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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real positive messages.
Positive Role Models
Characters are walking, talking, and fighting clichés that use violence to solve all problems.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent martial arts-style violence. This movie is basically one fight after another. While the fights are usually done with fists and kicks, there is also gunfire, pistol whipping, and a fighter's head getting frozen and decapitated. A man is impaled to death. A fighter burns to death and explodes. Demonic imagery.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A reference to the attractive figure of one of the female fighters.
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"Ass," "hell," "bulls--t," "a--hole."
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Products & Purchases
This is the popular '90s video game turned into a feature-length movie.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mortal Kombat: The Movie is the 1995 adaptation of the popular and extremely violent video game. There isn't much of a story, and the characters speak almost entirely in clichés. There is profanity, including "bulls--t" and "a--hole." Even the martial arts scenes, as bountiful and excessive as they are, are nowhere near as entertaining as other martial arts films. A man is killed in a battle, complete with the sounds of bones breaking. One of the fighters resorts to punching his enemy in the crotch to win. A warrior's head gets frozen by one of the bad guys and is decapitated. Fighters explode and get impaled. All of this happens through the laziest of storylines; this is little more than an attempt to make a movie cashing in on what was at the time -- and to a certain extent still is -- a pop culture phenomenon. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Much like the video game on which it's based, Mortal Kombat: The Movie is endlessly violent, with only the barest of narratives and simplest of character motivation to justify the violence. The acting is subpar at best, and the dialogue is an endless cliché of the "We've got company!" variety. No one is very likable -- the "good guys" seem good only because they don't look monstrous or speak in demonic voices. Even the fight scenes aren't terribly interesting, especially compared to martial arts movies that actually have likable characters and engaging storylines.
By the time the movie reaches its climax, you don't care who wins or even if the Earth survives, just so long as all this seemingly endless fighting stops already. Action in action movies is supposed to be entertaining, not exhausting. And over 20 years after its initial release, the style, special effects, and overall mood of the movie result in '90s entertainment that has not stood the test of time.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.