Mortal Kombat 2: Annihilation is a 1997 American martial arts action film directed by John R. Leonetti. Based on the "Mortal Kombat" series of fighting games, the film is the sequel to 1995's Mortal Kombat.
It stars Robin Shou, Talisa Soto, Brian Thompson, Sandra Hess, Lynn "Red" Williams, Irina Pantaeva, and James Remar. The storyline was largely an adaptation of Mortal Kombat 3, following a band of warriors as they attempt to save Earth from the evil Shao Kahn.
Although the story picks up where the last film left off, only two of the lead actors reprised their roles.
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the entire movie.
The evil emperor Shao Kahn, along with his generals, Motaro, Sheeva, Rain, and Ermac, opens a portal from Outworld to Earthrealm and has reclaimed his queen Sindel, who is Kitana's long-dead mother. Earthrealm is therefore in danger of being absorbed into Outworld within six days, a fate which Liu Kang and the others must fight to prevent.
Kahn fights and quickly kills Johnny Cage during the confrontation by snapping his neck, and the remaining Earthrealm warriors must regroup and think of an idea to defeat Shao Kahn.
An emotionally guilt-ridden Sonya Blade enlists the help of her old partner, Jax, while Kitana and Liu Kang search for a Native American shaman named Nightwolf, who seemingly knows the key to defeating Kahn.
On the way, they run afoul of the cyborg Smoke. Kitana and Liu Kang dispatch him with the aid of Sub-Zero, but Scorpion suddenly appears, attacks Sub-Zero, and kidnaps Kitana.
After Jax's releases himself he and Sonya battle and defeat the cyborg Cyrax sent by Kahn to destroy them. Upon defeating Cyrax, a small dragon-like creature erupts from the cyborg and disappears.
Meanwhile, Rain is killed by Kahn for sparing the lives of two warriors (Kabal and Stryker). Raiden meets with the Elder Gods and asks them why Kahn was allowed to break the tournament rules and force his way into Earthrealm, and how he can be stopped.
The answers he receives are sparse and ambiguous; one says that reuniting Kitana with her mother, Sindel, is the key to breaking Kahn's hold on Earthrealm, but another Elder God insists that the defeat of Kahn himself is the solution.
Raiden is then asked by the Elder Gods about his feelings and obligations towards the mortals, and what he would be willing to do to ensure their survival. Liu Kang finds Nightwolf, who teaches him about the power of the Animality, a form of shapeshifting which utilizes the caster's strengths and abilities.
To achieve the mindset needed to acquire this power, Liu Kang must pass three tests. The first is a trial of his self-esteem and focus. The second comes in the form of temptation, which manifests itself in the form of Jade, who attempts to seduce Liu Kang and make him forget about Kitana. Liu Kang resists Jade's advances, which then leads to a short duel.
After Jade is defeated, she becomes impressed. She offers her assistance in fighting Kahn. Liu Kang accepts Jade's offer and takes her with him to the Elder Gods' temple, where he and his friends are to meet Raiden. The third test is never seen.
At the temple, the Earthrealm warriors reunite with a newly shorn Raiden, who explains that he has sacrificed his immortality to freely fight alongside them. Together, they head for Outworld to rescue Kitana and reunite her with Sindel.
With Jade's help, Liu Kang sneaks into Kahn's castle and after battling Baraka, rescues Kitana, while the others find Sindel. Liu and Kitana are confronted by Sheeva, who is then killed after they drop a cage on her.
Unfortunately, Sindel remains under Kahn's control, and she escapes while a trio of Reptiles ambush the heroes, while Jade reveals herself to be a mole sent by Kahn to disrupt the heroes' plans before escaping.
Kahn eventually finds and confronts Jade and, for her failure, kills her. Raiden then reveals that Shao Kahn is his brother, and that Elder God Shinnok is their father. He realizes that Shinnok had lied to him and is supporting Kahn.
With renewed purpose, Raiden and the Earthrealm warriors make their way to the final showdown with Kahn and his generals which leads them to the temple of the Shaolin Order of Light, Liu Kang's home, the ruins of which have surfaced in Outworld.
