Mortal Kombat Annihilation VS Legend of Chun-Li VS DOA: Tournament Fighter Flicks Round 2/3

In quite the coinkidink yesterday after I published a post about the potential Mortal Kombat reboot movie with Furious 7 director James Wan at the helm I read an article on Blastr about actor Christopher Lambert teasing a new film.

As you may recall Lambert, best known for playing Duncan McLeod of the Clan McLeod in the Highlander franchise, played thunder god Raiden in the 1995 Mortal Kombat flick but did not return for the abysmal 1997 sequel. His over the top performance was one of the best parts of the lovably cheesy movie, which is the best video game movie adaptation to date IMHO.

In the article Lambert said he was in early talks to reprise his role and spoke of time travelling elements in the new story (for that article you can read here). If he is returning it sounds like it may be a either a continuation from the previous two films or a soft reboot. I’ll post more news when it comes in.

But this is a good segue to continue my countdown of movies based on tournament fighter video games which I started yesterday. So with a SPOILER ALERT in effect let’s continue with the countdown:

TFR2 1
Something crappy this way comes…

#5 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) 

After the cheestastic fun of the original this movie was a huge disappointment. We lost Lambert, who wisely saw the script and declined, and they also killed off Johnny Cage within minutes, and his funny character was the life of the first movie. James Remar as the new Raiden is capable but zero fun compared to Lambert and Sandra Hess’ Sonya Blade lacks the pluckiness of Bridgette Wilson.

The movie was pretty much terrible fight scene after terrible fight scene strung together by a ridiculous story; that Scorpion versus Sub Zero fight was okay though they spoiled it with Scorpion’s horrendous “suckers” line. Bleh. Unlike the streamlined first film they tried to cram in too many characters and it really is just a sloppy mess.

The effects are so bad they make your eyes burn, especially the final “animalities” and that weird thing Jax fought in the desert. Brian Thompson’s Shao Khan shouts a lot but is as intimidating as mouldy bread and the dialogue was apparently written by five year-old boys. Sindel’s “you will die” is among the worst lines in movie history.

TFR2 2
You all sure this is Street Fighter? Oh wait, there’s Vega in the back. Score!

#4 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

So who’s interested in an origin story for Chun-Li please show by a raise of hands. Anyone? Anyone?

Not the best of ideas for a film, especially one based on a game with a host of characters fighting each other in a tournament, this movie is actually not that bad. ‘Smallville’s’ Kristin Kreuk is a decent lead but she does not capture “the strongest woman in the world” feel of the first lady of fighting game and her combat skills are lacking. Her battle with Vega was cool only because they did that character justice, but everything else is less than memorable.

And I generally enjoy Neal McDonough’s acting and he has shown in ‘Arrow’ than he can play a great villain (see here) but I don’t know who he is in this movie. He is definitely not M. Bison but some generic big bad. Also do not get me started on that nonsense plot line about his daughter having his soul. This movie seemed to be the intended first of a series of character origin story movies a la X-Men: Origins: Wolverine but both films failed in that respect. And that is a good thing.

TFR2 3
I wonder what they were going for with this poster…

#3 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)

Now this is by no stretch of the imagination a good film. This is a countdown on movies based on tournament fighter games so I presume your expectations were already set pretty low.

And while DOA does not recapture the hyper sexualising of female fighters in the video game series, which is actually a good thing, the movie knows that it is cheesy and silly and rolls with it. The characters are bright and colourful and the fight scenes are okay if not impressive. Fans will get to see a host of game characters including Ryu, Kasumi, Zack and Tina Armstrong, so the fan service is quite high.

So what is your favorite among these three films? Do you agree with the order? Feel free to comment below.

For Round One of the list of Tournament Fighter Flicks you can click here and for Round Three tomorrow and other movie posts you can follow me on Twitter @suprememango012. Got your back like a chiropractor. l8rs



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