Mortal Kombat (1995)

Nothing In This World Has Prepared You For This.

For nine generations an evil sorcerer has been victorious in hand-to-hand battle against his mortal enemies. If he wins a tenth Mortal Kombat tournament, desolation and evil will reign over the multiverse forever. To save Earth, three warriors must overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, their own inner demons, and superhuman foes in this action/adventure movie based on one of the most popular video games of all time.

Mortal Kombat was one of the most popular, and controversial video games of the 90s, so naturally, in 1995, New Line Cinema released a live- action film adaptation. When the film was being advertised, several people were either excited for it, or skeptical due to Street Fighter being a total stinker, and since the film was rated PG-13, which meant the violence and gore from the game had to be toned down to appeal to the then-young MK fan base. Thankfully, all expectations were surpassed as Mortal Kombat actually turned out to be, believe it or not, a good video game movie. Upon its release, the film was, surprisingly, a box- office success, making it the first video game adaptation to be successful both financially, and with fans, despite mixed reviews from critics (although Gene Siskel gave the movie a thumbs up). To this day, it is considered one of the better game to film translations. Now, it's time to find out why that is the case.
The film succeeds by sticking to the plot of the first game while incorporating elements from Mortal Kombat II. The plot itself is very similar to Enter the Dragon (which I consider to be the greatest Martial Arts film ever made), but with a supernatural twist to it, which is rather refreshing, and helps it stand on its own. Unlike Street Fighter where the focus was on Guile instead of Ryu and Ken (the original protagonists of that franchise), this movie centers mostly around the Mortal Kombat game's original protagonist; Liu Kang.
All of the characters from the first Mortal Kombat game (as well as a few from MKII) are present in the film, and are given appropriate development, and screen time. The casting is also spot-on. This is one of the few adaptations of a video game, comic book, and cartoon show (at least one of the few I could think of) where all of the actors are cast perfectly. Christopher Lambert, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa are especially great as Rayden and Shang Tsung (respectively), they deliver the right amount of charisma without chewing the scenery. Linden Ashby also plays a great Johnny Cage since he brings the character's cocky personality to life, and delivers some of the best humor in this movie. But my favorite casting choice in the film has to be Robin Shou as Liu Kang. Not only is Liu my favorite character in the games, but Shou looks very much like the character, and makes you feel for him by showing his impulsiveness, and guilt over the death of his brother. It's a shame he didn't receive more starring vehicles after this movie, because I feel he is a capable actor, and Martial Artist. He definitely has more of a personality than Steven Seagal.
While the movie is rated PG-13, and doesn't contain the large amounts of gore from the game, it does make up for this area with the large amounts of Martial Arts action. The fight scenes are very well done, and often emulate more of the Hong Kong style of fight choreography, which was a refreshing change from most American action films prior to this. They also incorporate several of the special moves from the game, such as Liu Kang's bicycle kick, Scorpion's spear that comes out of his hand, etc., and they manage to make them look believable, and not embarrassing, unlike Street Fighter.
The person who directed this movie is Paul W.S. Anderson, and if that name sounds familiar, that's because this is the same man who would later go on to butcher Alien vs. Predator, and the Resident Evil movies. Despite his more recent efforts, he does a solid job directing this film. One of the strong points of his direction (aside from how well he filmed the fight scenes) is how he handled the movie on a technical, and design level. The cinematography, set designs, and lighting are stylish, and keep in touch with the game's dark, and mystical atmosphere. The special FX in the movie are also pretty cool, granted, they aren't exactly Terminator 2, or Jurassic Park, but they work fine for a film released in 1995. Though not everything is CGI, the character of Goro is a puppet, which still looks good to this day, and were created by special FX masters Alec Gillis, and Tom Woodruff, Jr.
Overall, Mortal Kombat is still a fun film to watch. It made up greatly for Street Fighter, and in my opinion, it still is one of the best video game movies (right up there with Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist). It may not be Oscar winning material, but it is one of my personal favorite movies, and as a huge fighting game fan, I couldn't be any more proud of it.

New Line Cinema, Threshold Entertainment by Paul W.S. Anderson, Ed Boon, John Tobias, Kevin Droney.
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa.

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Keywords: saving the world martial arts monster island magic villain alternate dimension ninja gore sorcerer tournament underground fighting based on video game gods ghost hand to hand combat warrior action hero supernatural power mortal kombat good versus evil


Streaming Services


Watch thousands of shows and movies. HBO®, SHOWTIME®, CINEMAX® and STARZ® are also available as add-ons. Starting at USD 5.99 / month and is a steal when we compare the streaming quality and the variety of services on offer. Hulu is gaining traction all over the world. In case you are not from the USA and still want to use Hulu to watch than using a decent VPN is one option that you must explore.

Youtube TV

Priced at USD 44.99 most of the significant channels are available on this app. Its a Google product hence the streaming quality under every kind of internet connection is just flawless. They are after-all the market leaders of online videos and live stream. Remember this is also a bundled service and provides for many good entertainment channels. Its a very reliable service, and people residing outside the USA should check for the availability of the channel in their country. If its not available then using a decent VPN service is the best bet.

PlayStation VUE

Priced at USD 44.99 per month. PlayStation Vue is all action and no nonsense streaming option out there. It provides an extraordinary live TV streaming experience. It is currently only available in the USA. In case you still want to use it a descent VPN service is recommended.

VPN Services

We have got solutions for you where you can use VPN’s to have access to the channels using your streaming service. Though you may find tons of VPN brands over the Internet, choosing the correct one can become difficult.

We have picked the best VPN brand for you so that you can peacefully watch sports from your home’s comfort.


We recommend using ExpressVPN to easily access a variety of channels anonymously and securely. ExpressVPN offer blazing-fast VPN speeds to watch on all devices, the best-in-class privacy protection and unlimited premium bandwidth. Get ExpressVPN now for 49% off their 12-month package at only $6.67/month and watch your favorite movies, shows and live streams!

  • Bypass geo-restrictions to access: Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW, BBC iPlayer, iTV, Sky Go (Italy), Rai TV, Crackle, Showtime, Sling TV, FX, NBC, ABC, and more
  • The only provider that unblocks Netflix not just on the VPN, but also using SmartDNS on non VPN–compatible devices such as: Apple TV, PlayStation, Xbox, and smart TVs
  • Unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee