The first Mortal Kombat movie is very flawed but it is at least enjoyable to some degree. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was a chance to fix those flaws and provide us with a fun martial arts movie without the slow start of the first. What we got was less of an annihilation and more of an abomination. MK: A takes what was fun about the first and disposes of it. What is left is a husk of a movie that either tried too hard or did not try at all and I just cannot figure out which one it is.

The film takes place directly after the last scene of the first film with Shao Kahn appearing. He opens up a portal which in six days will merge his world with Earth unless some unlikely heroes stop him. Johnny Cage is killed within five minutes, leaving it up to Liu Kang and Kitana (the only two characters whose actors stayed on), Sonya Blade and her reunited partner Jax to help Raiden save the day. Kitana is kidnapped and spends most of the film in a cage waiting to be rescued by Liu. There are an impressive number of Mortal Kombat characters in this one but most of them show up randomly, get beaten up and are never seen again. Shao Kahn is supported by Shinnok, Sindel, Sheva and Motaro who didn’t get the memo about his name having to start with an S and thus cannot truly be considered a member of the S Club.

Annihilation had a good budget compared to its prequel – $30 million as opposed to $18 million – but it looks and feels so much cheaper. They clearly tried to use that money and added a lot more CGI effects and having characters do quadruple spins every time they jumped but the result is laughable. Any time there is a green screen it looks too obvious, certain props look like they were made out of paper and a lot of the effects they use just make things look worse. There are scenes in this film that Power Rangers would be embarrassed about.

The worst offender though is near the end of the film where Kahn and Liu transform into their beast counterparts but the CGI is so bad that it becomes the most entertaining thing about Annihilation.

The acting is still terrible even with the new cast, the script is somehow more basic and cliched and even the fight scenes, the one thing that could have saved this film, are uninteresting. There are a couple of decent fights but they are too few and far between. The original film had some fantasy elements to the fights but they were mostly grounded whereas Annihilation tries too hard to make things look fancy by having all the characters do multiple flips in the air and incredibly unrealistic moves and instead of making it look more impressive, it ends up just taking too much away from the movie.

This film is so bad that I am tempted to go back and either give the first film a better or worse score. On one hand, Annihilation makes the original look a lot better but on the other I’m starting to think that maybe there is not actually a whole lot of difference between the two and I was too kind on it. I did not even enjoy this film as a bad film, I went into this film in a good mood and it sucked all of that away. It is a worthless waste of time.


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