Mortal Kombat: No Fatality Here

December 12, 2003

There are times that you wish that someone would put some sort of regulation on what is allowed to be portrayed in the movies, as we found out in the last venture to movie world with Mario Bros. Then there are sometimes when you are pleasantly surprised. Yes, I am admitting that Mortal Kombat was actually a descent movie. I will even go as far to say that I liked it. So here it goes, Dots likes the movie…so what about the game?

My goal is to play each game and then watch the movie. The only thing we have Mortal Kombat on in my little household is the good old Sega Genesis. Well this posed a little problem for me seeing as how I didn’t have a Genesis growing up, we were Nintendo girls at my house. I was in for a bit of a challenge; being that I had never even held a controller. We pulled out the old Sega and hooked her up and Cone put the game in to show me how to play. I watched him punch and kick and jump over and over, only to get his butt kicked over and over. At this point, I was less than amused with this fighting game deeming it too hard to play. I then decided that I needed to give it a shot even if I couldn’t beat one person in one fight. I picked up the control and I punched and kicked and jumped and then those words you long to see while playing Mortal Kombat popped up on my screen; “Fatality”. I somehow, on my first try, had won. I tried not to gloat, but I couldn’t help myself. I must say though, that is where my fun ended. I found the style of the game a tad too redundant to keep my attention. I am not one for fighting games at all, so it is no surprise that I didn’t take too kindly to Mortal Kombat. After playing for a while, I found myself thinking of my mission at hand…video game to movie. I had no clue how they were going to turn this game, with almost no plot, into a movie.

So, I did the naturally responsible thing as a writer and put off watching the movie for a week. Once Cone finally convinced me that there was no way it could be as bad as Mario Bros. I agreed to put it into the DVD player. I was a little taken aback at first with the, uh, catchy Mortal Kombat theme song and cheesy opening scene. But I pressed on into the actual plot of the movie. I am not usually one for kung-fu type fighting movies, but there was something about the supernatural aspect of the story that kept me watching. Plus, it was kind of fun to see the characters in the game portrayed as “real” people. Perhaps the story seemed to flow so well because some key members of the video game staff, Ed Boone and John Tobias, had a writing part in the movie. They were able to take the story that was in their minds for the game and make it a reality on the big screen. I would say they did a good job in taking the somewhat shallow characters from the game and turning them into pretty decent living breathing human, and some not so human, characters in the movie.

To sum up the movie in a few sentences is pretty easy: Three martial arts experts end up on this mysterious ship that takes them to this island someplace very much not on the map. They are then instructed by Rayden, the wise old goofy guy, that they must fight for the lives of all mortals in the ultimate match on martial arts combat. They fight, they kick butt, they get their butts kicked a little, but ultimately they win. It of course ends in the sequel set up, which I suppose came around a couple of years later. Whether or not it started where this one ends…I don’t know, haven’t seen it. Mr. Boone and Mr. Tobias are now also behind a third installment of Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat: Domination set for release in 2004. We shall see how that next endeavor goes.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. It, by no means, deserves an Oscar, or even an MTV Movie Award for that matter, but it kept me entertained for over an hour and that is pretty impressive. I would say, if you like the game, you will like the movie. Even if you didn’t like the game, if you are the kung-fu action type you should check the movie out. (I am saying this like the movie just came out or something) I may even venture into the world of Mortal Kombat: Total Annihilation and see how our champion mortals fare.