Volume 91, Issue 49

Tuesday, November 25, 1997



Mortal Kombat offers viewers a little testosterone

By Dan Yurman
Gazette Staff

What have men been thinking about since the dawn of time and will continue to think about long after today? Give up? Men dream about women. Men dream about fighting. Men dream about fighting for women – and men dream about Mortal Kombat.

Realistically and with less emphasis on gender, for those people who love to see the ultimate in a head-bashing, honour-defending, karate-chopping flick; Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is worth fighting for.

This testosterone-driven production was made for anyone who has dreamt about kicking the hell out of 20 or 30 black belts, armed to the teeth with every conceivable weapon. Anybody who has considered facing an evil lord who has magic powers up the wazoo – kicking his ass, saving the girl from certain death etc..

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is a fantastic film. It offers exactly what fight-cravers want – fantasy fisticuffs. The story is a no-brainer, but, at the same time, it's ingenuous. Kahn and his band of evil, really good-fighting mutants are trying to destroy the world. They begin by kidnapping Kitana (a helpless dreamgirl) and the only one who can stop Kahn is his brother, Rayden, who shares Kahn's magical power. Rayden, being the great guy that he is, sacrifices his powers in order to save humanity. He gives the power to his number one disciple, Kang, who learns it, masters it and, along with his friends, destroys Kahn and his army of thousands.

Sure it's silly. Sure it's easy. But, this film has all the aspects of the traditional male fantasy – both in plot and in the visual and audio aspects as well. Every woman looks like a stripper, every fight scene is shot with a wide angle lens (to give a claustrophobic, dream-like look) and everything one could possibly imagine in a dream is present. Walls that turn into giant monsters, men that turn into giant monsters and monsters that turn into half-naked women. It's all there – plus, the good guys win. Throw in an incredibly upbeat and awfully loud soundtrack and there it is, the ultimate fantasy.

Some would argue that Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is foolish or sexist or merely an hour and a half of senseless violence. If it is watched as just a movie, then it is all those things. If it is watched to appease anyone looking for an ultimate fantasy, it is a real treat – an escape for the ordinary humdrum of everyday life into a world where one is the king, a world where one can do no wrong, a world of ultimate fantasy.

©Graphic by Colin Dunne

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997