Mortal Kombat (1995 film)

Last updated
Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Paul Anderson
Written byKevin Droney
Based on
Mortal Kombat
Produced by Lawrence Kasanoff
Cinematography John R. Leonetti
Edited byMartin Hunter
Music by George S. Clinton
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date
  • August 18, 1995 (1995-08-18)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million [1]
Box office$122.2 million [2]

Mortal Kombat is a 1995 American martial arts fantasy action film [3] directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and written by Kevin Droney. Based on the video game franchise of the same name, it is the first installment in the Mortal Kombat film series. Starring Linden Ashby, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Robin Shou, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto, and Christopher Lambert, the film follows a group of heroes who participate in the eponymous Mortal Kombat tournament to protect Earth from being conquered by malevolent forces. Its story primarily adapts the original 1992 game, while also using elements from the game Mortal Kombat II (1993).


The film premiered in the United States on August 18, 1995. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the martial art sequences, atmosphere, and production values, but criticized the performances, script, and toned-down violence from the games. Despite the mixed critical response, the film was well-received by fans of the series. It was also a commercial success, grossing $122 million on an $20 million budget.

Mortal Kombat was followed by a 1997 sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation , along with two television series: the animated sequel Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (1996) and the live-action prequel Mortal Kombat: Conquest (1998–1999). The follow-ups were unable to match the original film's success, and the series was rebooted with a 2021 film.


Mortal Kombat is a martial arts tournament that is held once every generation between representatives of the realms of Earth and Outworld, conceived by the Elder Gods amid looming invasion of the Earth by Outworld. If Outworld achieves ten consecutive victories, the Outworld Emperor will invade and conquer the Earthrealm. They have already won nine times. Shaolin monk Liu Kang, movie star Johnny Cage, and special forces officer Sonya Blade are chosen by Rayden, the god of thunder and defender of Earthrealm, to prevent Outworld from winning their tenth straight tournament. Liu seeks revenge against the tournament host Shang Tsung for killing his brother Chan; Sonya is lured onto the ship headed for Shang Tsung's island by crime boss Kano, who murdered her partner; and Johnny seeks to debunk media claims that his martial arts skills are faked.

Tsung orders the creature Reptile to prevent Princess Kitana, the Emperor's adopted daughter, from allying with the Earth warriors. Liu, Johnny, and Sonya advance to the final rounds of the tournament, with Sonya killing Kano, Johnny defeating Scorpion, and Liu killing Sub-Zero.

One of Johnny's peers, Art Lean, is defeated by the reigning tournament champion, Prince Goro, and has his soul taken by Shang Tsung. Hoping to protect Liu and Sonya, Johnny challenges Goro. Rayden rebukes Johnny for challenging Goro, but is impressed when Johnny shows his awareness of the gravity of the tournament.

Johnny uses guile and the element of surprise to defeat Goro. Now desperate, Tsung takes Sonya hostage and takes her to Outworld. Knowing that his powers are ineffective there, Rayden sends Liu and Johnny into Outworld to rescue Sonya and challenge Tsung. In Outworld, Liu is attacked by Reptile, but gains the upper hand and kills him. Kitana meets up with Johnny and Liu. She reveals to them that her home was a beautiful and peaceful place until the Emperor came from a third realm and brought Outworld to ruin after winning ten consecutive Mortal Kombat tournaments there. He then adopted Kitana and took the throne for himself. Not wanting the Emperor to succeed in taking over Earthrealm, Kitana helps them infiltrate Shang Tsung's fortress, disguised in the robes of his followers.

Kitana berates Tsung for his treachery to the Emperor, distracting him while Liu and Johnny free Sonya. Tsung challenges Johnny but is counter-challenged by Liu. During the battle, Liu faces not only Shang Tsung but the souls that he took in past tournaments. Tsung morphs into Chan to confuse Liu. Accepting that he is not responsible for Chan's death allows Liu to see through the charade. Liu Kang fires an energy bolt at Tsung, knocking him off a landing onto a bed of spikes. Tsung's death releases all of the captive souls, including Chan's. Before ascending to the afterlife, Chan tells Liu that he will remain with him in spirit until they are reunited.

The Earth warriors return to Earthrealm, where a victory celebration is taking place at Liu's Shaolin temple. The jubilation stops when the Outworld Emperor appears and declares he has come for everyone's souls. Rayden and the warriors take up fighting stances.


