I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Mortal Kombat Annihilation

tn_mortalkombatannMORTAL KOMBAT ANNIHILATION is an asinine sequel by any standards, but as long as you don’t hold the MORTAL KOMBAT legacy too close to your heart it’s pretty fuckin funny.

In the first one it seemed like they tried hard to mold the vibe of the game into a new type of martial arts movie for the early digital era. In this one I really thought the video game creators must’ve got a big head and forced every bullshit video game concept they could think of onto the poor bastards who had to try to turn it into a passable story. Watching it I couldn’t help but imagine some poor screenwriter sitting in an office nervously saying, Well, I wonder if we shouldn’t work out something different for the scene where Sonya Blade finds her partner in a lab where he just got surgery to replace his arms with giant robot arms, and for some reason he’s locked in so he has to break his way out but then an evil robot dude jumps out and they fight him and the robot has a tattoo and when he dies the tattoo turns into a little dragon that flies and then warps into another dimension… I mean I’m not sure if that scene is quite working exactly how–

DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I’M THE CREATOR OF GOD DAMN MORTAL KOMBAT. YOU DON’T TELL ME ABOUT STORYTELLING. I THINK I KNOW A FEW THINGS ABOUT TIMELESS STORYTELLING. I MEAN, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TALKING TO ME LIKE THAT? GOD DAMN IT, YOU RUINED MY LUNCH BREAK. GET THIS PIECE OF SHIT OUT OF MY FACE. FUCK YOU.

And he’s probly a pointer like Shang Tsung, so he points and his security guys drag the screenwriter out of the office. And then he yells after them, FINISH HIM! And the security guy goes What? And he says, I said ‘FINISH HIM!’ And the guy goes, “Okay. We’ll, uh… we’ll finish him out there, I guess.”

Well, that’s obviously what you would guess would be the screenwriting process judging by the finished result, but after checking IMDb I’m not prepared to blame it entirely on the video game people. The credited screenwriters are: story by Lawrence Kasanoff, Joshua Wexler and John Tobias (video game guy), screenplay by Brent V. Friedman (HOLLYWOOD HOT TUBS 2, PREHYSTERIA 2-3) and Bryce Zabel (M.A.N.T.I.S.). Kasanoff and Wexler are the producers, not the video game guys, and I will say nothing about them other than to point you to the movie they wrote and directed, FOODFIGHT!, which sounds very much in the spirit of LAUNDRY: THE MOVIE. I’m sure Charlie Sheen is good as the voice of Dex Dogtective, though. That’s good casting.

mp_mortalkombatannAnyway, the sequel picks up right from the end of part 1. Our heroes, Player 1, 2 and 3, have saved the day by winning the tournament, but in an interdimensional act of poor sportsmanship the Emperor of Outworld is refusing to honor the results and invading earth, turning God’s natural beauty into shitty CGI. Right at the beginning a bunch of evil fighters come out and pose on top of a little hill, all of them looking more ridiculous than anybody even in part 1. The protagonists all return except Sonya Blade is played by a slightly more acceptable actress, Johnny Cage is a different actor but dies immediately (SPOILER) and Christopher Lambert as Rayden morphed into James Remar from THE WARRIORS.

The villain is Brian Thompson (COBRA), who stands around in armor saying evil shit like a one episode villain on HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS. And I just looked it up and Brian Thompson did play a character called “Goth the Barbarian” on one episode of HERCULES, so that’s probly a pretty accurate description. Liu Kang and Kitana go on a journey that finds them teaming up with Scorpion and encountering some of the worst CGI ever in a theatrically released motion picture (portals, lava, etc.) They learn to use Outworld’s version of rapid transit, which is basically a human-sized hamster ball rolling through a waterslide.

Rayden has to give up his immortality in order to help the humans with their kombat. And I don’t mean this as a negative at all, but until I saw his mortal sleeveless shirt and haircut I never realized the thunder god was gay. But good for him being out and proud. I wonder if his sexual orientation has something to do with his falling out with his dad, the emperor? If so the Emperor not only cheats at Mortal Kombat, he’s also a homophobe and a terrible father.

