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capsule : not as bad a sequel as crow 2 or batman & robin , but still horribly putrid , cheesy and ill-conceived .
this one belongs in saturday morning cartoons . . .
extended review : you know , about halfway through this movie , i realized that if you hacked out everything except the fight scenes , you'd have a damn fine 35 minutes or so of flashy , hong kong style martial arts .
beautifully choreographed by robin shou , who also plays liu kang , the fight scenes are both mind-blowing and graceful , acrobatic enough to make olympic gymnasts weep .
this is what made the original so fun , but unfortunately for the sequel , we are without the frenetic directorial style of paul anderson .
instead , they got john r . leonetti , the cinematographer for the original mortal kombat .
not a good choice .
while the fight scenes are brutal and eye-popping , the rest of the movie looks like standard made for tv fare .
the acting is sub-par , which i could endure if it were not for a . ) the director's style , b . ) the special effects , & c . ) the treatment of the story and characters .
a . ) mr . leonetti should go back to lighting , in my opinion .
i could say dozens of bad things about him : he way overuses slow-motion , he has no eye for action , he can't get even mediocre performances out of actors , and so on .
but by far his worst move was the way he treated jumping .
apparantly , everybody can now fly .
hell , i'm all for the occaisional gravity defying flip kick and whatnot , but not when it happens every few minutes , and is done so poorly .
better jumping and acrobatics has been seen in xena : warrior princess .
in short , they should have gotten paul anderson back .
or at least let robin shou direct . . .
b . ) unlike the first one , whose sfx were vibrant and somewhat realistic , mk : a's special effects are bland , fake looking , and overall just plain bad .
i counted at least half a dozen times that blue-screening was painfully obvious .
had this movie been made in the 80's , it would have been ground-breaking .
but in today's industry , it doesn't even look finished .
c . ) now for the _really_ bad parts .
i admit , i'm an avid fan of the mortal kombat series .
the games are amusing diversions , an easy way to work off stress and anger .
the first movie was a mindlessly fun thrillride .
this could have been a really cool movie .
it isn't .
the writers apparantly deemed it necessary to lower the target audience from teens to preschoolers .
some of the plot elements are just plain stupid .
how stupid ?
take , for instance , how our heroes move around .
they use giants spheres the roll around underground , supposedly at thousands of miles per hour . . . oh
boy . . .
even worse is the treatment of secondary characters .
blink and you'll miss 'em .
most characters had more depth in the video games .
if you thought batman & robin was bad about this , you ain't seen nothin' yet .
a good 75% of the characters are introduced , kick somebody around a bit , then either die or are forgotten about .
there's no explanation at all for this .
and for the final blasphemy , the fight that all the fans were waiting rabidly for , the fight hyped to be the most intricate of the movie , lasted about 3 minutes and then just sort of . . . ended .
it almost made me weep .
to sum it all up , rent it on video , and fast-forward through everything except the fight scenes .