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Mortal Kombat (1995) Blu-Ray Review

Review; Oct. 9, 2011; Channels: Movies; By Ryan Goodman
Might be worth your money...

One of the most popular video game movies has been given the HD treatment and re-released on blu-ray. The movie version of Mortal Kombat was highly regarded by gamers around the world when it was released in 1995. While the movie itself does not hold up as well as it did more than 15 years ago, the updated version of the film is still a decent buy.

Mortal Kombat (1995) Stills
Click the image to view movie stills

The story of Mortal Kombat is loosely based on the 1993 arcade classic in which the fate of the world is decided in a martial arts tournament. The film primarily focuses on three main characters: Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, and specifically, Liu Kang, who is looking to avenge the death of his brother at the hands of Shang Tsung. Other popular characters, such as Sub-Zero and Scorpion, also make appearances, but they’re only seen briefly. While the story of the film holds up pretty well 16 years later, the movie itself does feel dated. Most of the special effects are cheesy when compared to the 3-D and CGI we see in theaters today. The acting is also weak, but it is much better than most video game-adapted movies, including this film’s horrendous sequel. The soundtrack will take you back to the mid '90s, with several techno tunes, including the famous “techno syndrome” that features the “MORTAL KOMBAT!” yell.

For an initial blu-ray release, Mortal Kombat is pretty bare-bones as far as special features goes. Along with the feature film and different audio and subtitle choices, the only extras on the disc are the theatrical trailer and a trailer for the recent MK game that was released last spring. Also included is a very cheesy cartoon from 1995 called Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins, which basically sets up the story for the feature film with some of the worst CGI and voice acting you’ll ever see or hear. It is worth checking out at least once for a good laugh. The only other feature the disc has is BD Live, which means other nifty features may be added down the road, but whether that will happen remains to be seen.

Overall, this is a decent blu-ray to add to your collection, especially for video game fans. While it is nowhere near the top of any films list (sans video game adaptations), it’s still a whole lot of fun to watch. If your primary blu-ray player is your PlayStation 3, then it's a must-get as the original DVD release does not play properly on that console. The lack of special features is a negative, but as it's got a low price point (around $10 at most stores), you can’t really go wrong with at least taking a look.


Review Score

Parents Strongly Cautioned

A PG-13 rating is a sterner warning by the Rating Board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture, as some material might not be suited for them. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category. The theme of the motion picture by itself will not result in a rating greater than PG-13, although depictions of activities related to a mature theme may result in a restricted rating for the motion picture. Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture's single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context. The Rating Board nevertheless may rate such a motion picture PG-13 if, based on a special vote by a two-thirds majority, the Raters feel that most American parents would believe that a PG-13 rating is appropriate because of the context or manner in which the words are used or because the use of those words in the motion picture is inconspicuous.

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