The original Mortal Kombat movie may not have aged gracefully (not that it was particularly groundbreaking at the time, either, mind you) since it released way back in 1995, but the film holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many. After all, Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil adaptation famously diverges from the source material quite drastically, an ongoing point of contention among fans of Capcom’s video game series, creative liberties that were far less pronounced in the former.
Sticking rigidly to the events that unfold during the titular tournament, Anderson’s committal to fan service resulted in not only a faithful narrative, but a series of painstakingly choreographed fight scenes that, unlike the hammy acting, still hold up today. Scorpion and Johnny Cage, as well as Liu Kang and Reptile’s duels, remain two of the main highlights of the adaptation, and, coincidentally, were both incredibly difficult to film.
Recounting the work that went into both sequences, Anderson told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview that “they were both long fights that involved a combination of aerial wire work and close-quarter combat,” adding, “they were the hardest in terms of the amount of effort that went into planning them and the difficulty in terms of their execution.”
Of the actors themselves, Anderson only has high praise to offer and recalls how Linden Ashby (Johnny Cage) would regularly take painkillers in order to take the edge off of physically demanding scenes. As for Robin Shou (Liu Kang), Anderson says he revelled in the punishment and would rate his personal performance by how many bruises had been acquired by the end of filming.
A fascinating trip down memory lane, then, and it remains to be seen if Mortal Kombat‘s upcoming reboot on the big screen will attract the same cult following as the original. If what we’ve heard so far is any indication, though, it sounds as if the project is in safe hands. See here for all the latest developments.