Goro: The reigning Mortal Kombat champion, is physically portrayed by Tom Woodruff, Jr. and voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, both of whom were uncredited. Gregory McKinney appears as Jaxx. Frank Welker, who also provided vocal effects for Goro and Reptile, makes an uncredited appearance as the voice of the Outworld Emperor.


While Mortal Kombat II was in the playtest phase and the original Mortal Kombat had still only been released in arcades, not for home consoles, movie producer Lawrence Kasanoff visited some friends at the game's publisher, Midway Games, and played a Mortal Kombat unit that was in their offices. He saw cinematic possibilities in the concept and expressed interest in making a film based on the game, but Midway head Neil D. Nicastro disagreed that the game could be a successful film, particularly given the failure of past movie adaptations of video games. After months of negotiations, Kasanoff finally acquired a limited option on the Mortal Kombat film rights. [4]

Wat Phra Si Sanphet was used in the film's opening for a fight between Shang Tsung and Liu Kang's brother 01-wadphrasriisrrephchy.jpg
Wat Phra Si Sanphet was used in the film's opening for a fight between Shang Tsung and Liu Kang's brother

Though a number of top directors submitted pitches for the film, the producers chose unknown director Paul W. S. Anderson after they saw a screening of his debut film, Shopping , which they felt showed he could take an innovative approach to the material. [4] Anderson had no experience with visual effects but was enthusiastic about making a Mortal Kombat film, so he read every book he could find on visual effects and, in his words, "kind of bluffed my way in." [4] Cameron Diaz was originally cast as Sonya Blade, but dropped out due to a wrist injury and was replaced by Bridgette Wilson. [4] Wilson had accepted a role in Billy Madison after being passed up in the Mortal Kombat auditions in favor of Diaz, and so had to fly out to the set the morning after her last day filming Billy Madison. [10] Steve James was originally cast to play Jaxx, but he died from pancreatic cancer a year before production on the film began. [11]

Goro was portrayed by an elaborate $1 million animatronic created by Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis of Amalgamated Dynamics and operated by 13 to 16 puppeteers. [4] This advanced construct proved a continuous source of problems on the set; Goro frequently broke down, and the person operating Goro from inside could only do so for two minutes at a time due to lack of oxygen. [12] Though Anderson did his best to block and shoot Goro in a way that worked around the animatronic's limitations, [4] ultimately Goro's screen time had to be severely reduced from what was originally planned. [12]

Wat Chaiwatthanaram was used as the backdrop for the Order of Light, the temple where Liu Kang was trained WatChaiwatthanaram 2292 (cropped).jpg
Wat Chaiwatthanaram was used as the backdrop for the Order of Light, the temple where Liu Kang was trained

Filming began in August 1994 and ended in December 1994. The Outworld exterior scenes were filmed at the abandoned Kaiser Steel mill (now the Auto Club Speedway) in Fontana, California, while all of Goro's scenes were filmed in Los Angeles. Shooting locations in Thailand were accessible only by boat, so cast, crew and equipment had to be transported on long canoe-style vessels. Location manager Gerrit Folsom constructed an outhouse in a secluded area near the set in order to alleviate the problem of repeated trips to and from the mainland. Filming locations in Thailand include the Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Chaiwatthanaram and Wat Ratchaburana temples. The arrival of Earth's contestants via boats, Liu Kang's meditation scene and the fight between Liu Kang and Kitana were filmed at the Railay Beach and the Phra Nang Beach, respectively. The bows of the boats were fitted with ornamental dragon-head carvings and used in the movie as the fighters' secondary transport to Shang Tsung's island from his personal junk. [5]

At Anderson's encouragement, the actors ad-libbed much of the film's dialogue, [4] including the quips "Thank God I didn't ask him to park the car." and "Those were $500 sunglasses, asshole." [12] Most of the cast had several weeks of training for the fight sequences prior to the filming, but due to the last-minute recasting of the Sonya Blade role, Bridgette Wilson had to do all her training on the set. [10] The Sonya vs. Kano fight was one of the last scenes filmed so that Wilson would have enough time to train. [10]

Despite the intensity of the fight scenes coupled with the actors performing most of their own stunts, the only notable reported injury at the time was a bruised kidney Ashby suffered while shooting Cage's fight scene with Scorpion. [5] Scorpion's stunt double violently collided with a steel bar in the same scene, [12] but as with most stunt person injuries, it was not widely reported in the media. Wilson dislocated her shoulder, but found she had no problems once it was put back in place and continued with the filming. [10] Robin Shou fractured two ribs while being thrown into a pillar in the fight scene between Liu Kang and Reptile, but kept quiet about it for fear that the production would be shut down. He told only Keith Cooke, the actor who plays Reptile, asking him not to hit him on the right side of his rib cage, and finished the scene before going to the hospital. [4]

