Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
|Mortal Kombat: Annihilation|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John R. Leonetti|
|Produced by||Lawrence Kasanoff|
|Screenplay by||Brent V. Friedman
|Story by||Lawrence Kasanoff
|Based on||Mortal Kombat
by Ed Boon and John Tobias
Lynn "Red" Williams
|Music by||George S. Clinton|
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Editing by||Peck Prior|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||94 minutes|
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is a 1997 American martial arts action film directed by John R. Leonetti. Based on the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games, the film is the sequel to 1995's Mortal Kombat.
The film stars Robin Shou, Talisa Soto, Brian Thompson, Sandra Hess, Lynn "Red" Williams, Irina Pantaeva, Marjean Holden and James Remar. The storyline was largely an adaptation of Mortal Kombat 3, following a band of warriors as they attempt to save Earth from the evil Shao Kahn. Although the story picks up where the last film left off, most of the lead roles were recast.
In contrast to its predecessor, which was a box office success and well received, Annihilation was critically panned and underperformed at the box office. As a result, development of a planned sequel to the film was halted and never progressed beyond pre-production.
The evil emperor Shao Kahn (Brian Thompson) opens a portal from Outworld to the Earthrealm and has reclaimed his queen Sindel (Musetta Vander), who is Kitana's (Talisa Soto) long-dead mother. Earthrealm is therefore in danger of being absorbed into Outworld within six days, a fate which Liu Kang (Robin Shou) and the others must fight to prevent. Kahn fights and quickly kills Johnny Cage (Chris Conrad) during the confrontation by snapping his neck, and the remaining Earthrealm warriors must regroup and think of an idea to defeat Shao Kahn. An emotionally guilt-ridden Sonya (Sandra Hess) enlists the help of her old partner, Jax (Lynn "Red" Williams), while Kitana and Liu Kang search for a Native American shaman named Nightwolf (Litefoot), who seemingly knows the key to defeating Kahn. On the way, they run afoul of the cyborg Smoke. Kitana and Liu Kang dispatch him with the aid of Sub-Zero (Keith Cooke), but Scorpion (J.J. Perry) suddenly appears, attacks Sub-Zero, and kidnaps Kitana.
Raiden (James Remar) meets with the Elder Gods and asks them why Kahn was allowed to break the tournament rules and force his way into Earthrealm, and how he can be stopped. The answers he receives are sparse and ambiguous; one says that reuniting Kitana with her mother, Sindel, is the key to breaking Kahn's hold on Earthrealm, but another Elder God insists that the defeat of Kahn himself is the solution. Raiden is then asked by the Elder Gods about his feelings and obligations towards the mortals, and what he would be willing to do to ensure their survival. Liu Kang finds Nightwolf, who teaches him about the power of the Animality, a form of shapeshifting which utilizes the caster's strengths and abilities. To achieve the mindset needed to acquire this power, Liu Kang must pass three tests. The first is a trial of his self-esteem and focus. The second comes in the form of temptation, which manifests itself in the form of Jade (Irina Pantaeva), who attempts to seduce Liu Kang and make him forget about Kitana. Liu Kang resists Jade's advances, which impresses her. She offers her assistance in fighting Kahn. Liu Kang accepts Jade's offer and takes her with him to the Elder Gods' temple, where he and his friends are to meet Raiden. The third test is never seen.
At the temple, the Earthrealm warriors reunite with a newly shorn Raiden, who explains that he has sacrificed his immortality to freely fight alongside them. Together, they head for Outworld to rescue Kitana and reunite her with Sindel. With Jade's help, Liu Kang sneaks into Kahn's castle and rescues Kitana, while the others find Sindel. Unfortunately, Sindel remains under Kahn's control, and she escapes while a trio of Raptors ambush the heroes, while Jade reveals herself to be a mole sent by Kahn to disrupt the heroes' plans. Raiden then reveals that Shao Kahn is his brother, and that Elder God Shinnok (Reiner Schöne) is their father. He realizes that Shinnok had lied to him and is supporting Kahn. With renewed purpose, Raiden and the Earthrealm warriors make their way to the final showdown with Kahn and his generals. Shinnok demands that Raiden submit to him and restore their broken family, at the expense of his mortal friends. Raiden refuses and is killed by an energy blast from Shao Kahn.
