Mortal Kombat

August 18th, 1995


Mortal Kombat

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Mortal KombatMortal KombatStill of Talisa Soto, Linden Ashby, Robin Shou and Bridgette Wilson-Sampras in Mortal KombatMortal KombatStill of Bridgette Wilson-Sampras in Mortal KombatMortal Kombat

Three unknowing martial artists are summoned to a mysterious island to compete in a tournament whose outcome will decide the fate of the world.

Release Year: 1995

Rating: 5.5/10 (41,591 voted)

Critic's Score: 58/100

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Stars: Christopher Lambert, Robin Shou, Linden Ashby

Based on the popular video game of the same name "Mortal Kombat" tells the story of an ancient tournament where the best of the best of different Realms fight each other. The goal - ten wins to be able to legally invade the losing Realm. Outworld has so far collected nine wins against Earthrealm, so it's up to Lord Rayden and his fighters to stop Outworld from reaching the final victory...

Writers: Ed Boon, John Tobias

Christopher Lambert - Lord Rayden
Robin Shou - Liu Kang
Linden Ashby - Johnny Cage
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa - Shang Tsung
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras - Sonya Blade (as Bridgette Wilson)
Talisa Soto - Princess Kitana
Trevor Goddard - Kano
Chris Casamassa - Scorpion
François Petit - Sub-Zero
Keith Cooke - Reptile (as Keith H. Cooke)
Hakim Alston - Fighting Monk
Kenneth Edwards - Art Lean
John Fujioka - Chief Priest
Daniel Haggard - Assistant Director
Sandy Helberg - Director

Taglines: FIGHT!


Official Website: The Threshold Network |

Release Date: 18 August 1995

Filming Locations: Austin, Texas, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $23,283,887 (USA) (20 August 1995)

Gross: $122,195,920 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Scripted but not filmed was a scene where Shang Tsung allowed the "Kombatants" a night to bury Art Lean and mourn his loss. They buried him the Garden of Statues, underneath the statue of Kung Lao; this is the only place where Kung Lao appears in any of the movies. Also scripted but not filmed was a battle between Sonya Blade (who wins, naturally) and Jade, another of Shang Tsung's bodyguards.

Revealing mistakes: When Kano is talking to Goro, Kano's cup which he is drinking out of is knocked over by Goro. The next scene which is a face shot of Kano it is back. Then the cup is missing.

Shang Tsung: We are not alone.

User Review

Street Fighter Correction


Following up the spectacular disaster of competing fighting game turned movie, Mortal Kombat succeeded where Street Fighter failed. Not a fantastic movie nor one that goes in my top ten, but Mortal Kombat (without a doubt) is one of the better game-based-films.

MK wisely avoids inventing plot in unwelcomed places and sticks to the game as frequently as it can get away with. Actually the biggest contradiction that comes to mind is Scorpion and Sub-zero on the same team. Die hard fans will call the screenwriter on this, the rest of us won't care.

All the mistakes Street Fighter made, MK avoided. Instead of colorful campy cameo-fest, Mortal Kombat comes across as a dark tale about a handful of martial artists shot with an exaggerated epic style with humorous undertones to provide comic relief every now and again. Then again, it is ironic that Street Fighter would feel cartoony and Mortal Kombat more concrete when looking at the style of the games (drawn sprites versus live actors). MK is a little silly when reproducing game effects and trademark moves, though now more and more films are moving in that direction (Matrix, anyone?)

The movie's premise is the first Mortal Kombat arcade game featuring a few plot hints (journey to Outworld) and a few characters from Mortal Kombat 2 (Kitana, Jax, a youthful Shang Tsung.)

Christopher Lambert and Cary-Hiroyuki Takawa make the most memorable impact as Thunder God Rayden and Shape-shifting Sorcerer Shang Tsung. Both ham up their performances just enough to remind us that we're watching a live-action video game, but they don't go overboard into Street Fighter's territory. The rest of the cast plays their part straight forward and makes their characters believable.

It's a quick and slick film, gets to the action and gets over with before you can ask too many questions. It's a pretty decent martial arts film, and an outstanding ‘video game' film. And in 1995, it was the best game-inspired film you could find. Today it's still in the top five.


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