After the first Mortal Kombat film was released and received much acclaim from fans in addition to box-office success, New Line Cinema decided to greenlight the sequel in 1997, entitled Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Unfortunately, the end result was a rushed and poorly made sequel that literally "destroyed all expectations" (as the poster for the film says).
The film picks up where the first one left off, despite Liu Kang (played by Robin Shou) winning the Mortal Kombat tournament, which allows the safety of the realm of Earth for another generation, Shao Kahn: the emperor of Outworld (played by Brian Thompson) breaks the sacred rules of the tournament and begins merging our world with theirs. Now, Liu and his allies must save the Earth from annihilation.
The plot here is completely weak, now I know what you're thinking, "are you really critiquing a video game movie for the plot?", yes, because I think the first Mortal Kombat film had a well-done story with the fighters receiving advice on how to win the tournament and save Earth, that's not the case with this one as it basically follows a simple pattern: talk, fight, run, talk, fight, run, and so on.
Of course, we have to look at the fight scenes, unfortunately, they're nothing spectacular this time around. Yes, they actually got some Martial Artists involved, but the fights seemed very rushed, and the non-Martial Artists seem very clumsy doing the moves.
One of the big issues with this film is that they crammed in almost every single character from Mortal Kombat II and MK3, and either butchered them or didn't give them any kind of development at all, most of the time, they just appear to have a fight scene, and are either killed off quickly, or disappear off-screen.
Other than Robin Shou and Talisa Soto, the majority of the cast from the first one have been replaced, and the new actors do a terrible job. James Remar portrayed Rayden as a weakling, throughout most of the film, he starts losing his powers to the point where he become mortal and dies. Johnny Cage is killed off 5 minutes within the film, which is rage-inducing since Cage was such a likeable character, and finished off Goro very bravely, and Shao Kahn kills him by just snapping his neck. Speaking of Shao Kahn, Brian Thompson did a horrible job as the character, he's not really a bad choice, but his performance is incredibly over-the-top to the point where it's unintentionally hilarious, and the character is a bit of a whiner because he keeps trying to impress his father (which wasn't in the games), who's always unhappy with him.
The production values aren't anything to run home about. The settings and costumes look like cheap Halloween party decorations, and the special fx are some of the worst ever to grace cinema screens. The whole thing looks like it was either made-for-TV or straight-to-video.
I will throw this film a bone, and say that the soundtrack is great to listen to, even though George S. Clinton's score for this one is okay.
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation bombed, and thus, the planned 3rd film was put in development hell and scrapped in favor of a reboot scheduled for some time around next year. It is quite possibly one of the worst movie sequels ever conceived.
Final score: 2.3