Mortal Kombat went into development in the early nineties and what came out wasn’t exactly what creators Ed Boone and John Tobias had in mind. Nevertheless, it became a sensation almost overnight, with the eleven to adolescent demographic swarming local stores to get copies of this violent game.
Originally slated to be a game based on action star Jean Claude Van Damme, Mortal Kombat ended up becoming a horror based martial arts game, but perhaps it was just this that spawned the reach the game would achieve.
Since 1992, Mortal Kombat has spawned many installments and it goes down as one of the greatest gaming franchises in the world, hands down. It also inspired two films and a TV show, but unfortunately the films didn’t quite capture the essence of the great games. Join us as we take a look at why this was so.
20 Kano Was Australian In The Movie
In reality, the character of Kano was supposed to be from the States with Japanese roots and heritage. For some reason unknown to most, he was cast as an Australian gentleman played by the late, great Trevor Goddard. Many feel that this was so because of a lack of great actors to play the role. He did a descent job with what he was given, but still, the difference was noticed by one and all.
19 Quite A few Plot Holes Throughout
To say that the film and the games were two separately different entities would be a grave and serious understatement. The first film wasn't as bad in this department, but the second one had so many holes in the script, you'd be able to do an eye exam through it and pass with flying colors. Anything ranging from plot details and story line basics were wrecked on this one.
18 The Fight Scenes Weren't Like The Game Sequences
When news came out about a film being released based on the hit game, many were indeed excited, and were looking forward to seeing the action unfold onscreen, played by actors and real martial artists. Unfortunately, the fight scenes that they were given weren't as impressive as first expected. Some of the scenes were in fact quite good, but most were so terrible it had viewers questioning the purpose.
17 A Meeting Of Science Fiction & Action
When this game first came out, it was the perfect meshing of action, the martial arts, and horror. The film was more of an ode to science fiction and fantasy, however, lending more to the unreal than the horrific. The horror portion of the game is what impressed gamers the world over, and to have this missing element in the films was definitely a feeling audiences just couldn't shake.
16 The First & Second Film Were Completely Different From One Another
We can't really be that down on the first installment of the film franchise. The first one really had a completely different end result in terms of quality and sticking to the game as much as possible. That said, the second installment was such an overwhelming disappointment, it left a lot of fans with a bad taste in their collective mouths.
15 The Actor Changes From The 1st To 2nd Film Were Disappointing
Christopher Lambert is no doubt an icon in Hollywood. He has definitely paid his dues, especially considering his portrayal of Tarzan in two separate films, and of course as Raiden in the first Mortal Kombat. Unfortunately, he refused to return for the sequel and the role was given to James Remar, who has since had some great roles thrown to him, but as Raiden, or rather Rayden in the films, it just didn't work.
14 Some Of The Actors Didn't Have The Martial Arts Skills Expected Of Them
The nineties were very rich in real martial artists turned actors, specifically actors like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steve Seagal. Who can forget Jackie Chan, as well? This is perhaps why quite a few people were disappointed when they saw a lot of the actors that were cast, specifically, Linden Ashby who played Johnny Cage and Bridgette Wilson as Sonya Blade. There was no problem with Robin Shou's portrayal of Liu Kang, thankfully.
13 Jean-Claude Van Damme Should Have Been Cast As Johnny Cage
The first film was released in 1995 and this was at the height of this man's success. He had many films out by then, specifically films like Kickboxer, Double Impact, and of course Universal Soldier. Many expected him to be cast as Johnny Cage. After all, the character was an actor, but also because the game itself started out as an homage to JCVD himself. Sadly, it never came to fruition.
12 Producers Put Very Little Money Into The Sequel
This was unclear and still is to this day, but the producers involved in the film franchise were reluctant to put enough money into the production of the second movie, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Many believe they didn't have a lot of money to begin with, but others say that once the studio realized that a lot of its original stars were reluctant to return, they knew they had very little chance at success.
