Why Mortal Kombat is Still the Greatest Game Movie | Cut/Scene #5 | NowThis Nerd

Hello everyone, I’m Andrew, this is Cut/Scene, and today, I’m going to test your might Hot on the heels of our Silent Hill episode, an ultra-rare example of a good videogame adaptation, we’re keeping thing posi with a look at, quite frankly, the greatest: ‘Mortal Kombat

’ Somehow, Paul WS Anderson’s 1995 film captured the insane premise, over-the-top characters, and bonecrunching brutality of the games, with mid-90’s special effects and a PG-13 rating Damn It’s not a quite a flawless victory, but 'Mortal Kombat' is the Still the Best Videogame Movie Ever Why? Let’s start with the Structure The problem with most game adaptations is that they adapt the lore of a game, but not the experience of playing it

The resulting movie might look like the source material, but it doesn’t capture what it feels like ‘Mortal Kombat’ does The opening of the film is like the attract screen in an arcade game, giving us a bite-sized glimpse into the Kombatant’s lives, before we insert a quarter and press start We find out about Liu Kang’s little brother and his life in the monastery, Sonya’s personal vendetta against Kano, and Johnny Cage’s neverending quest for legitimacy Then boom: We’re all on a boat, getting exposition from Raiden, and setting sail to determine the final fate of Earthrealm

He went to the realm of Earth, where the Emperor's demon sorceror Shang Tsung and his warriors have to win ten straight victories in Mortal Kombat They have won nine Once we get to the island proper, the story proceeds exactly like a Mortal Kombat movie should: One on one encounters, in a tournament setting, that usually end with a fatality, FATALITY No complicated inputs required Have you tried doing a fatality? It takes a lot out of you

Just hit 'em Compare that to the live-action ‘Street Fighter,’ which, as a game, has a pretty similar structure: A martial arts tournament featuring the world’s greatest warriors, presided over by a cackling madman who doesn’t play by the rules YES! YES! YES! Granted, there’s a lot more lore in 'Mortal Kombat,' what with Earthrealm, Outworld, and all the Elder Gods running around, but on the surface, a ‘Street Fighter’ movie could and should look a lot like ‘MK’ Instead, ‘Street Fighter’ tries to be a live-action GI Joe, and the only scene that even remotely resembles a street fight literally comes crashing down when the army bursts through the door You're all under arrest

‘Mortal Kombat’ feels like playing a game, right down to the endurance round before the final boss fight, but it also feels like the movie that inspired the arcade hit in the first place: ‘Enter the Dragon’ Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A Shaolin monk travels to a mysterious island, where he battles through a martial arts tournament while working to take down its shady overlord Ed Boon and John Tobias borrowed heavily from Bruce Lee’s masterpiece, and they weren’t exactly subtle about it, so when it came time to turn the game into a movie, the film took plenty of cues from the martial arts classic, and combined it with the trademark ‘Mortal Kombat’ Style In any other time, this movie would have been a total disaster The thumping techno score? YES The atrocious CGI? Using of audio samples from the game itself? GET OVER HERE! These are all things that I’d rightfully crap on later game movies for, many of which were also directed by Anderson, but somehow, for ‘Mortal Kombat,’ it just works

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it hasn’t aged well, but for every crappy computer animated Reptile, there’s cool costumes, kickass moves, and incredible animatronics like the amazing, 120-pound suit used to create Goro From gorgeous locations like the buddhist temples of Thailand, to the massive sets that made up desolate realm of Outworld, in reality, a massive abandoned steel mill, the movie perfectly captures the exotic atmosphere of the arcade classic It takes things just seriously enough for you to care about the stakes, but it’s still not afraid to crack a joke or two, which fits perfectly with the series’ demented sense of humor Flawless Victory And while the PG-13 rating puts a damper on the dismemberment, the characters are so well-constructed that you don’t even want to see them die

Except maybe Johnny Cage But also he's kinda cool because he's got this redemption thing going, whatever I've got a soft spot for Johnny Cage Yeah, well, tell that to the press The casting is spot on, especially Cary-Hiroyuki Togawa as the scenery-chewing Shang Tsung, and Christopher Lambert’s surprisingly laid-back thunder god The fate of billions will depend upon you

Heh heh heh Sorry In fact, the actors were so influential that they actually changed the course of the Kombatants they were based on For example, Kano was originally Japanese-American in the games, but Trevor Goddard’s sleazy performance was such a hit that they made him an Aussie in the games to match Did you miss me? Been a while! Not long enough

Similarly, Johnny Cage wasn’t always Liu Kang’s arrogant but lovable BFF, but after Linden Ashby crushed it with his cocky take on the character, the games basically turned him into the Miz He's basically Johnny Cage He is Johnny Cage This Miz is Johnny Cage You heard it here

eleventh Especially with the whole crotch punch thing he's got going on TOASTY!!! Remember, when the movie came out, there were only two ‘Mortal Kombat’ games to base things on, so it’s easier for me to accept weird changes like Scorpion and Sub Zero being reduced to mindless henchmen, or Raiden being a wise mentor instead of a full-fledged Kombatant

Though it would have been cool to see Christopher Lambert do a rocket-style move across the screen Seriously, I can’t gush enough about this movie It’s the epitome of awesome ‘90s aggro cheese, We've got company! and I wish the game adaptations that followed it would have embraced the inherent corniness of the concept, instead of trying to slick it up with the male gaze and Matrix moves Honestly, though, the movie does have one humongous flaw, but it’s far from a Fatality The first ‘Mortal Kombat’ game is pretty tame by today’s standards, but when it first released in 1992, its gore sparked a nationwide moral panic and congressional hearings about violence in videogames Cold blooded murder is making 'Mortal Kombat' the most popular videogame in history

Kids relish their victory and their bloody choice: Should they pull out their opponents heart? Or simply rip his head off just to see his spinal cord dangle in a pool of blood? How do you feel about cutting his head off? Fun! The controversy subsided, as it always does, but the film suffered an unthinkable blow: The 'Mortal Kombat' movie, based on the spine-ripping, heart-biting, head exploding fighting game would be rated PG-13 RATED PG-13! Weak! We never see any non-powered humans murdered directly on screen, the only deaths shown in detail are monsters like Scorpion and Goro, or magic-users like Sub Zero I mean honestly, the deaths in this movie are akin to Disney In fact, there’s only one single drop of blood in the whole movie, when Shang Tsung gets a busted lip OH NO!!! Honestly, there’s not much separating the movie from your average episode of 'Power Rangers,' which makes sense, considering there was a massive push to sell this ultraviolent franchise to kids at the time

In light of the 'Mortal Kombat' cartoon and touring stage show, we’re lucky this movie is as dark as it is, and honestly, it’s so entertaining that you barely notice the missing gore Just pretend you’re playing the censored SNES version of the game, or you somehow forgot the Genesis blood code, because the PG-13 actually kind of paid off Thousands of kids were able to walk out of the arcades and into the theater, skyrocketing Mortal Kombat to the number one spot at the box office for three straight weeks raking in over $200 million dollars against an $18 million budget It still holds up as a snapshot of a moment in time, when games didn’t take themselves so seriously, and movies could still be fun

It’s sequel, on the other hand, pretty much destroyed all the goodwill from the first movie within the first ten minutes, and killed what could have been an amazing franchise 'Mortal Kombat: Annihilation' is a whole ‘nother can of worms, and I’m sure we’re going to cover it on a future episode of Cut/Scene, but for now, I’m satisfied knowing that there’s at least one movie out there, that got it absolutely right

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