Because they wanted the film to have a PG-13 rating while staying as close as possible to the video game, the producers talked extensively with the ratings board to learn the precise limitations of the rating and attempted to creatively optimize the amount of violence and foul language in the film within those limitations. For instance, they learned that the PG-13 rating forbids onscreen death, but only of human characters, so they had all the deaths of non-humans take place onscreen. [4]

Phra Nang beach panorama edit.jpg
Railay beach was used as the backdrop for Earth's combatants when they arrive on Shang Tsung's island for the first time

Shou said that in the original script he "was supposed to fall in love with Talisa Soto [Kitana]. I was looking forward to it, but they thought we have so much action, we don't want to add romance to it. They cut it out." [13] Also scripted but not filmed were a short battle between Sonya and Jade, another of Shang Tsung's servants, and a scene where Shang Tsung allowed the heroes a night to mourn the loss of Art Lean and bury him in the Garden of Statues, underneath the statue of Kung Lao. The character of Reptile was originally omitted from the script but later added in response to focus groups being unimpressed with the film's early fight sequences. [14] The fight between Reptile and Liu Kang was filmed on a set in a hangar in Van Nuys Airport. [15] Shou and Anderson noted that neither knew what Reptile's lizard form would look like until after filming, making the pre-fight sequence difficult to shoot. [16]

The film was originally scheduled for a May 1995 U.S. release, but was pushed back to August. According to Kasanoff, this was because New Line Cinema's executives felt the film had the potential to be a summer hit. [17] It was released on October 20 in the United Kingdom, and on December 26 in Australia.


The film's score album was composed by George S. Clinton, released by Rykodisc on October 11, 1995. The film's soundtrack album was released by TVT Records on August 15, 1995. The soundtrack album went platinum [18] in less than a year reaching No. 10 on the Billboard 200. [19] Mortal Kombat: The Album is a soundtrack album by The Immortals (Maurice "Praga Khan" Engelen and Olivier Adams).


Box office

Mortal Kombat opened on August 18, 1995, and was #1 at the box office for the weekend with $23.2 million, nearly eight times the opening amount of the only other new release that weekend, The Baby-Sitters Club . At the time, it was the second-highest August opening after 1993's The Fugitive . The film enjoyed a three-week stint at number one, [2] grossing $73 million domestically in the United States. [20] [21] It also earned $51.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $124.7 million. The film became the highest-grossing adaptation of a video game, before being surpassed by Pokémon: The First Movie in 1998.

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, 45% of 44 critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 4.8/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Despite an effective otherworldly atmosphere and appropriately cheesy visuals, Mortal Kombat suffers from its poorly constructed plot, laughable dialogue, and subpar acting." [22] Metacritic gave the film a weighted average score of 60 out 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". [23] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale. [24]

Reviewers praised its atmosphere, fighting sequences, production values, and visuals. However, its PG-13 rating and to a lesser extent, the performances and writing were criticized. Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly called Mortal Kombat "a contentedly empty-headed extended advertisement for the joy of joypads (filmed in cheesily ornate cinema de Hong Kong style)" and too noted how it "is notably free of blood and gore." [25] Stephen Holden of the New York Times said "Mortal Kombat might be described as mythological junk food. Although there is talk of the three kombatants' having to face their deepest fears to prevail, the action is so frenetic and the dialogue so minimal that the allegory is weightless." [26] Roger Ebert said he was "right in the middle" and noted that the fans might be disappointed by the film's killings being much less brutal than the notoriously violent Mortal Kombat video games. [27] Marc Savlov from the Austin Chronicle mentioned that "It's the cinematic equivalent of cotton candy and Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, but you may recall, you loved that stuff as a kid. I know I did," giving it a 2.5/5 star rating. [28] Laura Evenson from San Francisco Chronicle mentioned "Mortal Kombat the movie has everything a teenage boy could want: snakes that jut out of a villain's palms, acrobatic kung- fu fighting and a couple of battling babes. Everything, that is, but an interesting plot, decent dialogue and compelling acting" and concluded that it will likely become a cult classic. [29]

Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a glowing review, writing that "as impressive as the special effects are at every turn, even more crucial is Jonathan Carlson's superb, imaginative production design, which combines Thailand exteriors with vast sets that recall the barbaric grandeur of exotic old movie palaces and campy Maria Montez epics. John R. Leonetti's glorious, shadowy camera work and George S. Clinton's driving, hard-edged score complete the task of bringing alive the perilous Outworld". [30] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave it a "thumbs up" rating on Siskel & Ebert , calling it "the only halfway decent video game turned into a movie that I've seen" and "a lot of fun", saying he was positively surprised by its various high-quality production values, including the "often sensational" special effects, the exotic locations, and the cast of characters being "clearly drawn with appealing types". [27] Leonard Klady from Variety awarded the film a 3.5/5 stars, stating, "But where others have sunk in the mire of imitation, director Paul Anderson and writer Kevin Droney effect a viable balance between exquisitely choreographed action and ironic visual and verbal counterpoint". [31] Kim Newman from Empire magazine said, "By the time the big, world-saving bout comes around, it's hard not to wish that Shung Tsu [sic] would settle the fate of mankind by asking Liu Kang what the capital of Venezuela is... rather than engaging him in yet another round of supernaturally assisted dirty fighting," with a final rating of 3 stars out of 5. [32]

Legacy and re-evaluation

From the 1998 founding of Rotten Tomatoes until 2018, Mortal Kombat held the highest critical rating on the site of any video game adaptation. [33] [34] Critical re-evaluations have been mixed but mostly positive due to the well-crafted action sequences, the cast performances, and the exotic set designs, and the film now is considered a cult classic. [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] The video game series itself would take cues from the movie in its lore, such as the need for a realm to win ten straight tournaments before it can invade another, and the retconning of Kano (originally a Japanese-American character) as Australian following Trevor Goddard's performance.

A 2020 editorial that discusses the work of Paul WS Anderson on Rotten Tomatoes said of Mortal Kombat, "Critics were split at 47% on the Tomatometer, but audiences loved the electronic soundtrack, creative fight scenes, and diverse cast of committed actors who sacrificed multiple bruised ribs to bless us with some excellent brawls." The editorial attributed the film's box office success chiefly to its conscious playfulness, asserting that "Anderson and his talented crew knew what they were making, and they made it earnestly." [38] Bloody Disgusting commented that "thanks to the kinetic speed in which the actors are moving, the high-octane music, and ironically, the movement of the camera, each fight is given ample feeling and aggression", particularly praising the Scorpion/Johnny Cage and Liu Kang/Reptile fights. [39]

In 2020, Rotten Tomatoes discussed the film in the "Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" podcast series. Scott Johnson criticized the film as not being a faithful adaptation, citing in particular the absence of R-rated gore (which he felt was the only thing genuinely appealing about the game) and the presence of Reptile (who he erroneously said does not appear in the original game). Co-panelist Jacqueline Coley countered that an R rating would have blocked out the Mortal Kombat fan base, recounting how even with a PG-13 rating she could only see the film in theaters by sneaking in, and noted that the most beloved video game films are not faithful adaptations but well-crafted cinema which capture the essence of the games. Mark Ellis agreed with Coley that Mortal Kombat succeeded in this respect, commenting in particular how it mimics the game's minimal plot by focusing on the tournament, creating an experience similar to watching March Madness. [34] called Mortal Kombat "colorful, ambitious, and surprisingly funny; Anderson tied everything around a perfect cast lead by the great Robin Shou." [36] Screen Rant referred to the choreography as "top notch", the locations as "amazing", the soundtrack as "pure perfection", and the cast as "dedicated and outstanding", but the CGI as cartoonish and "laughable", the violence as not true to the source material, the Goro animatronic as "not even that impressive by 1995 standards", and the portrayals of Scorpion and Sub-Zero as insulting and "completely wasted". [35] CBR mentioned that Mortal Kombat is "an above-average martial arts classic that was high on fun and easily one of the most rewatchable video game movies, 25 years later". [33] Bloody Disgusting said the film does an excellent job of paying tribute to its source material by including a large number of characters from the game without any of them feeling shoehorned in and by capturing the intense action feel of the game, [39] while Collider stated that "The film knows how to walk the line between reverence and goofiness". [37]

Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa's take on Shang Tsung is now regarded as the ideal portrayal of the sorcerer. noted that every actor who has taken the role since have been compared to Tagawa, commenting that his delivery "has all the cadence and embellished style like he's on Broadway, but he holds himself physically like he's just casually laying down the law. Tagawa is Shang Tsung." [36] Screen Rant reported that while they felt all the main cast members were equally outstanding, Tagawa was "the best casting of the movie to many". [35] Christopher Lambert as Lord Rayden has also received positive coverage with commenting that he "lent the production maturity and star power" [36] while CBR mentioned that he "steals every scene he appears, delivering ridiculous lines like, 'The fate of billions depends upon you,' before laughing and apologizing". [33]

Mortal Kombat 11 paid tribute to the first movie with numerous Easter eggs as well as bringing back Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa to play Shang Tsung in the "Aftermath" storyline. Subsequent downloadable content would feature voices and likeness from Christopher Lambert, Linden Ashby and Bridgette Wilson-Sampras as Raiden, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, respectively.

Other media


A sequel entitled Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was released in 1997. It was directed by John R. Leonetti, who was the cinematographer of the first film. Only Robin Shou and Talisa Soto reprised their roles, with the others being recast. Its storyline is largely an adaptation of Mortal Kombat 3 , following Earthrealm's warriors in their battle against Shao Kahn.

In contrast to its predecessor, Annihilation was critically panned and failed at the box office. As a result, development of the planned third installment halted and never progressed beyond pre-production. In July 2009, actors Chris Casamassa (Scorpion) and Linden Ashby (Johnny Cage) separately announced that they would be reprising their respective roles from the original film, with Casamassa additionally claiming that filming would begin in September of that year, [40] [41] but the project did not commence production.

Animated film

On April 11, 1995, [42] New Line Home Video, Turner Home Entertainment and Threshold Entertainment released a tie-in animated film on VHS and Laserdisc, titled Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins. Serving as a prequel to the feature film, it follows the protagonists Liu Kang, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade as they travel on a mysterious boat to the Mortal Kombat tournament. On the way they meet Rayden, who provides them with some hints about how to survive the tournament and defeat Shang Tsung and his army of Tarkatan minions. Upon arriving at the island where the battles take place, Rayden retells the origins of Shang Tsung, Goro, Scorpion, Sub-Zero and the Great Kung Lao in between fight scenes.

The film featured a combination of traditional animation, motion capture, and CGI to explain the origins behind some of the movie's main characters, as well as a fifteen-minute behind-the-scenes documentary of the theatrical release. Trailers of the film were seen on the promotional screener VHS copy, and on other VHS releases from Turner Home Entertainment and New Line Home Video. The film was included on the Mortal Kombat Blu-ray released in April 2011.


A novelization of the movie by "Martin Delrio" (James D. Macdonald and Debra Doyle) was released through Tor Books. It is based on an early version of the film's script, and as such it includes several deleted or unfilmed scenes, such as a fight between Sonya Blade and Jade.[ ISBN missing ]

Television series

Threshold Entertainment produced two television series related to the film, the animated Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and the live-action Mortal Kombat: Conquest. Defenders of the Realm, which aired on the USA Network's Action Extreme Team animation block in 1996, served as an alternative sequel and featured Liu Kang, Kitana, Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, Jax, Kurtis Stryker, and Nightwolf as the eponymous heroes. Conquest served as a prequel centered on the Great Kung Lao, accompanied by original characters Siro and Taja, and aired in syndication from 1998 to 1999. Both series received negative reviews and were cancelled after one season.


In 2021, New Line Cinema produced a new Mortal Kombat reboot film, which was released by Warner Bros. Pictures in April 2021 in theaters and HBO Max.

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Mortal Kombat: Annihilation</i> 1997 martial arts fantasy film

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is a 1997 American martial arts fantasy film directed by John R. Leonetti in his directorial debut. Based on the Mortal Kombat video game franchise, it is the second installment in the Mortal Kombat film series and a sequel to the original 1995 film, of which Leonetti served as cinematographer. Largely an adaptation of the video game Mortal Kombat 3 (1995), Annihilation follows Liu Kang and his allies as they attempt to stop the malevolent Shao Kahn from conquering Earthrealm. It stars Robin Shou as Liu, Talisa Soto as Kitana, James Remar as Rayden, Sandra Hess as Sonya Blade, Lynn Red Williams as Jax, and Brian Thompson as Kahn. Only Shou and Soto reprise their roles, with the rest of the characters recast from the previous film.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Johnny Cage</span> Mortal Kombat character