Though the early going is rough, Jax, Sonya, and Kitana emerge victorious against their opponents, but Liu Kang struggles with Kahn, and his Animality barely proves effective. Shinnok attempts to intervene and kill Liu Kang on Kahn's behalf, but two of the Elder Gods arrive, having uncovered Shinnok's treachery. They declare that the fate of Earth shall be decided in Mortal Kombat. Liu Kang finally defeats Kahn, and Shinnok is banished to the Netherrealm. Earthrealm reverts to its former state, and with Kahn's hold over Sindel finally broken, she reunites with Kitana. Raiden is revived by the other Elder Gods, who bestow upon him his father's former position. With everything right in the universe once again, the Earthrealm heroes return home triumphant.
- John Medlen as Ermac
- Dennis Keiffer as Baraka
- Tyrone Wiggins as Rain
Production and release 
Part of the movie was filmed on location at Parys Mountain on the island of Anglesey. The scenes involving the Temple of The Elder Gods were filmed on location at Petra, a large temple and basin located in Jordan. In the closing credits, Wales, where several scenes were filmed, is incorrectly listed as being part of England. The French release of the movie was known as Mortal Kombat: Destruction Finale (Final Destruction), while the Italian release was titled Mortal Kombat: Distruzione Totale (Total Destruction).
The film's novelization by Jerome Preisler was released through Tor Books.
Critical response 
As was the case with the original, Annihilation was not pre-screened for film critics. However, the film received extremely negative reviews. It has a 6% approval rating from the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 31 reviews with an average rating of 2.4/10, and the consensus: "With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score, rated the film and a rating of 11 out of 100 based on 12 reviews from film critics. Jason Gibner of Allmovie said, "Whereas the first film was a guilty schlock pleasure, this sequel is an exercise in the art of genuinely beautiful trash cinema." James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film 1/2 out of four stars and described Annihilation as having "no story, no characters, and no coherence." while Marjorie Baumgarten of the Austin Chronicle said that the film is "nothing more than a perpetual chain of elaborately choreographed fight sequences that...are linked together by the most flimsy and laughable of plot elements." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "D–" rating, and called it "abysmal" and "incoherent."
Though Annihilation attempted to continue in the style of the first movie, the cast of returning characters from the original was almost completely overhauled; only Robin Shou (Liu Kang) and Talisa Soto (Kitana) reprised their roles, while the only other actor to return was Keith Cooke (Reptile in the first film) as Sub-Zero. Additionally, while the original attracted casual moviegoers as well as gamers, Annihilation catered exclusively to MK fans. In a February 2001 interview with fansite Total Mortal Kombat, actress Marjean Holden (Sheeva) expressed her displeasure at the filmmakers' treatment of her character. In the shooting script and novelization, Sheeva met her demise in an extensive fight scene with newly mortal Raiden, but the scene was never filmed and her screen time was scant in the finished print, with Raiden instead fighting two Reptiles and Sheeva's death simply coming from a falling cage. "Here was a character, that was one of the most popular [in] the video game...and they killed her without even so much as a fight! Something I was not happy about at all. That was one of the reasons I wanted to do the role, was for the sheer fact that there were really great fights in the movie for this character, and they all got cut out." In 2012, the games' co-creator Ed Boon chose this film as the "worst moment" in the Mortal Kombat franchise.
Box office 
Annihilation was released on November 21, 1997, and its opening weekend take was $16 million, enough for a number-one debut at the box office, but it was nonetheless a 30% drop from the original's opener of $23 million. While it grossed $35 million domestically, it was only $5 million above its budget and amounted to half of the original's total domestic take of $70 million. Annihilation made $51 million worldwide, a 59% drop from the original's total box office gross of $122 million.
|Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by various|
|Released||October 28, 1997|
|Genre||Electronica, Industrial, Heavy metal|
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is the soundtrack to the film. The Mortal Kombat theme was composed by Praga Khan and Oliver Adams.
