Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
PG-13
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -1

Based on the video game by the same name, this sequel attempts to cash in on all the quarters spent by kids at the arcade. And like the game, it features one martial arts fight after another. In the last film, the evil Shao-Khan was defeated by Liu Kang and closed the passage between the outer world and earth. But Shao-Khan re-opens the passage, and Rayden, the thunder-god who chose to live with mortals, then takes his martial arts champions to the temple of the elder gods. From there they go into the outer world to once again defeat Shao-Khan. But the trip to the temple is perilous as Shao-Khan sends his fighters to capture or kill them. Liu Kang goes to the desert to learn from a Navajo warrior who teaches him to find his inner animal. In the outer world, Rayden becomes mortal and is killed by Shao-Khan. Liu and the others must defeat Khan to save the world. The point of the movie, like the game, is to defeat as many other fighters as possible, but the special effects and exaggerated fights are less entertaining than playing the game. Therefore, kids may flock to MORTAL KOMBAT but enthusiasm will quickly fade.

The film features severe kicks, hits, and stabbings. People are thrown across rooms and through walls. One robot-like fighter fires pellets which dissolve human flesh. In one scene, a monster appears out of a rock attempting to eat a woman. In another scene he comes out of a wall and succeeds. Other fighters are thrown into a pit of fire. Equally disturbing is the mythological aspects of the movie which make the outer world look like Hell, and mythic creatures including a centaur and the Hindu goddess Shiva. The elder gods are shown as the elements of fire, wind and water worshipped by ancient religions. Rayden spouts New Age mottos like finding your strength within yourself. Working together as a team is a good idea, but Rayden tells his fighters they are a family. Liu also journeys to the desert to be taught by a Navajo warrior how to "find his animal within." With all the violent fights, there's little time for sex although a woman drops her robe showing a bikini and attempts to seduce Liu. When he rejects her, it's another fight scene. Almost no foul language is present except for some moderate crudities. Still, the violence and New Age type teachings are the death of MORTAL KOMBAT.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: New Line Cinema, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, New York, NY 10106

Summary
Crude Language: Several (8) times - Mild 6, Moderate 2
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Once - exclamatory
Violence: Many times - moderate and severe (necks broken, martial arts kicks, hits, swords, explosions, body dissolves to bones, man thrown into fire pit, wolf attacks man, wolf becomes human, monster comes out of wall and eats woman, men become dragons and fight)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None; Near nudity once (woman drops robe to show bikini)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Woman attempts to seduce fighter, sensual kiss, man comments on woman's body
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Reference to mythological gods; mythological characters like Hindu goddess Shiva and centaur from Greek mythology; underworld is like Hell; man told to find the animal within; large dragon emerges from Shao-Khan at death; Rayden becomes mortal and dies but resurrected when evil defeated; Rayden encourages teamwork and teaches that faith in self is all that's needed.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Young teens

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