I guess in a sequel you want to give the heroes new powers, so in this one Liu Kang learns how to unleash his “animality,” which means he turns into a really stupid CGI dragon at the end. Unfortunately it doesn’t help him much in his fight with the Emperor, because it just give the Emperor the idea of turning into a bigger stupid CGI dragon with more heads. Oh well, at least now they figured out a reason for the Mortal Kombat symbol to be a dragon. I guess.

There’s alot of crazy shit that happens in this movie, pretty much none of it makes half a lick of sense. But there’s one scene in particular that I think sums up the amount of thought and care that they chose not to even think about putting into this story. Liu Kang is travelling by himself when a woman appears out of nowhere and starts kissing him. He’s into it, but stops and says, “It almost seems too good to be true” and then remembers that he loves Kitana (not something that was really made clear before) so he tells her “my heart belongs to another.” Cue the electric guitars, and the two start stick fighting.

Oh shit! She was evil all along, trying to sedduce him!

But after they fight for a bit she tells him no, actually she’s not evil, this whole encounter was actually a test, and he passed. Phew.

But then at the end she turns out to be a bad guy after all.

So she goes good, evil, good, evil. Which might be a code to cheat in the game. Not sure.

Part 1 comes way closer to being a legitimate movie, but if you see these just as bad movies that are good for a laugh you probly oughta watch this one, following the BATMAN AND ROBIN precedent.

trivia:

1. the guy playing Scorpion in this one is J.J. Perry, martial arts director for BLOOD AND BONE, second unit director for UNDISPUTED II, THE SHEPHERD: BORDER PATROL and THE TOURNAMENT.

2. Two of Robin Shou’s stunt doubles were Ray “Darth Maul” Park and the one and only Tony Jaa.

3: There’s actually a novelization of this movie. Somebody read that script and figured out how to make it into a novel.

(programming note: this will be my last video game related review for now, although I’ll probly watch a couple other ones you guys recommended later on.)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Thursday, July 15th, 2010 at 2:06 am and is filed under Action, Fantasy/Swords, Martial Arts, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

63 Responses to “Mortal Kombat Annihilation”

  1. Never saw that one. Only parts of it on TV. I remember that the backcover of the video tape made a huge fuzz about this movie being “the first one with with a fight scene between a real man and a CGI creature”.

  2. “So she goes good, evil, good, evil. Which might be a code to cheat in the game. Not sure.”

    Still wiping my coffee from my screen, cheers.

  3. Tony Jaa as a stunt double? What was he about 18 or so back then? You know what, I’m at my computer, I’ll look it up instead of being lazy. I remember this as one of the very few films in my life that I have rented and then not even managed to finish, bear in my I was 16 or 17 when it came out on video and I wouls generally watch anything back then.

  4. Jaa would have been 20-21, Honestly thought he was a touch younger than that.

    You’d also think for a film that was directed by a DP it would at least look pretty but the visuals are as ugly as a blind cobblers thumb. Who’d have thought that someone could make PMS Anderson look good? (before those muppets who made AVP:R).

  5. A friend of mine worked on this, and I vividly remember him telling me how the director would walk around in pre-production saying, “The kids are gonna love it, it’s all about teamwork!”

  6. Kevin Holsinger

    July 15th, 2010 at 4:03 am

    I could’ve sworn Moriarty, formerly of AICN, was involved in this movie. But Google only has him listed for the NEXT Mortal Kombat film.

    Strange how memory works, or in my case, doesn’t.

  7. I liked this one more than the original. Just like The Scorpion King, this movie was pure campy fun, just like the italian movies i watched in the double-feature matinees when i was a kid.

  8. Dr. Peaches N. Herb

    July 15th, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Seeing this movie in a theater with my friends was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Seriously.

