Mortal Kombat was a game that will remain forever in my heart from back in the days when I was a hardcore gamer. I made both friends and enemies out of that game. I played a good handful for the SNES and the kid in me came back when the 360 versions came out (wow! what a terrific update!). I'll always have time to play, discuss or live Mortal Kombat (a bit much?) and I recently took the time to have a sit down with the 1995 movie rendition. To me, this is one of few video game adaptations that got it right by sticking with two elements; 1) being a faithful adaptation to its video game source and 2) being a non-stop action packed flick with its own plot and not confusing the average movie-goer. I consider myself in both categories and was happy on both counts when it came to this one! Now, even though there's a 'story' here, it's really the enthralling fight sequences and set pieces that made this one really count! If there was ever a term to define 'style over substance' this flick's title should be it. Hey, nothing wrong with it in this end! I loved seeing the many hand-to-hand fight scenes and the set-pieces in which they occurred. Speaking of which, the movie furthered that by taking a lot of the characters' traits and moves and throwing them in there as well! I swooned with Scorpion's 'GET OVER HERE!' shtick and every single character carried at least one move or gimmick from their video game counterparts. If you know the games well, you'll have a blast spotting the many references. Not solely relying on the character traits, the sets and look of the picture also contributed to the fun times. Funny how 2/3rds of the game-to-movie adaptations that I can think of fully enjoying is directed by Paul Anderson. The man keeps the adrenaline pace throughout, goes nuts with the angles and his cinematographer needs a pat on the back. Well done! Christopher Lambert kept his part grounded when it could've been easily cheesy. He gave a focused and awesome performance. Robin Shou gave me a hero to root for. Linden Ashby did alright with what he was given and pulled off some sweet moves. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was the most intriguing character of the lot of them and he was the villain! What? Easily the best performance of the movie. Bridgette Wilson also did what she had to do with what she was given. Talisa Soto, like Lambert, kept a very grounded performance here and came across as excellent in an otherwise mediocre role. Trevor Goddard fully embraced the role of Kano and while Kano is one of my least favorites in the games, the movie redeemed him for me with Goddard's performance. Lost a great talent right there, too soon. On the flip side, some fights were really underwhelming. Particularly when it came to Goro and Sonya. I know Goro was mainly an effect moreso but he had a sinister presence and seeing him actually fight would've been cool. Show me his skills! I also think Bridgette Wilson could've used more training before her main scene with Kano. She seemed a bit off with certain moves. I'm no expert but I did notice. Lastly, and this is just the nit-picking fanboy in me talking, the flick could've been more violent. One of the major elements that attracted me to the games in the first place was its over-the-top gore. That was sorely missed here. But in all, this is an adaptation that got it right where the kid and adult in me both love it. Top that with an awesome theme song (I still secretly play it on headphones when I work out) and you get one hell of a fun time. This isn't an Oscar flick but it did what it set out to do and I love it for doing just that: entertain. MORTAL KOMBAAAAT!