Mortal Kombat (2021) vs Mortal Kombat (1995)

In the last week I just finished watching the new Mortal Kombat movie and this made me think of the 1995 version of this movie. I must confess that I really like the 1995 movie.

A quick rundown of the stories as an reminder:

1995

Lord Rayden (Christopher Lambert) handpicks three martial artists — federal agent Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson), Shaolin monk Lui Kang (Robin Shou) and action movie sensation Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby) — and mentors them. After intense training, Rayden transports the trio to Outworld, the site of an inter-dimensional fighting tournament. There, the three humans must defeat the demonic warriors of the evil Shang Sung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) — or allow Sung to take over the Earth.

2021

Hunted by the fearsome warrior Sub-Zero, MMA fighter Cole Young finds sanctuary at the temple of Lord Raiden. Training with experienced fighters Liu Kang, Kung Lao and the rogue mercenary Kano, Cole prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions to take on the enemies from Outworld in a high-stakes battle for the universe.

So which is better?

I my mind it is a draw as both of them have their strengths and weaknesses.

The 1995 movie has strong characters and actors playing the roles, with Christopher Lambert and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa leading the way with charismatic performances but the rest of the main cast also strong. Robin Shou makes for a strong hero character and Linden Ashby play the comedic relief role well as Johnny Cage, maybe the Sonia roles played by Bridgette Wilson is a bit underwritten.

The fights scene are bit of a mixed bag, Robin Shou did all of his own fight scenes and carries them well, some of the others obviously had stunt doubles. The setting benefits from a physical setting but the special effects are again a bit iffy.

Overall a fun movies taken in the context of a 90s movie.

The 2021 movie has very good fight scenes and it is obvious that the actors are doing their own scenes, also there is nice a amount of gore. The special effects also look believable. The settings all look to be the dark warehouse type of settings, I suspect they were limited by Covid in the locations they could shoot at.

The one area that this new version lacks is some of the characters and the actors playing them. Lewis Tan who plays Cole Young seems nice enough, but lacks the gravitas to pull of this role. The rest of the cast are introduced but then are barely in the movie. They probably tried to introduce too many characters and suffered a bit. The standout is Josh Lawson who plays Kano, he steals every scene he is in.

I liked this movie as well, has a prequel feel to it but the fight scenes were good and could watch a sequel.

Mortal Kombat (1995) – Rating 4 out of 5

Mortal Kombat (2021) – Rating 3 out of 5

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