    Its almost as if the entire theater bonded over how ridiculous and awful the movie was. There was this sheer sense of joy we all had that I’ve never experienced seeing a bad movie in a theater before or since. In fact, it was so much the perfect ‘bad movie’-going experience that we all agreed to “retire” the film. Neither me nor my friends have watched it since, in order to preserve the moment.

    … the argument could be made that nobody should watch the movie more than once, or at all, but let’s not diminsh a treasured memory…

  9. “The fate of the universe will be decided as it should be… in MORTAL KOMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!”

    “The Earth was created in six days; so too shall it be destroyed; and on the seventh day, mankind will rest… in peace!”

  10. “Mother! You’re alive!”

    “Too bad *you*… will DIE!”

    anyway I remember reading somewhere (probably Wikipedia) that one of the screenwriters for this movie (can’t remember who) actually wrote a script for a Fallout movie

    thank God that was never made, not that I don’t think a Fallout movie could be interesting, but not written by someone who was involved with this POS

  11. I remember the green girl well. I thought it was one of the most ridiculous parts of the movie because the guy she’s seducing/fighting has NO reason to trust her, at all, and yet is all “I can’t believe you could do this to us!” when she turns on him at the end. Although I do find it quite funny, if slightly depressing, that reviews like this exist:

    http://www.jabootu.com/mka.htm

  12. My favorite part is when Sub Zero comes and tells them he is going to be there to help them the entire time and then you NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN.

  13. Vern you cunt, I almost said that word perfect watching this.

    And you chastise ME for fag jokes!

    Good thing is – you now agree we are now on the same page. As I don’t mean it as a negative at all, all the fags here can now stop getting their panties in a knot when I state the obvious. Huzzah!

  14. It’s nice to see that you’ve become more sensitive to fag rights in your old age, AU.

  15. Jareth Cutestory

    July 15th, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I’m guessing that AU doesn’t subscribe to this idea of using an “inside voice.”

  16. What makes you say that? It’s not like he’s typing in all caps.

    I think you meant “internal monologue.” I can’t imagine him having a thought he doesn’t speak aloud.

  17. Jareth Cutestory

    July 15th, 2010 at 10:40 am

    The exclamation marks, the warrior cheers, the drunkeness, the casual use of expletives – I guess I translate that as yelling. But to be fair, I’ll try reading all his posts as if he’s whispering sweet nothings in my ear. If he doesn’t come across as Frank Booth (the character not the guy who visits this web sight), I’ll concede to your point.

  18. Wow. JJ “Loco” Perry, eh? I guess everyone’s got to start somewhere. Ouch. I now dread revisting this horrid piece of garbarge. You forgot to mention Keith Cook (China O’Brien) as Sub-Zero. They really didn’t show enough of him, like to say “Hey! We’ve got Sub-Zero here too!”

    Ugh.

  19. Wow I’m pleasantly surprised that nobody is really steppign up to defend this bullshit, unlike STREET FIGHTER or MORTAL KOMBAT. Have to say I was dreading another repeat, and then have you all inevitably tear apart INCEPTION or whatever with a completely different set of standards.

    God knows my inevitable fight with Majestyk shall be fun and sad.

  20. Mickey- Or how about the fact he elaborates in no way on why he’s helping his brother’s murderer?

  21. Reposted from the Street Fighter: LoCL thread, because no one’s posting there anymore:

    “Here’s the problem(s) with films based on video-games – they’re given to these journeyman directors and writers who, for the most part, seem to fail to notice how to take advantage of the ideas and visual prospects that’s there in the source material, already.

    Someone needs to make a Sonic the Hedgehog movie – I don’t think there’s another other franchise character that, in the right hands, could lend itself so well to the cinematic medium. Having said that, if I had my way, I’d probably do it a bit different than most would. Do it completely silent. Make it a pantomime. Pattern it off stuff like George Miller’s Mad Max 2, or hell even get him to direct it, where it’s basically an exploration of what you can do with speed, motion and kinetics on screen centered around a relatively simple Sonic 1 – based plot – pit Sonic and Robotnik against each other, nature against industry, in surreal, dreamlike environments. One big, long chase movie with a good helping of visual humor.

