Hey there Drinkers,
Yes, you did read that title correctly. I watched BOTH Mortal Kombat movies. For you. Actually, today’s combo is more the result of bad luck than anything else. Originally, I was saving this beer for Invasion of the Body Snatchers which seemed like an unusually appropriate pairing for this blog. Sadly, it was too good to be true and I could not get my hands on a copy of the movie. So I turned to Plan B, another movie and another beer. And it was going to be great! (stay tuned for that one!) But then I got distracted when I reached into the fridge, grabbed the wrong beer (today’s Invasion) and opened it before I realized my mistake. So rather than let a good BAAM’ing opportunity go to waste, I picked the next logical option which, weirdly, was Mortal Kombat. Both of them. So let’s get started…I guess.
Honestly, there is very little say about either of these movies but just for some context: Mortal Kombat originally was a fighting game first released in 1992. The franchise has endured and MK games are still be released to this day. Mortal Kombat is known for its gory animations, scantily clad women (just like any self-respecting fighting game) and its rich cast of characters. And while the games still remain somewhat influential in their genre, the 1995 film Mortal Kombat does not exactly live up to the hype.
The story? Three warriors from the Earthrealm are chosen to compete in a tournament in order to prevent an evil invasion from Outworld. Boom. Done. To be fair, that’s the game’s story as well. Also, this is a movie about fighting and not about story, so we can cut them some slack. Anyway, our heroes Liu Kang (tortured denier of destiny), Johnny Cage (spoiled action movie star with something to prove) and Sonya Blade (soldier who is chasing a dude with a metal face) are all somehow easily convinced to travel to another dimension and fight otherworldly creatures in a battle to the death. Weirdly, none of them find this situation particularly strange or unnerving. Sure, sometimes they say the words (what is that thing?!) but really they seem pretty at ease in their home.
But setting aside the non-story, the bad acting and the movie’s repeated attempts to TELL rather than SHOW or EXPLAIN anything at all, you’d assume that the fights were pretty badass, right? Uhhhh…yes and no. Some of the fights are kind of cool and exciting. For example, Johnny Cage vs. Scorpion is pretty sweet. It does randomly change locations for no good reason but other than that, it’s a good watch. But mostly the fight scenes are over-choreographed and have zero context. Dudes just start fighting and it’s sadly dull. The other sad fact is that the special effects do not hold up. Sure, Goro looks kind of cool with his four arms but everything else just looks so cheap. But you can’t hold that against them really; technology does not age well.
And then I made a mistake. I was so into how bad Mortal Kombat was, I watched another. I blame my roommate but hey, what’s done is done. The sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was released in 1997 after the original film made an insane amount of money. It takes place about 30 seconds after the first film and is undeniably 1000% worse. Having lost the tournament (spoiler!), Outworld’s immortal emperor Shao Kahn says ‘screw the rules, I’m just going to take Earth.’ And thus our recast cast of heroes (seriously, only two of the actors from the first film returned) must again engage in MORTAL KOMBAT in order to stop the invasion of their planet. And save the universe or something. It’s unclear. And where the first film largely just intoned and implied plot and blossoming relationships, Annihilation explicitly tells us everything we need to know without conceit or shame. Sonya Blade now LOVES Johnny Cage while Kitana and Liu Kang, who barely spoke in the first movie, are also madly in love. Also, within the first 5 minutes of the film, we’re TOLD how to defeat our big bad Shao Khan. How, might you ask? By reuniting his adopted daughter Kitana with her possessed biological mother, duuhhh. But really, that’s kind of the whole of the movie. The fights have even less context here and characters appear and vanish for no reason. Sub-Zero’s younger brother shows up for like 5 seconds, fights a dude and then leaves. Nightwolf, who is supposed to train Liu Kang, just throws what I can only assume is a peyote-laced tomahawk at Kang. And then he’s gone. For the entire movie. Also, half of the Outworld generals die after literally serving no purpose whatsoever.
*If this makes no sense to you, then good. I’ve done my job.
Really, these movies make no sense and do not stand the test of time. A thousand apologies to all the men who saw this when they were growing up but these are terrible movies. Don’t waste your time because I did it for you. You’re welcome.
Let’s talk about beer. Please. Finally. Praise the Elder Gods that I had Black Market Brewing’s Invasion Red Ale to stave off these poop-storm movies invading my brain. Pouring a dark brownish red with significant lacing, it’s a visually appetizing beer to behold. The nose gives off the standard red ale notes of malt and herby hops. But when I tasted it, it was surprisingly less hoppy than other red’s I’ve had in the past. Which was a nice surprise. It actually made drinking the 22 oz. bomber a little easier. Which was welcomed, considering it sports a 9.9% ABV. Despite that high alcohol content, I did not find the beer too boozy. Or maybe I was just too dumbstruck by the movies to care. But really an overall nice red to sip on over a longer period.
So there you have it folks. Some terrible movies ostensibly about invasions and a saving-grace beer that helped us through the slog. Thanks for reading this is long and stupid post.
-Simple story, if any
-But that theme song!
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
-New cast, not for the better
-Remarkably worse than the first