Johnny Cage is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise by Midway Games/NetherRealm Studios. Introduced in the original Mortal Kombat (1992), he is an action movie star with an extensive martial arts background. The series depicts Cage as one of the primary heroes defending Earthrealm from various threats, as well as the comic foil. In the rebooted timeline, Cage is also the love interest to Special Forces officer Sonya Blade and the father of their daughter Cassie. He is inspired by martial arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme, particularly Van Damme's character in the 1988 film Bloodsport.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shao Kahn</span> Mortal Kombat character

Shao Kahn is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise by Midway Games and NetherRealm Studios. Depicted as emperor of the fictional realm Outworld, he is one of the franchise's primary villains. Feared for his immense strength, which he complements with a large hammer, and knowledge of black magic, Shao Kahn seeks conquest of all the realms, including Earth. He serves as the final boss of Mortal Kombat II (1993), Mortal Kombat 3 (1995) and its updates, and the 2011 reboot, as well as the action-adventure spin-off Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (2005). An amalgam of Shao Kahn and DC Comics villain Darkseid also appears as the final boss of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (2009) under the name Dark Kahn.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shang Tsung</span> Mortal Kombat character

Shang Tsung is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise by Midway Games and NetherRealm Studios. He debuted as the final boss in the original Mortal Kombat (1992) and has remained one of the franchise's primary villains. A powerful sorcerer, he is principally defined by his abilities to shapeshift into other characters and to absorb the souls of defeated warriors. Shang Tsung is usually portrayed as the right-hand man of Outworld emperor Shao Kahn and the archenemy of Shaolin monk Liu Kang. He also appeared as the main villain of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002), alongside Quan Chi as the eponymous Deadly Alliance, and Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath (2020).

Jax (<i>Mortal Kombat</i>) Mortal Kombat character

Jax Briggs is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise by Midway Games and NetherRealm Studios. Introduced in Mortal Kombat II (1993) as the leader of a Special Forces unit, he became a mainstay of the series, including as the protagonist of the action-adventure spin-off Mortal Kombat: Special Forces (2000). The character is distinguished by his metal bionic arms, which he first received in Mortal Kombat 3 (1995), and his abilities are based around his upper-body strength.

Kano (<i>Mortal Kombat</i>) Mortal Kombat character

Kano is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise by Midway Games and NetherRealm Studios. Debuting in the original Mortal Kombat (1992), he is the leader of the Black Dragon, a fictional criminal organization. Kano is distinguished by his cybernetic eye, which he has used as a laser in later installments. As one of the series' recurring villains, he often aligns himself with the forces threatening Earthrealm. He is also the archenemy of Special Forces officer Sonya Blade, who seeks to bring him to justice.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kung Lao</span> Mortal Kombat character

Kung Lao is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise by Midway Games and NetherRealm Studios. A Shaolin monk, he debuted in Mortal Kombat II (1993). He is depicted as a primary hero in the series, including as one of the protagonists of the action-adventure spin-off Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (2005). The character is also a descendant of the Great Kung Lao, the first Earthrealm champion of the Mortal Kombat tournament. His main weapon is a metal hat, which he uses for both melee and projectile attacks.

Reptile (<i>Mortal Kombat</i>) Mortal Kombat character

Reptile is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise by Midway Games and NetherRealm Studios. He debuted in the original 1992 game as a hidden opponent, establishing him as the first secret character in fighting game history. He became playable in the follow-up Mortal Kombat II (1993), and has remained a mainstay of the franchise. As implied by his name, he is a Saurian, a fictional species of reptilian humanoids, and is depicted throughout the series as the last surviving member of his race; he aligns himself with the series' primary villains in the hope that his service will lead to the Saurians' revival.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sonya Blade</span> Mortal Kombat character

Sonya Blade is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise by Midway Games and NetherRealm Studios. She debuted in the original Mortal Kombat (1992) as the roster's sole female fighter. Inspired by martial artist Cynthia Rothrock, she is a military officer with the Special Forces.

<i>Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm</i> American animated series

Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm is a 1996 American animated series based on the popular Mortal Kombat video game series. Produced by Threshold Entertainment and Film Roman, it aired on the USA Network's Action Extreme Team animation block for one season of thirteen episodes from September to December 1996, back-to-back with the Street Fighter animated series. The show serves as a combination of an alternative sequel to the first Mortal Kombat film and the events of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.