    Either that or do a continuation of that surprisingly well-made post-apocalyptic animated series from the early nineties. Make it a film about a revolution. Throw some Mos Def on the soundtrack. That could work, too.”

  22. There’s something particularly uncool about trying to make the same point in different threads quoting yourself filmatist. Look, you get a chance and then it’s gone. I was pissed off and yelling my head off at Vern in the Point Blank thread for nuthin, that’s how it goes. Turning up to a party at 4am.

    Anyways 2 points. 1st to Jareth, I MAY BE LIKE ROBERT REDFORD BUT IF I WAS WHISPERING IN YOUR EAR THAT WOULD MAKE ME A COCK WHISPERER SO LET ME TAKE MY DICK OUT OF YOUR EAR SO YOU CAN TURN UP THE VOLUME CUM HANKY

    And 2nd point, just for RRA who I remember making an exceedingly stupid and whiney yet oddly prophetic post back in The Rookie crying what next that people will demand reviews of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat – like somehow reviewing these movies would drop the class of this site. To you I just wanna state that I watched Mortal Kombat Annihilation twice and enjoyed it way more than The English Patient which I watched 4 times. At the end of the day, it’s a better movie than The English Patient, which was pritty good, specially how the Indian slave punk and his owner loved each other but in that cool manlove way and not in that fag way like Majestyk and JARETH.

  23. AU: I’ll have you know that Jareth and I fag out in the manliest way possible. There’s steak sauce involved.

    RRA: I’m actually looking forward to INCEPTION. I have no beef with any of Nolan’s movies that don’t concern the bitchassification of beloved American cultural icons. I think he’s a solid director of intricate mindfucks who (in my opinion) was a bit out of his element in the Batman movies, making them feel disingenuous and forced to me, like a guy trying to make some kind of sense out of material he has no particular feeling for. But INCEPTION seems to be right up his alley, and I’m even prepared to grade the action scenes on a curve. I’ve heard comparisons to SYNECHDOCHE, NEW YORK, which I thought was excellent, so I’m eager to have my mind-grapes crushed and fermented. I’m sure we’ll battle to the death over something, but hopefully not INCEPTION.

  24. I’m getting realllllly excited for INCEPTION

  25. “I watched Mortal Kombat Annihilation twice and enjoyed it way more than The English Patient which I watched 4 times. At the end of the day, it’s a better movie than The English Patient,”

    AU_Armageddon – And what point are you trying to make here? You assume that I actually give a shit about ENGLISH PATIENT, which I really don’t. Like like any of those Oscar-friendly movies which within 5 years aren’t particularly fondly remembered and fall back into obscurity like CRASH or OUT OF AFRICA or whatever nonsense. Or to put it another way, I only remember really enjoying FARGO of those Best Picture nods for 1996, and that movie has aged well. Not their best work I suppose, but fuck it Coens rule.

    And yeah, in the end of the day, FARGO is a better movie than MORTAL KOMBAT ANNIHILATION. I may have been whiney and stupid, but dammit I was right! I’m like the Tea Party, but with something of substance to say outside of slogans. And I don’t hate black people. They’re cool.

    Mr. Majestyk – Umm, well that’s good to know. I just know we’re gonna have a debate here at this web sight (and I don’t mean you and me particularly), and…you ever notice how we give blank checks to really dumb movies we like, but we then tear apart the good ones for little shit we don’t with those dumb movies?

    Or to put it another way, some of us here called the Logic Cops on SHUTTER ISLAND. But we didn’t for COMMANDO.

  26. Jareth Cutestory

    July 15th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Gee, AU, you were so much more gentle with me last night in the men’s toilet.

    Majestyk: Do you think Superman is a better or worse fit for Nolan’s sensibility?

