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Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

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Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
"Too bad... this movie... will DIE!"
Genre: Action
Directed By: John R. Leonetti
Produced By: Lawrence Kasanoff
Written By: Brent V. Friedman
Bryce Zabel
Based On: Mortal Kombat by Midway Games
Starring: Robin Shou
Talisa Soto
Brian Thompson
Sandra Hess
Lynn Red Williams
Irina Pantaeva
James Remar
Marjean Holden
Musetta Vander
Cinematography: Matthew F. Leonetti
Distributed By: New Line Cinema
Release Date: November 21, 1997
Runtime: 95 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $30 million
Box Office: $51.3 million
Franchise: Mortal Kombat
Prequel: Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is a 1997 martial arts-action film based on the Mortal Kombat franchise, and the sequel to Mortal Kombat.


Every generation, a portal opens up between the Outerworld and Earth. Emperor Shao-Kahn (Brian Thompson), the ruler of the mythical Outerworld, pounces the moment the portal reopens and slips through with his mighty warriors, intent on total domination and uniting the two worlds. However, he has only seven days to complete his task. In the meantime, opposition grows and warriors Sonya Blade (Sandra Hess), Jax (Lynn "Red" Williams), Kitana (Talisa Soto), and Liu Kang (Robin Shou) get ready for war.

Why This Movie Destroyed All Expectations

  1. Aside from Robin Shou and Talisa Soto reprising their roles as Liu Kang and Kitana, some of the original actors didn't come back for this movie and were replaced possibly due to production issues and unavailability.
    • Christopher Lambert (the actor who played Raiden in the first film) initially turned down because of scheduling conflicts, but in actuality, he did not like the script that was given by the writer at all. This is true reason why he left the production.
  2. Horrible tagline: the tagline makes it feel like it's destroying all expectations on the film and it shows.
  3. Almost the entire opening credits sequence is lazily copied straight from the predecessor.
  4. Unlike the previous movie that had a small amount of Mortal Kombat characters, this movie has in total of 23 Mortal Kombat characters, most of them don't get a backstory or any characterizations other than the "if you know how they look like or know their names, then you know who they are" excuse. Most of the villains except the "important villains" only serve to be defeated by the heroes or only to get killed off/defeated easily and the heroes almost get no consequences other than momentarily getting beaten up and having to learn something new or their mistakes.
  5. Many moments are heavy-handed and unnecessary, such as Nightwolf's scene.
  6. Kabal and Stryker were mentioned in the film by Rain, but they didn't make their appearances in this film.
  7. The buildup towards Animality is a very big disappointment.
  8. Johnny Cage, one of the most iconic characters in the entire Mortal Kombat franchise and the person who defeated Goro in the first film, dies in the first five minutes of the movie, despite the fact this film was made around the time Mortal Kombat Trilogy (a game where he is playable) was still relevant. This was ironic considering that Daniel Pesina, who previously played Johnny Cage in the first two games was fired by Midway and replaced by David Alexander in Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
  9. Many questions remain unanswered, such as why the Elder Gods lied to Raiden and how Scorpion (despite being an undead hellspawn as evident by his head is just a skull underneath his mask) is alive despite being killed in the first film.
  10. Some lazy editing, such as Rain's death scene being recycled for Liu Kang defeating Baraka.
  11. Way too many jump scenes.
  12. Very poor CGI effects for Liu Kang and Shao Kahn's Animality forms.
  13. Laughably bad dialogue, such as Sindel's infamous line "Too bad... you... will die!" which became a meme amongst the Mortal Kombat community, and Scorpion yelling "Suckers!" at Liu Kang and Sub-Zero.
  14. Terribly cheap costumes (mainly Liu Kang and Raiden) and Jax having arm implants that are clearly made out of rubber and not metal.
  15. Bleak and bland backgrounds.
  16. Irina Pantaeva is white-washed and miscast as Jade.
  17. Some characters don't get much screen time as they should.
    • Like for example, Scorpion and Sub-Zero, two of the most iconic characters of the franchise are underutilized and have one brief fight scene and both aren't shown again, and Sheeva, a major Mortal Kombat 3 character, unfortunately, dies without fighting anyone (much to the disappointment of her portrayer), which makes her involvement in the story completely pointless.
  18. Terrible green-screen effects.
  19. Some fight scenes are a little short.
  20. Even though the villains are portrayed excellently, their development is terrible.
  21. Raiden quickly changed from an Elder God into a martial artist from Earthrealm for no reason at all.
  22. Jade's betrayal was a nice twist but her dying by Shao Kahn was a terrible idea.
  23. Shao Kahn kills Rain and Jade for stupid reasons without bothering to explain this motive other than coming up with foolish reasons like beg for their lives or leading the heroes into an ambush, even though Jade and Sindel were fairly outnumbered.
  24. Lack of fatalities (except Sonya's kiss of death) and blood.
  25. The film acknowledges the fact that humanity is facing destruction, but it doesn't show people actually dying or screaming for their lives making the apocalyptic destruction seem unrealistic.
  26. During the fight with Mileena and Sonya, the mud on their bodies appears and disappears, and the monster that appears after the battle is horribly CGI.
  27. Shao Kahn takes off his mask multiple times which he'll never do, and he has a human face for some reason.
  28. Originally, this movie was going to have a sequel but it never happened due to the poor reception and the disappointing box-office performance, leading to this film ending the original live-action Mortal Kombat series on a sour note.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Some of the villains like Sheeva and Motaro look cool.
  2. The fight between Sonya and Mileena was great.
  3. Liu Kang's fight with Smoke by default is the best fight scene.
  4. MK mascots Scorpion and Sub-Zero get to fight each other.
  5. Ed Boon, who voiced Scorpion in the game, was also reprised Scorpion in this movie.
  6. Sindel's costume is good.
  7. The story was interesting.
  8. The music is top-notch as always.
  9. Despite Sandra Hess replacing Bridgette Wilson as Sonya, she does a good job in portraying her character more and the chemistry with Jax is great as well making it possibly the best character development than anyone.



In contrast to its predecessor, which was a box office success and has people willing to defend it saying it is a good movie to this day, Annihilation was critically panned and under-performed at the box office. As a result, not only was it was considered by many as one of the worst sequels and video game movies of all time, but the development of a planned sequel to this movie was halted and never progressed beyond pre-production. Ed Boon himself declares that he hates the film, claiming it the worst thing to be associated with the series up.

It currently holds a 4% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 2.50 out of 10. The critic consensus reads "With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat - Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor." On IMDB, the film holds a 3.7/10.

YouTuber Lukimus Prime regards this movie as the second worst movie he’s seen after Fant4stic in his Mortal Kombat movies ranking video, rating this movie 0/10 and nicknaming it “Mortal Kombat: Abomination”.

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