<i>Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks</i> 2005 video game

Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is a 2005 action-adventure beat 'em up video game developed and published by Midway for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. A spin-off of the Mortal Kombat franchise, it is the third installment to not be a fighting game. Telling the story of Mortal Kombat II, players control the eponymous Shaolin monks Liu Kang and Kung Lao in either single player or cooperative play as they protect Earthrealm from the forces of Outworld.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mortal Kombat (comics)</span> Comic book series

The Mortal Kombat comic books series included the official Mortal Kombat comics by Midway and a licensed adaptation series by Malibu Comics that was published in 1994-1995. There are thus two different lineups of Mortal Kombat comics: the tie-ins published by Midway and DC Comics that closely followed the storyline of the games, and the Malibu series, which took a few liberties with the source material.

<i>Mortal Kombat: Live Tour</i>

Mortal Kombat: Live Tour was a martial art theatrical stage show featuring Mortal Kombat characters, sound, and laser light effects on stage. The plot was based on three fighters rescuing their friends and retrieving a magic amulet from the evil master of Outworld, Shao Kahn, in order to save the Earth.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liu Kang</span> Mortal Kombat character

Liu Kang is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series by Midway Games and NetherRealm Studios. Depicted as Earthrealm's greatest warrior and champion, he is generally the main hero of the series. He debuted in the original Mortal Kombat (1992) as a Shaolin monk, and has since appeared in nearly every main installment of the series except Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and its second version. He is also the protagonist of the action-adventure beat 'em up spinoff game Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (2005).

Raiden (<i>Mortal Kombat</i>) Mortal Kombat character

Raiden is a fictional character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series by Midway Games and NetherRealm Studios. Based on the Japanese deity Raijin, he is depicted as the god of thunder who possesses control over lightning. He debuted in the original Mortal Kombat (1992) and has appeared as a playable character in every main installment of the series alongside Scorpion.

Mortal Kombat is an American series of martial arts action films based on the fighting video game series of the same name by Midway Games. The first film was produced by Lawrence Kasanoff’s Threshold Entertainment.

<i>Mortal Kombat</i> (Malibu Comics)

Mortal Kombat is the series of comic books published by Malibu Comics based on the Mortal Kombat video games series license between 1994 and 1995. While the comic books by Midway Games depict the games' official storyline, Malibu's story arcs are official publishings of the game providing alternative scenarios for the early Mortal Kombat series, thus favouring the "what if" theories. The series also features several original characters, mostly exclusive to it. It was published by Trielle Komix in Australia.

<i>Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpions Revenge</i> 2020 film by Ethan Spaulding

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge is a 2020 American direct-to-video adult animated martial arts film based on the Mortal Kombat franchise created by Ed Boon and John Tobias. South Korean studio Mir animated the film and was produced by Warner Bros. Animation. It is the first installment in the Legends series. It borrows source material from Mortal Kombat, the film contains two plots: one dealing with the titular character seeking his revenge on those who murdered his family and clan after being resurrected by Quan Chi, the other follows Johnny Cage, Liu Kang and Sonya Blade, who are chosen to participate on the Mortal Kombat tournament for the fate of Earthrealm.

<i>Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms</i> 2021 animated movie

Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms is a 2021 American direct-to-video adult animated martial arts film, directed by Ethan Spaulding from a screenplay by Jeremy Adams, based on the Mortal Kombat franchise created by Ed Boon and John Tobias, it is the second installment in the Legends series and a direct sequel to Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge (2020). Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and animated by Studio Mir, Boon returned from the predecessor as creative consultant.