  27. Yes , Mortal Kombat Annihilation sucks. I remember watching this one ( and I paid to see the first one in cinemas!) and thinking : “Holy Shitballs , how can you fall this low , especially since the first movie was Mortal Fucking Kombat and I adjusted my expectations accordingly ?”
    Seriously , I know people that hated Goro in the first one because he looked fake ( I liked it , but I admit it’s not really the best plastic puppet around ) , but the CGI dragons in this one are even worse than videogame characters….at the time this movie was released !If you hire Harryhausen and reshoot the special effects in stop motion ( for the Mortally Ultimate Edition , of course ) , I bet they will look better than this shit . Hell , Tron looked better than this shit , if you want to consider past cg-heavy movies!
    But I’m not a special-effects-only guy , and I can safely say that this movie has some of the stupidest characters ever “written” , always doing illogical stuff , like in Vern’s example above , and in the games there’s a lot of interesting characters .There’s one character in this movie , for about 4 seconds , called Ermac . It’s the red ninja , and in the games he’s supposed to be an undead warrior made from the souls of his long dead ninja-clan , so he is , literally , his whole clan in single , zombie from . I think that that concept is awesome , but they carefully avoid to use it . They just look at what is cool in MK , decide not to use it , and hide the void in their head with shitty CGI. Brilliant .

  28. CallMeKermit – You know what I vaguely only remember about ANNIHILATION? How the filmmakers seem like they were more concerned about fulfilling the quota of mentioning/showing game characters, regardless if they make any fucking sense or have purpose or anything that might actually matter.

    Jareth Cutestory – Interesting question, since wasn’t Donner’s SUPERMAN one of Nolan’s biggest influences for his Batman pictures what with the “all-star” cast all headlined on the poster?

  29. Jareth: Superman could not possibly fit Nolan less. That’s just bandwagon group-think at its worst right there. “Hey, he made money with one guy in a cape, let’s give him another one.” Superman is all about honest heroism, purity of heart, and All-American corniness. Nolan has showed no aptitude for nor interest in any of those things. If he’s smart he’ll back out now before the backlash against him starts in earnest. We could have a Tarantino type situation on our hands.

  30. I’m seeing INCEPTION tomorrow morning and really excited for it. I also think THE PRESTIGE deserves a lot more love than it got at the time it was first out. I read the actual book recently and I liked it, but also thought the changes they made for the film were pretty nice. Also Scarlett Johannson’s character in the book is american, so it’s a bit amusing how they made her do it with an english one for nothing.

  31. I’m also looking forward for Inception, although I will wait for the DVD. Everything that Nolan has done and didn’t involve Batman, was very good or even fucking great, so I hope he delivers this time too.

  32. Mr. Majestyk – But wasn’t it David Goyer who convinced Nolan to come along? I mean unless I’m mistaken, its Nolan throwing his weight around at WB to push whatever idea or vision Goyer has, and since Nolan is only producing…its not like he’s dead damn determined to hands-on “improve” it to his ideas as if its his movie, you know?

    Of course I might be incredibly naive. I mean God knows the Internet thought there was no way a SUPERMAN movie made by Bryan Singer could suck.

  33. Don’t think I’m proud admitting this but I fucking adored this film as a kid. That scene Vern mentions at the start of his review about Sonia finding Jax before fighting a random robot guy who has a floating dragon tattoo was pretty much my favourite action scene ever back then (not counting the climax of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time.)

  34. I don’t think there’s any reason to outright assume that because Nolan made Batman as grounded as he could that he’d necessarilly do the same to Superman, which seems to be what a lot of sceptics of the the news are basing their opinions on. I reckon with Batman he just figured that between the well-equipped urban crimefighter in a city full of corruption and madmen, and the more fantastical superhero-style approaches, that a mix wouldn’t be such a good idea and the more realistic one would work better. And the first effort still featured ninjas, sci fi wmds and things like the Batcave. So I expect that a Superman film he’s just producing will keep the powers and origins intact, in so far as the complicated legal situation with the Siegels would allow, anyway.

