' this was.
XD
Still, it's a decent movie to this day.

I also like Postal.
It's probably the only UB movie that isn't crap.

My thought on MK is that it's one of those "So bad it's good" movies. And I think Jim's right that it works because it knows it's silly and runs with it.
It's sequel, now . . . that was absolute shit.

MK is a lot of fun.

Now defend MK2... you can't, can you? I spent money on that! Gah!!!!

mattttherman3:
Completely agree with you jim. But this movie did not need defending. Mortal Kombat 2 however...

Great video, Jim. Mortal Kombat's one of my favorite game franchises & movies (except the 2nd one; I can't begin to guess what went wrong in that one).

JudgeGame:

I nominate Prince of Persia as the best videogame based movie. I know a lot of people have problems with it but I can't figure out what those problems are.

That's one of my other favorite Game Movies. It was mostly an adaptation of Sands of Time, with the Prince's costume from Warrior within. My brother and I pointed out what they pulled from Assassin's Creed.

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