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Mortal Kombat (1995)

tomatometer

33

Average Rating: 4.5/10
Reviews Counted: 30
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 20

Despite an effective otherwordly atmosphere and appropriately cheesy visuals, Mortal Kombat suffers from its poorly constructed plot, laughable dialogue, and subpar acting.

38

Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 5

Despite an effective otherwordly atmosphere and appropriately cheesy visuals, Mortal Kombat suffers from its poorly constructed plot, laughable dialogue, and subpar acting.

audience

58

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 309,413

My Rating

Movie Info

Three reluctant fighters are drafted for an intergalactic martial-arts tournament that will determine the fate of the human race in this special-effects-driven adventure. Inspired by the popular and notoriously bloody video game, Mortal Kombat provides a semblance of a plot as an excuse for rampant mayhem, with the evil alien forces challenging humanity to a kung fu battle to decide the Earth's fate. Following the failure of several previous human defenders, mankind's last chance lies with

Aug 26, 1997

New Line Home Entertainment

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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (20) | DVD (8)

Where others have sunk in the mire of imitation, director Paul Anderson and writer Kevin Droney effect a viable balance between exquisitely choreographed action and ironic visual and verbal counterpoint.

September 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (2)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

British director Anderson does a fair job with what he was given: four good-looking leads, some very impressive sfx, Babylonian sets, a bone-crunching soundtrack, and a battery of well-choreographed fights.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The most intriguing is a glassy-eyed follower whose right hand shoots out a hissing reptile that can extend itself for miles. Exotic creatures like these make watching Mortal Kombat feel like being in a high-tech fun house.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Likely to satisfy only the core audience already hooked on video and arcade games, and even that's not a sure thing.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie has everything a teenage boy could want... Everything, that is, but an interesting plot, decent dialogue and compelling acting.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie that most nearly approximates a video game: lots of action, no plot, eye-catching computer effects and a dollop of violence.

January 1, 2000 | Comments (2)
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hardly award-worthy entertainment, and pretty visually dated, but probably one of the better video game movies ever made comparatively.

May 16, 2011 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

...a one-note gimmick that comes with everything but a joystick for the viewer to control the robotic characters.

April 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

In the realm of movies adapted from video games, "Mortal Kombat" sucks the least...

June 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

We'll concede that four-armed Prince Goro is a hoot, Christopher Lambert looks fabulous in a flowing white wig, and Talisa Soto, who plays some kind of princess, can lord it over us anytime.

April 7, 2010 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

All the head-crushing and thigh-flexing doesn't compensate for the monotony of a story that simply traipses from one combat (sorry, kombat) to the next.

April 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

cheesy but still, kick ass

December 6, 2007 | Comments (3)

Like watching a lot of sweaty fist fights while trapped in the world's loudest night club.

April 3, 2005
eFilmCritic.com

This one's a howler that's so bad it's almost good -- almost.

January 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

If the movie Mortal Kombat were a character in a Mortal Kombat video game, its special maneuver would be to climb on its opponent's shoulders and defecate on his head.

November 29, 2003 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com | Comment (1)
EricDSnider.com

Hopeless? Oh yes. It's hopeless alright. Mondo hopeless.

May 15, 2003
Oz
Hollywood Bitchslap

Cheesy with no nutrients. But hey, anything's better than Street Fighter.

December 18, 2002
Needcoffee.com

[A] surprisingly good movie.

December 9, 2002 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

What it's missing, ironically, is the edge that's made Mortal Kombat the video game such a powerful icon in American pop culture.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus

The characters are cardboard, the humor is lame and the heroes are all so unlikable most of the way that the audience won't be able - or want - to identify with them.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

It's silly, of course, but more importantly, it's a hell of a lot of fun, with plenty of above-average gags.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Mortal Kombat

The first and best of the 'MK' movies. I saw this on cinematic release and thought it was slightly OK, upon watching it again I still feel its slightly OK, extremely hokey and tacky but it holds its own to a degree. At the time it was either this or 'Street Fighter' with JCVD and MK won hands down. Its basically a continuous setup for various fights between popular characters, unfortunately the fights are very basic and don't even look too good but they were fine for the time and the characters do look good, Scorpion being the best.

The look is dark n gloomy in a PG kinda way, kinda goth with some glorious location backdrops and it does match well against the game. It is very gentle stuff but it does the job well, which is rare for a computer game film, it just about gives you what you expected...after seeing the trailer and realising it wasn't an adult film that is. Tagawa and Lambert make the film stand out with some nice hammy ass performances but they do inject some laughs and a reasonable hint of realism or a sense of danger into the fun. They both give the film much needed bite with the lack of spine removals and acid pools.