|Mortal Kombat: Annihilation: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|1.||"Theme From Mortal Kombat (Encounter The Ultimate)"||The Immortals||3:19|
|4.||"Almost Honest (Danny Saber Mix)"||Megadeth||4:01|
|8.||"Conga Fury"||Juno Reactor||5:40|
|9.||"Anomaly (Calling Your Name) (Granny's 7" Edit)"||Libra Presents Taylor||4:02|
|10.||"Ready Or Not (Ben Grosse Kombat Mix)"||Manbreak||3:43|
|11.||"Back On A Mission"||Cirrus||3:38|
|12.||"I Won't Lie Down (Kombat Mix)"||Face To Face||3:22|
|14.||"Leave U Far Behind (V2 Instrumental Mix)"||Lunatic Calm||3:09|
|15.||"We Have Explosive (Radio Edit)"||The Future Sound of London||3:26|
|16.||"Two Telephone Calls And An Air Raid"||Shaun Imrei||4:43|
|17.||"Death Is The Only Way Out"||Joseph Bishara||3:04|
|18.||"X-Squad (Original Motion Picture Score)"||George S. Clinton feat. Buckethead||2:34|
|19.||"Theme From Mortal Kombat (Chicken Dust Mix)"||Kasz & Beal||3:33|
Production on a second sequel, titled Mortal Kombat: Devastation, was initially scheduled to commence shortly after the release of Annihilation, but it was shelved due to Annihilation's poor box-office performance. It consequently has remained stagnant in preproduction for over a decade, including being mired in development hell for a number of years with numerous script rewrites and story changes, along with the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, which greatly affected one of the shooting locations. In June 2009, a bankruptcy court lawsuit saw Lawrence Kasanoff suing Midway, mentioning that a third film was in the works. Warner Bros. (which became the parent of New Line in 2008, after over a decade of both operating as separate divisions of Time Warner) ended up purchasing most of Midway's assets, including Mortal Kombat, the next month.
Actor Chris Casamassa reported in July 2009 that he was reprising his role as Scorpion and claimed that filming would begin in September of the same year, while Linden Ashby (Johnny Cage in the first film) said on Soap Talk that he read the script and planned on returning to the role. However, the film still has yet to officially go into production, and no information about the project exists on the official MK website produced by Threshold Entertainment, which has not been updated since 2004. Bloody Disgusting reported in January 2010 that Warner Bros. had hired Oren Uziel to write a new script of the reboot, but in a May interview with G4, Uziel denied having had any contact with the studio or even being attached to the project. That same month, G4 also interviewed Paul W.S. Anderson, who had directed the original; he expressed interest in returning to the franchise, though he is not currently under consideration to do so.
Although a true sequel was never produced, director Kevin Tancharoen released a seven-minute short film titled Mortal Kombat: Rebirth in June 2010 to pitch a reboot of the franchise. The short film resulted in a web series called Mortal Kombat: Legacy and in September 2011 Tancharoen signed on to direct a full length film reboot.
- "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- Gibner, Jason. "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation". Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- Berrardinelli, James (November 1997). "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation". ReelViews. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- Baumgarten, Marjorie (November 28, 1997). "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- Glieberman, Owen (December 5, 1997). "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- "What's in this movie for MK gamers? 'There are more characters in this movie from the game than last time, and there's a lot of new ones, to coincide with the fourth game.' "Mortal Kombat II - Cory Doctorow, SciFi Entertainment, 11/97; reprinted on craphound.com
- Interview with: Marjean Holden - Total Mortal Kombat, 2/4/01
- Reyan Ali, Ed Boon's 12 Biggest Mortal Kombat Memories, Complex.com, September 12, 2012
- "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- "Mortal Kombat Annihilation - Original Soundtrack". Allmusic.
- Clint Morris (2008-02-08). "Director talks Mortal Kombat reboot". Moviehole.net. Retrieved 2008-02-08.[dead link]
- "WB Picks Up Rights to Midway Video Games". Comingsoon.net. 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- Polybren (2009-07-08). "Third Mortal Kombat movie filming in September - Report". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "Linden Ashby talks about Mortal Kombat".
- mortalkombat.com - Threshold Entertainment
- "Finish Them! A New Mortal Kombat on the Way!".
- 'Mortal Kombat' Movie in the Works as a 7-Minute Introduction Arrives - Brad Brevet (RopeofSilicon.com), 6/8/10
- "Paul W.S. Anderson Interested In Shooting Another Mortal Kombat Movie". G4tv.
- "'Mortal Kombat' Video Game Headed Back to the Big Screen". The Hollywood Reporter. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
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- Mortal Kombat: Annihilation at AllRovi
- Mortal Kombat: Annihilation at the Internet Movie Database
- Mortal Kombat: Annihilation at Rotten Tomatoes
- Mortal Kombat: Annihilation at Metacritic