Mortal Kombat

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Banking on the draw of the arcade game, MORTAL KOMBAT the film follows Liu Kang (Robin Shou), Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), and Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson) on their journey to defend the future of mankind. Guided by the mighty Thunder God Raiden (Christopher Lambert), the three mortals learn to overcome their inner fears in order to battle the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and his army of henchmen, including the fearsome four-armed Prince Goro. If the mortals lose, the portal to earth will open and the Emperor will bring darkness and despair to the earth for all eternity. The mortals conquer their fears and their foes, and the earth is safe, at least until the sequel, which the film's ending shamelessly suggests. The producers of MORTAL KOMBAT obviously spared no expense on special effects in bringing the video game to life. However, minor elements such as plot, dialogue and continuity were ignored, making it merely an interminable exhibit of martial arts fighting. It will appeal to those kids, of all ages, who can tear themselves away from the arcade long enough to see the movie, then head back to the arcade.

The film's one good quality, besides being mercifully less than 90 minutes long, is that good triumphs over evil. But its atheistic, humanistic premise gives no depth to the good or the evil. Although the fighting is not bloody, people are shown being killed ruthlessly by the bad guys, and some of the sequences are much too intense for younger children. A man's neck is broken, many are clubbed to death, and most disgusting of all, an evil warrior is shown dying, expunging a stomach full of maggots and centipedes. This is a blatant case of exploiting violence to entertain. Amazingly, there are no sexual innuendoes, and objectionable language is held to several mild and moderate crudities, plus one obscenity. There are a lot more worthwhile ways to entertain oneself than violent video games or movies based on them.

Preview Reviewer: Pete Zimowski
NewLine Cinema, 888 7th Avenue, 20th Flr, NY, NY 10016

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times - Mild 3, Moderate 3

Obscene Language: Once - S-word

Profanity: Exclamatory once

Violence: Continuous - Moderate and Severe (almost non-stop martial arts posturing and fighting; one shooting; clubbings, arm and back broken, neck broken; evil warrior explodes, another shown with maggots and centipedes coming out of body)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Atheistic, humanistic premise; good conquers evil, but without spiritual source or destination

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenage and younger adult fans of video games

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