7 ways you didn't realise the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie is the most stunningly accurate video game adaptation ever made

The Goro fight is just as cheap and unfair as Mortal Kombat boss fights usually are

Mortal Kombat boss fights are often utter works of art. Unfortunately, the particular works of art in question tend to be postmodern performance pieces deconstructing the various constituent elements of bad video game design. Interactive mixed-media installation pieces on the perils of lazy game balance and artifical challenge, if you will. All the cheap hits are there. Unblockable attacks, damage nullifying moves, spammed super-attacks, random combo-breaking… Mortal Kombat boss fights use them all with the kind of extreme prejudice that implies that Ed Boon has been feuding with your family since your grandmother’s time.

But look! Here is the Mortal Kombat movie’s first Goro fight! Let's see how it compares, shall we?

Virtually unbreakable blocking. On the couple of occasions he does get hit he takes barely any damage at all. He keeps spamming the same over-powered swinging punch attack until his opponent is naught but a salty pile of mulch and regret. Anyone who’s fought Shao “I’m going to interrupt your combo whenever I damn well like” Kahn in the latest MK game's story mode will know exactly what I’m talking about here.

Goddamn it, Mortal Kombat movie, you're so accurate that if you were screened in 3D it would like being transported into the very game itself. Just like Tron, but smellier and with more kidneys on the floor. 

There’s an Endurance Match just before the last boss fight (with authentically nerfed opponents)

Bit of a Mortal Kombat tradition, the near-end Endurance Match. The gist is simple. Whereas in normal endurance-free fights you battle against one blood-thirstily antisocial git or gitess, in endurance matches you fight against a bunch of them in a row, with only one magical green gauge of personal survivability to work with. At their best, Endurance Matches are taut, tactical tests of skill, focus and stamina, and actually damnably rewarding to win. Though to ensure game balance and avoid making the conflict about as fair as setting two toddlers on each other and only giving one of them a hammer, EMs will often gimp the opponent characters a bit in order to make them less resilient to your high-speed fleshy impacts, or drop the damage of their own flailing tickles of aggression.

Obviously someone on the Mortal Kombat movie production team was paying insanely close attention to detail when planning the film’s climactic scenes, because guess what? Frankly, you shouldn’t have to guess, because I’ve already told you what in the headline of this section. And there's a video of it just above this paragraph. Pay attention.

Not only does Shang Tsung step out to let multiple guys have a go at Liu Kang, sharing in the brotherhood that only a bunch of generic multi-ethnic violence sterotypes can understand, said random punch-mongers all turn out to be weaker than a Mormon warehouse party once Kang gets amongst it. Put it this way, at one point our hero blocks a fully-trained Samurai’s katana blow with his toes.

I repeat:

If you try that against a real fully-trained Samurai, the only thing you block is your ability to get shoes that fit for the rest of your life. Conclusion? Gimped samurai.

Second conclusion: Authentic adaptation flawless victory! 


Mortal Kombat


  • ChiChiRocket - August 28, 2012 7:51 p.m.

    As a kid, I was always offended at the end of the movie when Liu Kang called "flawless victory." Shang Tsung got all kinds of hits in on him!
  • code_r - August 28, 2012 2:41 p.m.

    Stunningly awful perhaps. A bloodless MK? Flawless Victory after taking hits? Scorpion/SZ being reduced to mind slaves for some reason? Please. It was never good past that opening logo.
  • rxb - August 28, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    I not really a big MK fan and never really liked the film much, but this in depth analysis is spot on. You could even go on to say that the film copies the games in another way, being a bit crap overall.
  • Scrotie McBoogerballs - August 28, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    Nah. You couldn't. Good try, though.
  • johnny-greer - June 10, 2014 6:10 p.m.

    you could say that, if you had about as much taste as tap water as far as game to movie adaptations go, it did a bloody alright job, the vast majority of films out now are cheesy as f*ck, atleast MK was fun to watch
  • Mooshon - August 28, 2012 4 a.m.

    Drunk, with uni friends at a light night showing in '95. To this day I don't think I've had a better time in a cinema. Remember laughing hysterically at the techno fuelled liu kang/reptile scrap. Good times. The quintessential cheesy gamer film for me.
  • nikrusty - August 28, 2012 3:27 a.m.

    All due respect to the movie...but They gotta make a darker gorier sequel true to the game, characters and lore
  • jackthemenace - August 27, 2012 2:20 p.m.

    This film is the same age as *I* am, and yet I still haven't seen it. I'm adding it to the list of films I absolutely have to watch before I die. But, there's only so much room... Oh well, buh-bye Citizen Kane. Goro in teh video on the last page is freaking terrifying. I'd be too scared to even be in the same room as it, let alone punch it full force. And I'm pretty sure at one point in the same video I saw Bill and Ted as members of the crowd.
  • Rowdie - August 27, 2012 2:13 p.m.

    All the beautiful research out the door with one nut shot to goro.
  • Erebus - August 27, 2012 10:43 p.m.

    THIS!!!!!! I remember all my friends and I that watched this at the cinemas stating as much. " can't groin punch Goro!!!!11!!"
  • Sjoeki - August 27, 2012 1:30 p.m.

    17 years? Has it been that long since that movie came out? Starting to feel old over here!
  • gilgamesh310 - August 27, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    David's articles seem to becoming more pretentious by the days. I'm sure any of us could contrive some sort of logic as to why even the House of the Dead film is a masterpiece. I do like Mortal Kombat though and think it's at least the joint best movie adaption(with Silent Hill).
  • BladedFalcon - August 27, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    You do realize he was being sarcastic and the entire article was sardonic and a joke in nature, right?
  • GR_JustinTowell - August 28, 2012 5:20 a.m.

    Erm... I think on this occasion he was being serious!
  • Moondoggie1157 - August 27, 2012 6:43 p.m.

    Man, what a downer... You're like a bottle of Valium, women's basketball and Ben Stein all rolled into one. You've actually lowered me into a depression, like an R.E.M. and old photo depression, you know the kind. Thanks for that. **Everyyybodyyy Hurrrrts*** Why do people have to be buzzkills? Especially when they actually agree with the article? Ehhhh... I don't get it.
  • smcgarvey - August 27, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    You haven't lived until you've seen Mortal Kombat as a midnight movie. Haven't lived, I tell you.
  • Godzillarex - August 27, 2012 9:19 a.m.

    Great article! Probably the best video game movie of all time.

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