Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

Make no mistake: This is a real stinker. There’s just about no interest in character development, the plot is somehow both featherweight and overstuffed, and the special effects look like they were lifted directly from the video game itself (which is not exactly a compliment given the fact that this is a big-studio theatrical release). But really though, there’s no denying that this is an freaking blast to watch: Director John R. Leonetti has no loyalty to the preceding movie (even dispatching a major character in the first five minutes rather unceremoniously), and that’s only one of many throw-anything-at-the-walls attitude that results in a number of unintentionally hilarious moments, like a hysterically overhyped Sheeva and some ridiculous stunts that just look so, so stupid. Additionally, the aforementioned special effects are honestly, shockingly bad: I was so struck by ugly they look that I looked up the movie’s production history, and discovered that the theatrical version was released against director Leonetti’s wishes, and that the effects in the released version were actually placeholders for screen tests. I mean, that’s a whole lot of anti-masterpiece elements converging on a single screen (and I haven’t even mentioned Musetta Vander’s genuinely atrocious performance as Sindel, which makes Jeremy Irons in “Dungeons and Dragons” look dignified), and what you end up with is a terrible, terrible movie that’s also as much fun as a barrel of drunken monkeys. So grab a few smart-mouth friends and some edibles, and you’ll absolutely love it… in “that” way.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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