  1. "Mortal Kombat (1995) - Financial Information". The Numbers .
  2. 1 2 "Mortal Kombat (1995)". Box Office Mojo . Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  3. Blaise, Judd. "Mortal Kombat". AllMovie. Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Couch, Aaron (August 18, 2015). "'Mortal Kombat': Untold Story of the Movie That "Kicked the Hell" Out of Everyone". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Goldman, Michael R. (1995-08-16). Goldman, Michael. Mortal Kombat: the Movie. Prima Lifestyles, 1995; ISBN 0-7615-0082-0 . ISBN   0761500820.
  6. Mortal Kombat Official Movie Magazine. Starlog Group, Inc., 1995
  7. Jacks, Kelso (March 29, 2020). "Why Mortal Kombat Recast Cameron Diaz as Sonya Blade". Screen Rant . Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  8. Tran, Edmond (12 December 2019). "Mortal Kombat 11's Kano Can Teach You A Ton About Australia". GameSpot . Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  9. K. Thor Jensen (2012-02-23). "Steven Spielberg - Best Movie Ever: Mortal Kombat". Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  10. 1 2 3 4 G., Alex (June 1, 2020). "Why Hollywood Won't Cast Bridgette Wilson-Sampras". Looper . Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  11. "CHUD Salutes… Steve James". CHUD. July 2, 2013. Archived from the original on July 7, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  12. 1 2 3 4 "Mortal Kombat Stars Play Mortal Kombat: Robin Shou vs. Linden Ashby!". YouTube . The Hollywood Reporter. September 20, 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  13. "Robin Shou 6/6 | Asian American Personalities". Goldsea. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  14. Reed, Dr. Craig D. (1998-01-01). "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation - Behind the Scenes at the New Hollywood Blockbuster". Black Belt . Active Interest Media, Inc. 36 (1): 85. ISSN   0277-3066.
  15. "Interview with Keith Cooke". Kung-Fu Kingdom. October 31, 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  16. Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins . Behind the Scenes commentary: Turner Home Entertainment. 1996-05-21.
  17. "MK: The Movie Delayed Until August". Electronic Gaming Monthly . No. 70. Sendai Publishing. May 1995. p. 27 via Internet Archive.
  18. "Search Results for Mortal Kombat". Recording Industry Association of America . Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  19. "Mortal Kombat [Original Soundtrack]". Allmusic . Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  20. "Mortal Kombat Annihilation!". GamePro . No. 104. May 1997. p. 37.
  21. "Game of the film: Mortal Kombat Annihilation". Sega Saturn Magazine . No. 22 (August 1997). 16 July 1997. p. 17.
  22. "Mortal Kombat". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango Media . Retrieved October 6, 2021. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  23. "Mortal Kombat". Metacritic . Fandom, Inc. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  24. "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  25. Lisa Schwarzbaum on Sep 15, 1995 (1995-09-15). "Movie Review: 'Mortal Kombat' Review | Movie Reviews and News". Archived from the original on 2014-05-04. Retrieved 2014-05-04.
  26. Holden, Stephen (1995-08-19). "Movie Review - Mortal Kombat - FILM REVIEW; Into the Vortex to Save the Earth". The New York Times . Archived from the original on 2014-05-04. Retrieved 2014-05-04.
  27. 1 2 Mortal Kombat: The Movie - Siskel and Ebert: At The Movies Preview. YouTube. 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2014-05-04.
  28. "Movie Review: Mortal Kombat". Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  29. "'Kombat' -- Just for Kicks / Game's fans will like campy film version". 19 August 1995.
  30. Thomas, Kevin (21 August 1995). "WEEKEND REVIEWS : Movies : High-Energy 'Kombat' Punches In With Panache" via LA Times.
  31. Klady, Leonard (21 August 1995). "Review: 'Mortal Kombat'". Variety.
  32. Newman, Kim (2000-01-01). "Mortal Kombat". Empire. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  33. 1 2 3 4 Lealos, Shawn S. (August 18, 2020). "25 Years Later, Mortal Kombat Remains Cinema's Best Bizarre Video Game Adaptation". Comic Book Resources . Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  34. 1 2 3 "Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong: About... Mortal Kombat". Rotten Tomatoes . September 24, 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  35. 1 2 3 MacReady, Melody (July 30, 2020). "Mortal Kombat 1995: 5 Things that Aged Like Fine Wine (& 5 Things that Aged Terribly)". Screen Rant . Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  36. 1 2 3 4 Vlcek, Lance (February 24, 2021). "Mortal Kombat (1995) Christopher Lambert, Robin Shou - (The Black Sheep)". . Retrieved 8 August 2021 via
  37. 1 2 "Why 1995's 'Mortal Kombat' is the Rare Video Game Movie That Works". Collider . 15 April 2021.
  38. Hofmeyer, Mark (August 18, 2020). "Hear Us Out: Paul W. S. Anderson Has Been Crushing it for 25 Years". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  39. 1 2 Pemental, Michael (February 23, 2021). Mortal Kombat: The PG-13 Brutality and Nostalgic Charm of the 1995 Original. Bloody Disgusting . Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  40. Polybren (2009-07-08). "Third Mortal Kombat movie filming in September - Report". Archived from the original on 2009-07-12. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  41. "Linden Ashby talks about Mortal Kombat".
  42. "Mortal Kombat on Video". GamePro . No. 69. IDG. April 1995. p. 24.