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when you've run out of old tv shows to turn into movies , i guess you try video games .
why did i go to see mortal kombat : annihilation ?
the quest to seek an answer to this query may prove a better movie that the one i just saw .
this film was a bunch of fighting , yelling , special effects , and bad acting set to an oppressive techno music soundtrack .
the plot is fairly simple : a portal has opened between our world and the " outworld " , allowing evil forces commanded by shao kahn ( brian thompson ) to wreak havoc and attempt to destroy humanity .
the good guys , led by sorcerer rayden ( james remar ) and human mortal liu kang ( robin shou ) , must take the fight to outworld , where the fate of both worlds will be determined .
here's the catch : they must reunite princess katana ( talia soto ) , who's on the good side , with her resurrected mother queen sindel ( musetta vander ) , who's on the bad side , for their love for each other will close the portal and ensure humanity's safety for another generation .
how this is supposed to work , i still have no idea , but i liked katana's line , " i knew love would keep us together , " since that captain and tennille song ran through my head and i got a good laugh .
there are some seriously stupid things in this movie .
take , for example , a transportation system which utilizes the " inner winds " , generated by earth's magma flows .
you get in this metal ball which transports you through underground tunnels really fast .
how fast ?
as katana says , " you will be moving so fast , it will be as if you are not moving at all . "
what ?
later , sonya blade ( sandra hess ) goes to find jax ( lynn " red " williams , otherwise known as " saber " on tv's american gladiators ) at a medical research facility on the island of oahu .
how do we know this is where she went ?
there's a sign on the facility's perimeter fence that reads : medical research facility - oahu , hawaii .
remember , this is not a caption , but an actual sign .
i guess the location is on there for all those medical researchers who keep forgetting where they are .
there's a lot of major flipping action , too .
the first encounter between good and evil shows kahn and rayden swiftly arching though the air toward one another .
do they land and immediately get into the fighting ?
does one of them land first and catch the other off guard ?
do they collide in mid-air ?
no , apparently they flip toward each other so they can talk without having to yell from far away .
why did they need those metal balls to travel ?
everyone could have just flipped from point a to point b .
i have to admit , the fight scenes are pretty good , although you can tell they are heavily enhanced by digital effects and fly wires , allowing the characters to surpass the limits of the human body and the laws of physics .
the movie's thrills are derived from these scenes and most of the audience responses are on the visceral level when someone gets trashed really badly .
" ouch " was the most common expletive heard when i screened this one .
you could tell that the filmmakers knew in advance that fights , not plot , would be the main draw , since dialog is apparently in the film just to get from one fight to the next .
it seems that's all there is in this movie .
maybe it is .
as i had mentioned , the acting is bad .
there's not one solid performance in the film , although williams as jax was pretty funny .
after a fight between sonya and one of the bad guys degenerates into female mud wrestling , jax says , " you look good in mud .
no , really , you do . "
remar plays rayden with an inconsistency which makes it hard to take his character seriously , and shou is relatively emotionless as liu kang .
brian thompson , who has played good guys , bad guys , and even an alien on tv's the x-files , but always some muscle-bound behemoth , is your average evil demi-god , but it's more the script's fault than his own that he doesn't have anything original to say .
the one really impressive thing about this movie is that there is not one swear word in the whole hour and a half .
another thing which should be noted is that for all its punching and kicking , blood only appears in one scene .
all in all , mortal kombat : annihilation is loud , violent , shallow , and marketed toward kids .
hey , just like the video game !