Rest of the cast are pretty much your bargain basement D-list personnel which may have been hired off the street I dunno. I guess you have Robin Shou who looks the part and can actually do the moves. The film is a lost chance for something really nasty lets be honest but we all knew this would happen right, at least it betters the 'Double Dragon' film.

One also has to remember this is in the days of early CGI and by gum its bad here!. Not only do they use a lot of it (naturally) but it looks awful, really basic stuff that doesn't even look like its been done correctly. What on earth they did to 'Reptile' I'll never know, looked like something off an old Amiga videogame.

Best to forget about the 'Goro' puppet creation, not bad though...in a PG 'TMNT' kinda way that is, good dated 90's techno soundtrack too. Its all 90's...'FIGHT!!'
March 12, 2013
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

I've played 4 MK games, MKII, MKIII, MK Deadly Alliance, and MKI, and though I don't think the games are incredibly good like everyone else says, I will say, it was good for a movie idea. Aaaaaannnnddddd...... The movie was just okay. The acting is cheesily entertaining, and some of the action scenes are good. The only nitpicks I have for the film is that, while some of the effects look really good like Goro, Scorpions eyes and skull face, and the soul stealing thing that Shang Tsung does, most of the other effects look really bad or look really dated, like Reptiles CG form, the spear that comes out of Scorpions hand, or the electricity effects on Raiden. Another Nitpick is that a lot of the action scenes go on a little too long, like 5 minutes too long. Most fighting movies have fights up to about 4 to 5 minutes, most of the fights in this movie, go on for about 9 minutes to 11, and it gets really boring after a while. But its a decent movie overall and its entertaining to watch with friends, even if it is just to make fun of it.
January 29, 2012
michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

I just get the feeling that this movie was completely rushed. It seemed cool as a little kid, but looking back now it just seems all too cheesy.
August 7, 2011
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

Rewatching this recently brought back a lot of memories. The film based on the popular video game of the same name looks dated by today's standards with cheap dialogue, special effects and mediocre acting. But boy is it still a fun film to watch. Mortal Kombat focuses on a tournament where the best martial arts fighters are assembled on a secret island to battle in hand to hand combat in order to win and determine the fate of the human race. Paul W.S Anderson first video game to film adaptation (he would later helm the Resident Evil films) is a good acting yarn, that is meant to be harmless fun. On that end, the film succeeds. Mortal Kombat can be seen as a guilty pleasure. The film has good actin, cheesy one liners and it's one of those films that you can't take too seriously. As a person who has played the game, I thought that this was a good, entertaining film that fairly respected the game. Mortal Kombat, though an average action film is a respectable video game to film adaptation. The film is non stop excitement and thought it won't win any Oscars, it does a great job at keeping the feel of the game. But it does feel like a B movie by today's standards. Mortal Kombat is a mindless action film that is a lot of fun, and it manages to keep the best elements from the game. Mortal Kombat is an entertaining guilty pleasure that though dated is a lot of fun to watch.
June 27, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Shang Tsung: One last chance, Sonya. Fight me in Mortal Kombat.
    2. Sonya Blade: Go to hell.
    3. Shang Tsung: Take her away, the emperor will be overjoyed.
    4. Sonya Blade: My friends will come.
    5. Johnny Cage: They're already here.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (7 months ago)
    1. Kano: You see, he freezes this guy, alright & he explodes. I could see his guts & everything. Almost lost my lunch.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (7 months ago)
    1. Chan: I knew you come.
    2. Liu Kang: Chan.
    3. Chan: One day, we will be reunited. Until then, my spirit will always be with you.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (7 months ago)
    1. Princess Kitana: To win your next match, use the element which brings life.
    2. Liu Kang: What?
    – Submitted by Matthew D (7 months ago)
    1. Johnny Cage: This is where you fall down.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (7 months ago)
    1. Prince Goro: This puny mortal will be no problem, I'll crush him in one blow.
    2. Johnny Cage: Alright, let's dance!
    – Submitted by Matthew D (7 months ago)
View all quotes (33)

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Latest News on Mortal Kombat

October 28, 2013:
Kevin Tancharoen Leaves Mortal Kombat
He's looking for "other creative opportunities."
September 17, 2013:
The Mortal Kombat Reboot Is Still Kicking
The team is "just kind of figuring out the budget and locations."
November 6, 2012:
Warner Bros. Executive Confirms Mortal Kombat Reboot
Head of Digital Productions Lance Sloan says director Kevin Tancharoen is "at the helm of the forty,...
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