  35. Stu: It’s not the details I’m concerned with. It’s the tone. Supes is a big boy scout, a lovable lug with his heart in his sleeve, a farmboy who always looks for the best in people and will never give up on them. Does that sound like the kind of guy who fits in a Nolan movie?

  36. Majestyk: Doesn’t mean Nolan doesn’t have it in him, and there’s plenty of lighter moments in his movies I could cite to show that potential. Though maybe it’s more important to note that Warner said a while ago that they intended to make their superhero movies a bit darker, so maybe he’s right specifically for that direction? We dunno yet if this is going to be an origin film or not, but when you think about it, a lot of what he did in the Batman films so far was show how a superhero can bring hope to a hopeless place. If they were going to have it that Metropolis is a place that gets better just by Superman showing up, then I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch from what went on in Begins and TDK. I think something like Superman: Birthright, which was a take on Superman’s origin that worked to modernise him, would be something within Nolan’s grasp to do. Most of the action is city-set, it features a really ruthless corporate Lex Luthor who wants to “acquire” Superman for his own scientific pursuits, and made a point of how Superman isn’t just up against a singular enemy, but the general attitude of modern civilisation itself.
    http://www.artandartifice.com/leinil_yu/superman_page_a_900x1423.jpg
    http://www.artandartifice.com/leinil_yu/superman_page_b_900.1480.jpg
    Doesn’t that look like “Superman vs. A Nolantype World” to you?

  37. RRA : My Point Exactly . I don’t even know why they bother . They try to have all the characters from the game in the movie , to make some kind of cameo , “the fans will love it “, but they strip the characters themselves of any kind of characterization . Yeah , for them , even videogame-level characterization is too much , let’s keep it simple here , people. The result is that even I , an MK fan , don’t like how they use the characters , feel a little insulted and hate the 5 seconds throw away cameos.

  38. Jareth Cutestory

    July 15th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Majestyk: I agree completely with you about Nolan/Superman. The only thing more absurd would be Nolan/Wonder Woman (and her invisible airplane, and truth-telling lasso). Personally, I say the character will never be in better hands than Donner’s. And, let’s face it, the 1970s was the last decade you could make a film that earnest.

    One last question: could the Burton/Cage/Superman have worked in a crazy/ridiculous kind of way? I’m not a big fan of superhero movies (that Green Lantern photo they just published looks completely stupid to me), but I think I would have sat through Cage’s attempt.

  39. “could the Burton/Cage/Superman have worked in a crazy/ridiculous kind of way?”

    NO.

    Dear Lord, that movie would have been even more anti-Superman for a Superman movie than anything Goyer/Nolan can cook up.

  40. The Filmist: watch Speed Racer, the Wachowski Brothers movie. that basically is Sega Blue Skies: The Movie. it’s awesome, and doesn’t deserve any of it’s hate

  41. My buddies and I tried to go to Scream 2 but we weren’t old enough, so we went to this instead. Hoo boy.

  42. I think I’m going to give the Nolan Brothers the benefit of a doubt. They seem to KINDA know how to write. And Goyer is responsible for for bring back the Justice Society of America in the comic world, and he wrote lots o’ dark movies. JSA is pretty much the epitome of all American goodness. And I’d say the Nolans are better writers than Goyer. I think saying Nolan is a one-tone writer is the same as calling him a one trick pony. And I find that a BIT hard to accept.

  43. Responsible for bringing back the JSA.

    The interwebs has no faith and it saddens me is my point. And Burton’s Superman would have been horiffic. Ever see the costume design? The plans for a gay robot sidekick for Luthor? Yeesh.

  44. Swear to God – I used to occasionally, when I didn’t have a lady in my life, something I would do is get super super high (like Doug Benson high) in the parking lot and go watch a flick by myself. This is how I saw Timecop AND Exit to Eden in the same summer. Anyway. I got hugely fucking baked and went and watched this flick. The only thing I remember was that James Fucking Remar replaced Lambert. I remember nothing else; not due to the weed – I can remember anything on weed if I want to – it’s because the movie gave me nothing to remember. It wasn’t BAD, as I recall. It was just. . .there. Cool for an hour and a half, nothing more than that.

