The sequel takes place right where the first one left off. Liu Kang (Robin Shou) has just returned the Mortal Kombat tournament, where he guaranteed the safety of Earth for the next generation. However, disregarding tournament rules, Emperor Shao-Khan (Brian Thompson) decides to invade Earth anyway by merging the realm with his own.
Liu is joined by the survivors of the original film (minus Johnny Cage, who is killed off in the first scene for no apparent reason.) There's Sonya Blade (Sandra Hess), the thunder god Rayden (James Remar instead of the orignal Christopher Lambert), and Kitana (Talisa Soto), who's mother Lady Sindel (Musetta Vander) may or may not be the key to defeating Shao-Khan. Along the way, they pick up another good guy: Jax (Lynn Red Williams), who apparently, for some reason, likes the idea of self-surgery.
Of course, without the tournament structure of the first film, there's got to be some reason to initiate man-to-man combat with each of the characters. (The whole thing left me wondering where the heavy weaponry was when you need it...I mean, when faced with an invading horde of ninjas with eyeless black socks pulled over their heads a few rounds of anti-personnel fire ought to do it...) Anyway, the film decides to separate each survivor off to follow his or her own personal quest. On the way, there just happens to be a bad guy that each good guy can face off against in one-on-one combat.
The fight scenes were the bread and butter of the original film, and at least there they were entertaining. Here they're horrendous. You'd think the fight choreographers had never heard of continuity. You'd get better fight action from a bad episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
The look of the original was also entertaining...here, things just look cheap. The costuming is hideous, and the special-effects are of claymation caliber at best. At least the nonstop thumping techno music drowns out most of the bad throwaway dialogue.
There is nothing...I repeat, nothing worthwhile in this film. Even as pure escapism, Mortal Kombat Annihilation doesn't cut it. There's very little that you'd to escape from more than this horrendous film.
[PG-13 - non-stop martial arts violence] (New Line)