11 The TV Show Was Much Better
Many believed that where the films failed, the TV show actually succeeded. The show was much more martial arts based, and with actors like Jeffery Meek leading the pack, they definitely weren't wrong there. He holds black belts in Taekwondo and Aikido. He starred in CBS's Raven in the early nineties, and his portrayal of both Raiden and Shao Kahn were spot on. Too bad it only lasted a single season.
10 Only 2 Actors Came Back For The 2nd Film
With casts in which there are many actors working together, to say that only two returned is a rather huge disappointment. It sends a message and a grave one at that to a lot of the fans waiting for a film to be released. When audiences started getting wind that only two were returning for the second installment, apprehension naturally skyrocketed. In the end, only Robin Shou (Liu Kang) and Talisa Soto (Kitana) returned to reprise their roles.
9 Shao Kahn's Appearance Left A Lot To Be Desired
When a character doesn't look like the image fans are used to seeing, as they were with many of the characters in the video game, it can definitely be a source of great disappointment. It was the case for a few characters in the film, but perhaps was largely seen with the costumes and creature effects used for the portrayal of Shao Kahn in the second film.
8 The Third Test Was Never Revealed In Annihilation
In Annihilation, the characters are meant to go through three tests. As always, they are guided by Raiden (Rayden). The first test is a test of focus and self-esteem. The characters pass and move on. The second is a test of temptation and being able to battle it. This test is in the form of Jade, who tries to lure Liu Kang, but he passes this test as well. The third test was never shown. Yikes!
7 Raiden's End & Revival
What doesn't make much sense either is Rayden's end in this film, as being all powerful, they sure made quick work of his disposal. he does return and when he does, he looks nothing like the Rayden we were used to. this was yet another example of the liberties taken with this film and script and just how far away from the original characters they turned out to be.
6 Mortal Kombat Co-Creator Ed Boon Denounced The Second Film
Ed Boon was so disappointed in the second film, or rather embarrassed by it, that he refuses to admit that it existed in the first place. Now of all the statements to be made, we'd say that that's a pretty bold one. And who better to make it than the authority of all authorities? That second film wasn't just bad, it was downright terrible, and the main man here, can support us on that one.
5 Kitana Wasn't Playable In The Game But She Had An Active Part In The Film
Filmmakers saw an opportunity and they took it. It happens a lot and we can almost forgive this error, as Kitana did end up being pretty important in the game, evidently. There was no way they couldn't include her, so they made a change, and a minor one at that. There are so many books that are adapted into film that have completely different endings than what is seen on screen.
4 A Missing Cameo By An Icon
Word on the street spoke of a cameo that almost happened back in the first film. Apparently there were plans to have legendary filmmaker, Steven Spielberg of Jurassic Park, Jaws, ET, and Minority Report fame, in a small role, playing himself and direction Johnny cage in the film he's shooting before he travels to the competition. Apparently, producers couldn't make it happen. Now that was a missed opportunity indeed.
3 Sheeva’s Part Was Cut Way Down In The Film
The filmmakers didn't exactly do their homework. It's rather apparent, especially in the fact that the role of Sheeva was drastically cut down in the film. Many were expecting to see more of her, and unfortunately they didn't. Furthermore, in the second installment, her costumes were also a drastic disappointment, as she didn't really look much like the character image from the game.
2 Goro's Appearance Was Embarrassing
Set design, set decoration, and costumes are so important to the end result of a film, and that was the case here too. They did well with many other characters, but with some, they just about ruined iconic images for everyone watching. Goro was horribly made and looked like a plastic prop and not much else. Many found themselves looking for the zipper in his suit.
1 The Failure To Release The Third Installment
Most of the problems in the first two films (or at least the first,) come down to the fact that the movies were perhaps made in the wrong era, so let's cut them all some slack. Rumors of a third film, or reboot altogether have been bouncing around Hollywood for quite some time now. If they were to remake this film, now would be the time, as effects, graphics and probably costumes would be a lot better. Fingers crossed, friends. The franchise is in desperate need of a redemption.