  45. Only thing I know about this movie is the dialogue exchange quoted in comment #10. It’s a YouTube staple.

  46. Are you guys saying the whole movie is at that level of hilarity? If so, I might have to watch it.

  47. I gotta admitt the Cage/Burton Superman thing intrigues me, admittedly more as a scholar of Mega-Acting than any kind of follower of cape-related lore, but even so I can’t imagine it would have ended up less _interesting_ than SUPERMAN RETURNS. Although if they had used that Kevin Smith script it would have been downright terrible.

    I’m not sure about Nolan/Superman, as far as I understand it Nolan doing a “dark, gritty etc.” Superman isn’t just conjecture it’s actually what the early plans have spelt out. I don’t know if DARK KNIGHT-ing the character would really work, although on the other hand I guess that animated series from the 90s was fairly dark by Superman standards (or at least serious) and what I saw of that was pretty good.

  48. PacmanFever – What I don’t understand from reading up all the batshit insanity of the Burton/Cage/McG/Ratner SUPERMAN years in development hell is how hard is it to do a Superman movie?

    I mean that cartoon you mentioned, those Timm/Dini guys sure “got it.” Compared to say Batman: TAS (which those guys also produced), their SUPERMAN was more light-hearted, but that didn’t mean they didn’t take it any less seriously. Which I think people commonly mistake as if you can’t be light and can’t be serious. Shit INCREDIBLES also proves you can do both without batting an eye.

    and let’s give the SUPERMAN cartoon credit: They were brilliant in making Darkseid his archnemesis. Its one of those ideas so fucking good, you’re surprised it wasn’t done much earlier in the comics. Absolutely sensical!

  49. I think “Dark Knighting” Superman is basically just as simple as putting a focus on how Superman knows if he wanted, he could conquer the world and MAKE it better as its ruler, but he knows he can’t no matter what, so he’s got to live with the fact there’s still so many things he can’t fix and make better, but he’ll try as hard as he can. Not only would that still be something totally in-character as Superman, as it’s a common thread in the comics, but it’s something interesting that the films have never explored. They almost sorta did with Spacey Luthor’s “I just want to take fire from the Gods” speech in SUPERMAN RETURNS, but then Singer just went and made the rest of Luthor’s motivation getting wealth and power, with not even a pretense of doing it because he thinks Superman is an evil invader that’s fooled everyone but him.

  50. Stu – I also like how RETURNS put up that question of why the world didn’t need a SUPERMAN…and promptly never answers it. So a woman won a Putlizer in a bitchy piece about how her man left her after dumping some seed in there? No wonder journalistic standards have gone down the shitter. But even then, why doesn’t Supes share his tech with the world?

    Of course I would think that if such a being did exist, he wouldn’t have the morals or whatever character our Superman would have or wrangle with the supposed ethical/moral problems with being a Mortal God. No he would just take over the world, because hey he can and who the fuck will stop him, right? He would indeed unite the world, in their hatred of their dictator. The first world government. Yet if he was a responsible enough administrator/politician (stop/prevent wars, end famine, all that stuff)
    , history would regardless look back fondly at him.

    But if he’s a dick, which surely he would be and doesn’t give a fuck about such internal improvements, he’ll be despised regardless.

  51. I’ve always said that the Kents were the real heroes. Their homespun values gave Supes the moral backbone he needed to resist the temptation to take over the world and make us all worship him in all his terrible majesty. What if baby Kal-El had been raised in the foster home system and learned only how to fend for himself? We’d all be his pets, if he let us live at all. So thank you, Ma and Pa Kent, for teaching a living god humility.

  52. Mr. Majestyk – The downside of those Kansas values might be that he would be like the Ultimate Warrior is now: A guy making a life off wearing his very colorful tight tights in public saying “queering don’t make the world go round!”

  53. RRA: I know you’re kidding, but Superman is the very model of tolerance. The only one of his kind, he has nothing but sympathy for outsiders of all stripes (until they try to blow up Metropolis. He has a little prejudice against “those types”).

