Due to the mega success of the first film in 1995, along came the less successful sequel: Mortal Kombat Annihilation. The film was padded with fight scenes almost from the very first frame and only had minor dialogue throughout. It also came with loads of cast changes to characters from the original. Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage, originally played by Bridgette Wilson and Linden Ashby, were replaced by Sandra Hess and Chris Conrad. Christopher Lambert was replaced by James Remar as Raiden. The only returnees were Talisa Soto (Kitana) and Robin Shou (Liu Kang).
Plot-wise, the story takes place in the mystic realm called Outworld ruled by the villainous Shoa Kahn (played by Brian Thompson) and it’s up to these champions to defeat him, close the Outworld’s portals, and secure Earth’s survival. The film had weaker plot exposition than the original and a very dire revamp of the iconic theme tune, where half of the lyrics did not make sense.
It was a poor attempt to cash in on the franchise, but at least it featured other returning fan favourite characters like Sub Zero and Scorpion, along with a few new introductions like Motaro, Sheeva, Jax, and Sindel, among others.
The film did not sit well with fans and critics alike. The continuity was a mess. In one scene where Sonya Blade was battling Mileena in the mud we see her costume messed up but a minute later she was totally clean. They screwed up with the location credits at the end and had some really bad blue/green screen rendering. There is an abundance of stock footage for the Earth realms restoration. They killed Johnny Cage five minutes into the film!! Ridiculous. Lastly, a revamp of the original’s opening logo was added in order to pad the film’s length. This on top of the tediously long credits barely make it worthy of being a 95 min feature.
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation signaled the start of the franchise’s decline. The only thing going for it was the climax where Shoa Kahn and Lui Kang showed their Animality, something that became a fan fave in the franchise and won me over retrospectively. For me, personally, the film wasn’t all that bad. It did inspire an abundance of cosplay at conventions. As an example, check me out testing my Sub Zero costume…
Here’s the film’s trailer: