(sigh) Where do I begin? Anytime I’ve approached a film on this show, I always try to remain a positive voice since I know most people will take care of the opposing side. However, finding anything positive to say about this film is harder than solving the Riemann hypothesis. So, unless hell freezes over, I too will be kicking the shit out of this film.
I watched this film in theaters on opening weekend and it was the very first time I walked out of a theater, feeling robbed. Like someone owed me my time and money back.
As soon as the movie gets started, you can tell something isn’t going to be right. Three actors from the first film have already bounced, replaced by bargain basement versions. And look, they may be great actors in their own right. I can say that I have enjoyed James Remar’s work in other films. But here… not so much. I think the only reason Robin Shou stayed on was because he didn’t have anything else going on. But I can’t confirm that. I wasn’t there. Same with Talisa Soto. Who knows? Sometimes you need a paycheck.
Then we see Shao Kahn for the film and (sigh) the moment I saw Brain Thompson, my expectations immediately dropped. He’s like the poster child for bad movies. I know he’s been in the rare one here and there, but 90% of his filmography is trash. Plus, after being treated to an amazing tease of Shao Kahn in the first film, this was far from the pay-off we were promised.
Also during this scene, you can immediately see the decrease in film quality. So much piss-poor green screen work. Then the costume designer looks like they raided the dumpster at a Party City somewhere. Like how do you have more money in your budget than last time, yet make your movie look significantly cheaper?
I’ll tell you how! You cram it to the brim with so much unnecessary shit! Like my god! There was a film producer sitting on the side lines somewhere saying, “Well, we gotta have this character and this character and this character and this character because fans love them and we don’t want to upset the fans.” Well you failed because fans were plenty upset by this abortion.
While some characters with nothing to do at least felt like they had a purpose, others were down right shoved in with absolutely no explanation whatsoever. Case in point: Mileena. She comes out of nowhere and attacks Sonya, all for the sake of a fight. What makes it even worse is when Sonya looks at this masked individual and says, “Kitana?” She looks nothing like her! AT ALL! Furthermore, the filmmakers could have easily had Talisa Soto play this role since Mileena’s supposed to be a twin. At least one thing in this movie would have made sense.
And while this is a PG-13 film we obviously can’t have fatalities. The first film cleverly found a way around that which was cool. This film insteads to opt for one of the most ludicrous aspects in the games: the Animality. And I guess I should thank them for attempting to explain this soul searching journey Liu Kang must take to unlock his Animality but then you see it at the end of the film and wish to god you were blind. Furthermore, you can only hope to be blessed with a rock to the head in hopes of damaging your short-term memory, so you’ll never again be burdened with such memories. I guess we should be grateful they didn’t choose babalities.
I guess if there was one little sliver of something good in this film it would be Litefoot as Nightwolf. This dude looks like he walked straight out of the game and does a decent enough job with the material he’s given. It’s nothing more than a glorified cameo but at least it’s important to the story… whatever that is…
Honestly, I’m not even sure where to go from here. The movie is so damn incoherent that I don’t even know what to focus on next. Scorpion and Sub-Zero fight? Random, pointless, and makes zero sense. One could say “sub-zero” sense and that joke would be on par with this film. Liu Kang fights Jade for some reason. Baraka, I guess, shows up swinging on chains or something? I didn’t rewatch this film because I didn’t want to be angry for 90 minutes.
This movie is shite. Pure and simple. I honestly think that the filmmakers wrote up a budget of $30M, pocketed $20M of that then the rest went to the production. And I’m being generous when I say that. I don’t like this movie…at all.