    You want to talk potential gay-bashers, you gotta bring up Green Lantern: Former military alpha male flyboy pussyhound spacecop who glibly busts any and all “undesirables” who enter Earth’s orbit.

  54. Mr. M – You know, comics fucked up with the President Lex Luthor thing. That would have been his ultimate revenge at Supes…become the greatest President, a bitter bittersweet pill for Superman to swallow: Not just his sworn known-villain adversary become the head of the country he so beloves, but also beloved by his voters. Like Reagan mixed with FDR, but on steroids.

    Instead the comics have him do his usual bullshit, which was rather disapointing. Whatever.

    Don’t forget the oldest joke out there: That Batman has a real scandal-waiting-to-happen with his constant public companionship with boys. Always boys. Shit that Captain Sunshine episode on VENTURE BROS. was such a great pisser on that whole sincerely, unintentionally cringe-worthy element.

  55. Jareth Cutestory

    July 16th, 2010 at 7:16 am

    RRA: I think the question of whether or not Superman is a dick has been adequately answered at that web site:

    http://superdickery.com/index.php?Itemid=45&id=28&layout=blog&option=com_content&view=category

    Mr. Majestyk: Following your theory about the influence of good parents on Superman, I want to see a version where Cage/Superman is raised by Busey/Nolte. Mega hilarity ensues.

  56. RRA: I thought they did cover some of what you mentioned. I don’t read much Superman (that old chestnut about how he’s hard to write for because he’s all-powerful is true) but I thought when Luthor took office Supes told him that while he hates him and everything he stands for, Luthor was voted into office by the American people and he respects the office of the President, if not the man behind the desk. And for a while, didn’t Luthor try to be a good commander-in-chief, at least during one or two of those world-in-peril crossover event dealies that they have every six months or so? Sure, then he went back to doing gangsta shit as per usual, but there was a little while there where President Luthor was almost not quite an absolute villain.

  57. P.S. Guinness just called. Guess who’s got the record for most uses of the word “office” in a single sentence?

  58. Mr. Majestyk – I think what I’m trying to say is…why must Luthor always be on the board as a Supes villain?

    Why not long term, he be put aside, benched and he would be an ambivalent force…neither necessarily exclusively good or evil….and I’m talking a few years, then BAM villain Lex returns.

  59. I own both MK and MK:A. I drag them out occasionally when people are over drinking or otherwise indulging in substances that take MK:A from an unwatchable POS to a hilarious exercise in WTF/Really???!

    It’s a good thing.

  60. Darth Irritable

    July 17th, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Thanks for reviewing Vern! You’re more charitable than I am on this movie.

    Off topic, I was in that episode of Hercules as a random barbarian. Thompson is 1. A tank, 2. A nice guy.

  61. Last night was a Mortal Kombat double feature on TV. I watched part 2 for the first time and less then 10 minutes into it I already wasn’t sure if I was dreaming this movie. Seriously, WTF? It felt like the most fucked up Power Rangers episode ever!

  62. I love this movie — despite owning the VHS I bought the DVD version, something I had only done with The Neverending Story.
    The combat is fantastic — each actor showed skill, confidence and style. The soundtrack was perfect and the fight scenes well done.
    I love backgrounds — the setting, the landscape, the little details that the eye catches if you look for them. This movie gets a perfect score in that department.
    Sets included arid deserts, mud pools, scientific labs, rocky redoubts, and the ruined cities of outland. The castle of outland had imposing statues and crumbling architecture. Furtive lizards scuttled away while the heroes moved through the darkened hallways. Very eerie.
    Ignore the low score from Rotten Tomatoes — rent this movie and feel your pulse race when the heroes face an overwhelming array of enemies, both human and inhuman.
    Wonderful movie — great battles.
    Highly recommended.

  63. Grimgrinningchris

    December 6th, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Blue-Ronin… you forgot to mention the teamwork.

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