Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

2.0 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 3/10

More fighting

Nonsense script and horrible effects

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Mortal Kombat:  Annihilation

Studio:  Threshold Entertainment

Genre(s):  Martial Arts/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  November 21, 1997

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Cool fighters…I’m sure we’ll get really good fights! Right?

The barriers between Earth and Outworld are breaking down despite the victory of Lui Kang (Robin Shou), Johnny Cage (Chris Conrad), Sonya Blade (Sandra Hess), Kitana (Talisa Soto), and Raiden (James Remar), and the emperor Shao Kahn (Brian Thompson) is making his move on Earth!  Johnny Cage is killed and the other fighters of Mortal Kombat discover that they are in an even bigger fighter against a new horde of heroes.  Lui Kang discovers his love for Kitana might not be enough to survive this battle and Earth might fall as a result.

Directed by John R. Leonetti, Mortal Kombat:  Annihilation is the follow-up to the video game martial-arts adaptation Mortal Kombat from 1995.  Though the first movie was relatively panned by critics, the movie was a financial success.  Mortal Kombat:  Annihilation was also panned but was not as strong of pull at the box office.


Yep, this is happening…

The first Mortal Kombat wasn’t good.  There were some fun moments and ok fights, but it still wasn’t great.  Mortal Kombat:  Annihilation does improve on the need for more fighting, but the nonsensical story, bad effects, and horrible acting make this movie far worse.

The stakes are higher for this film (I guess) with Earth on the verge of collapse, but the movie attempted to make it too complex.  There is a power struggle among the Elder Gods (who both the Emperor and Raiden are part of I guess) and the fighters have to split up for various reasons and end up in fights…which includes a random Godzilla-esque ending with both Lui Kang and the Emperor transforming into monsters to battle…for a moment until the budget ran out.


Cool…I bet we finally get to see a good fight…nope

Only two actors returned for this film.  Liu Kang and Kitana were portrayed by Robin Shou and Talisa Soto again, but everyone else from the previous movie was recast.  James Remar replaced Christopher Lambert as Raiden (Lambert was on Beowulf at the time), and the brief appearance of Johnny Cage was played by Chris Conrad.  Sandra Hess took over as Sonya Blade and was joined by Lynn Williams as Jax (who was originally planned to be played by Michael Jai White who dropped out for Spawn…and later played him in Mortal Kombat:  Rebirth and Mortal Kombat:  Legacy).  The X-Files bounty hunter alien character actor vet Brian Thompson has the lead as Shao-Kahn.  There are a ton of other fighters in the film (a plus), but with such a loose plot, hardly any of them develop.  It is also notable that the movie is the first film role for Ray Parker who portrayed Raiden’s stunt man.


…and suddenly, it is Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

Despite having a ton of characters, the movie somehow manages to look cheaper than Mortal Kombat.  The blue-screen work looks like blue-screen work and the movie is loaded with bad ’90s morphing technology and computer animation.  Sheeva look rather impressive, but her death is rather pathetic since her fight was killed due to budget cuts…that pretty much sums up the whole movie.

Mortal Kombat:  Annihilation does fall into the “so-bad-it-is-good” category that Mortal Kombat didn’t quite reach due to a few “ok” moments (you know it’s a bad sequel when hack director Paul W.S. Anderson doesn’t even return).  This movie is just bad and barely makes any sense regardless if you are a fan of the game or not.  A third film was planned but eventually shelved and the movies did spawn Mortal Kombat:  Konquest and some web series including Mortal Kombat:  LegacyMortal Kombat:  Annihilation was followed by Mortal Kombat reboot in 2021.

Related Links:

Mortal Kombat (1995)

Mortal Kombat (2021)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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