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Still shot from the movie: Mortal Kombat.

Mortal Kombat

This big screen adaptation of the video game Mortal Kombatfeatures three professional martial arts fighters who must must battle to save the earth from ruthless aliens. Get the movie review and more. »


Overall: D 0.5
Violence: D-
Sexual Content: A-
Language: B
Drugs/Alcohol: --
Run Time: 101
Theater Release: 15 Aug 1995
Video Release: 26 Mar 1997
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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If you think the little cartoon like characters on video games are violent, just imagine the gore that can be produced using real people. After viewing Mortal Kombat, you won't have to imagine any longer. The script takes you through one fight after the next, level by level, until you reach the great battle at the end. However, unlike the video game on which it's based, (and even more importantly, unlike real life) the players in this movie always win.

Mortal Kombat's plot? Three characters -- all professional martial arts fighters -- must fight in a battle to save the earth from ruthless aliens from another world. That's it. The rest of the film is a continual fight fest with unending violence without consequences. People are brutally injured, mutilated, and killed with no regard for life. Verbal negotiation is never attempted to solve a conflict.

The opening scene is a prime example of what is to come. A young warrior is fighting with a more experienced man. He is soon beaten to the ground, his back broken with the sound of crushing bones. Then, he is raised up by his hair and mocked.

This film teaches a survival of the fittest philosophy that extends to a religious level. The gods portrayed are all evil, with the exception of one that is a wisecracking karate coach. This leaves an impression that learning to fight is a priority in life that negates the need for faith in anyone or anything else.

If your children are interested in martial arts, find another movie that at least depicts these skills realistically, and not within a lawless society as shown here. The producers are careful to note at the end of the credits that the American Humane Society was impressed that not even an insect was harmed during the making of this movie. Too bad they don't have the same concern for the minds of the young American Human Society that are likely watching this.

Mortal Kombat is rated PG-13: for non-stop martial arts action and some violence.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast: Christopher Lambert, Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Bridgette Wilson
Studio: 1995 New Line Home Video

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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