"Mortal Kombat" (1995) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #105 Gem Mint 10.0

“Mortal Kombat“ (1995)

Director: Paul W. S. Anderson (as Paul Anderson)

Writer: Ed Boon, John Tobias, Kevin Droney

Starring: Robin Shou, Christopher Lambert, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras (as Bridgette Wilson), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Talisa Soto, Trevor Goddard, Chris Casamassa, Francois Petit, Gregory McKinney

Rated: PG-13 for non-stop martial arts action and some violence

Runtime: 1h 41min

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Country: USA

Language: English

"Three unknowing martial artists are summoned to a mysterious island to compete in a tournament whose outcome will decide the fate of the world."

You might like this if you like: Mortal Kombat, Video Games, Martial Arts, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Robin Shou, Christopher Lambert, Paul W. S. Anderson, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras (as Bridgette Wilson), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Talisa Soto, Trevor Goddard, Chris Casamassa, Francois Petit, Gregory McKinney

"Mortal Kombat" (1995)

I'm ashamed to say; I missed out on the "Mortal Kombat" films growing up. Having watched them (this & "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" 1997) only this year for the first time... I REALLY enjoyed myself. Especially this first one directed by Paul W. S. Anderson.

Right off the bat I fell in love with its style and 90s aesthetic. 'Sonya Blade's (Bridgette Wilson) introduction was so metal and hardcore, with its dutch angles and backlighting in the club. S.W.A.T. showdown opening. Hooked me in pretty fast.

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras in "Mortal Kombat" (1995)

Robin Shou as 'Liu Kang' was terrific! Knowing there was that sort of Asian representation and respect in 1995 Hollywood was pretty cool. Not saying I know of anything that went on behind the camera, but even with the women too, really felt an honoring and respect for Asians and women. They were on the same level, if not higher, then everyone else in the film.

The fact that Robin Shou was the lead for this along with Bridgette Wilson was awesome! They both owned it and deserved it! Their action scenes still held up for in terms of choreography. Sure, it doesn't hit the gore level you'd expect from playing the video game, but doesn't take away from these awesome actors' stunts and performances.

Francois Petit (left) & Robin Shou (right) in "Mortal Kombat" (1995)

I love Christopher Lambert (and adore James Remar, but I'll save that for my 'Mortal Kombat: Annihilation' (1997) review) though Raiden was always one of my favorites to play as in the video games. So seeing two white guys was funny to me, though if we had to pick two white guys (James Remar is the re-casted actor for Raiden in the 'Mortal Kombat' sequel 'Annihilation'), those two are pretty darn great. Love Lambert from "Highlander" (1986) and Remar from many things, but Showtime's "Dexter" standouts as a favorite.

"Mortal Kombat" (1995)

The fight choreography was pretty damn awesome despite not having the gore. Felt like it held up with any of the other martial arts films coming out of Hong Kong at that time. Packed the same amount of punch in my opinion, with some of those 90s Jet Li or Jackie Chan films.

I went in knowing and expecting not too much from the visual effects end, so my expectations were pretty low. They were fun! 90s visual effects are pure fun to me! Adds to the experience! All those elements I mentioned above, are what held the film together for me.

Chris Casamassa in "Mortal Kombat" (1995)

As a fan of the games, I was a pretty big fan of this film! I do think fans of martial arts (particularly 80s and 90s martial arts films) would get a kick out of this one!

Written by Sam Gall on May 5, 2021

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"Unlike other games-inspired turkeys (Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter), this one actually works, thanks mainly to director Paul Anderson's single-minded dedication to nonstop, expertly choreographed martial arts action, all set to a thumping techno beat." - John Ferguson, Radio Times

"It's a movie rife with mullets, gratuitous gymnastics, screamed lines, and terrible CGI. But it all just contributes to the charm." - Dan Seitz, Uproxx

"Hardly award-worthy entertainment, and pretty visually dated, but probably one of the better video game movies ever made comparatively." - R.L. Shaffer, IGN DVD

"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." - Derek Adams, Time Out

"A martial arts action-adventure with wondrous special effects and witty production design, it effectively combines supernatural terror, a mythical slay-the-dragon, save-the-princess odyssey and even a spiritual quest for self-knowledge." - Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Official Trailer:

Behind the Scenes:

Available on various VOD platforms

#MortalKombat #MortalKombat1995 #EdBoon #Skorpion #SubZero #Goro #MortalKombatMovie #MortalKombatOriginal #MKMovie #PaulWSAnderson #ChristopherLambert #LiuKang #RobinShou #BridgetteWilsonSampras #BridgetteWilson #CaryHiroyukiTagawa #SamGallMovieReviews

22 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All