Shinnok demands that Raiden submit to him and restore their broken family, at the expense of his mortal friends. Raiden refuses and is killed by an energy blast from Shao Kahn.
While Liu and Khan square off, Jax faces Motaro (and eventually takes off his cybernetic enhancements) while Sonya fights Noob Saibot and Ermac and Kitana faces her mother Sindel.
Even as Kitana, Sonya and Jax all gain the upper hand (including Jax helping even the numbers against Noob and Ermac after defeating Motaro), Liu still struggles with Kahn and his Animality, in the form a dragon, barely proves effective after Kahn counters with his own in the form of a Hydra.
Shinnok attempts to intervene and kill Liu Kang on Kahn's behalf, but two of the Elder Gods arrive, having uncovered Shinnok's treachery. They restrain him and declare that the fate of Earth shall be decided in Mortal Kombat as it should be.
Liu Kang finally defeats Kahn, and Shinnok is banished to the Netherrealm while a demonish dragon-like creature rips its way out of the defeated Kahn's body but is destroyed.
As Earthrealm reverts to its former state, the four protagonists find themselves at the temple of the Order of Light, but now the temple is bathed in sunshine, whole and populated by monks instead of Outworld foes. Sindel joins them, looking decidedly different as Kahn's control over her has been broken, and she reunites with Kitana.
Armed forces partners Sonya and Jax revel in the moment, as do Kitana and Liu Kang when she proclaims, "I will never forget this moment, Liu," and then kisses him. Raiden is revived by the other Elder Gods, who bestow upon him his father's former position.
With everything right in the universe once again, the human and Edenian heroes watch Raiden ascend and then leave the temple triumphant.
- Robin Shou as Liu Kang
- James Remar as Raiden
- Talisa Soto as Kitana
- Brian Thompson as Shao Kahn
- Sandra Hess as Sonya Blade
- Lynn "Red" Williams as Jax
- Irina Pantaeva as Jade
- Reiner Schöne as Shinnok
- Musetta Vander as Sindel
- Marjean Holden as Sheeva
- Litefoot as Nightwolf
- Deron McBee as Motaro
- Chris Conrad as Johnny Cage
- John Medlen as Ermac
- J.J. Perry as Cyrax/Scorpion/Noob Saibot
- Tyrone Wiggins as Rain
- Dennis Keiffer as Baraka
- Ridley Tsui as Smoke
- Keith Cooke as Sub-Zero
- Dana Hee as Mileena
- Ed Boon as Voice of The Scorpion
Though Annihilation attempted to continue in the style of the first movie, the cast of returning characters from the original was almost completely overhauled.
Only Robin Shou (Liu Kang) and Talisa Soto (Kitana) reprised their roles while the only other actor to return was Keith Cooke (Reptile in the first film) as Sub-Zero.
Additionally, while the original attracted casual moviegoers as well as gamers, Annihilation catered exclusively to MK fans.
Part of the movie was filmed on location at Parys Mountain on the island of Anglesey.
The scenes involving the Temple of The Elder Gods were filmed on location at Petra, a large temple and basin located in Jordan.
In the closing credits, Wales, where several scenes were filmed, is incorrectly listed as being part of England.
"Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" was released on November 21, 1997, and its opening weekend take was $16 million, enough for a number-one debut at the box office.
It grossed $35 million domestically and made $51 million worldwide.
The film received a 3% approval rating out of 38 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
The consensus states, "With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat - Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor."
In a 2012 interview with Complex, MK co-creator Ed Boon chose "Annihilation" as the "worst moment" in the history of the franchise.
The film received an 11 out of 100 rating on Metacritic based on twelve reviews.
Jason Gibner of Allmovie wrote, "Whereas the first film was a guilty schlock pleasure, this sequel is an exercise in the art of genuinely beautiful trash cinema."
James Berardinelli of ReelViews rated Annihilation half a star out of four while describing it as having "no story, no characters, and no coherence."
Marjorie Baumgarten of the Austin Chronicle opined that it was "nothing more than a perpetual chain of elaborately choreographed fight sequences that...are linked together by the most flimsy and laughable of plot elements."
Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "D–" rating, calling it "abysmal" and "incoherent."