Set in the futuristic year of 2007, in a city dubbed New Angeles, after having been reconstructed after a giant earthquake that happened a decade before in Southern California, where gangs and criminals mostly have their run of the city streets at night. Outside of the ineffective New Angeles Police Department, a vigilante group called the Power Corps, with direction from a teenage girl named Marian (Alyssa Milano), is the only organized force willing to take on the evil forces around the town. She knows talent when she sees it, so when she stumbles across a couple of martial-artist orphaned brothers named Jimmy (Mark Dacascos) and Billy (Scott Wolf) Lee, she recruits them for the cause of good. Their top adversary is a megalomaniac tycoon named Koga Shuko (Robert Patrick), aka ‘The Shadow Master’, who has become quite powerful in all but taking completely over the streets, utilizing his ability to change into shadow form and take over the bodies of others. The Lee brothers and their guardian Satori (Julia Nickson) have half of a powerful, mystical ancient Chinese medallion, while Koga has the other, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get his avaricious hands on it.
In this animated adventure expanded from the video game, M. Bison is a megalomaniacal warlord from Thailand with dreams of world domination. Bison runs a super-secret organization of drug smugglers, weapons runners, and an international terror and crime syndicate called “Shadowlaw”. Fueling Shadowlaw is a massive drug-running operation and a diabolical plan to become the most military force in the world through the use of ultra-powerful street fighters. Bison has his tech team devise a squad of cyborgs to do reconnaissance to find the best fighters in the world to recruit into his organization as part of a super army better than any individual nation’s.
Because the Japanese Shotokan karate master named Ryu has bested Sagat in the Street Fighter Tournament, it marks him as perhaps the world’s best, and someone from which Bison can build an army of super-street fighters. Ryu’s best friend from San Francisco, Ken Masters, another street fighter who studied the same master (making him the closest fighter to being Ryu’s equal) is kidnapped by Bison for brainwashing experiments to convert street fighters to his political assassins, starting with his effort to try to take down the world-wandering Ryu. Vengeful Chun Li and her colleagues at Interpol are trying to take down the operation, as does US Air Force Captain Guile, who is out to take down Bison for killing a friend.
In the Southeast Asian country of Shadaloo, where General M. Bison (Raul Julia) has been waging a war with the A.N. (the Allied Nations — a U.N.-like military force) after he has taken several dozen A.N. hostages, putting them up for a ransom of $20 billion dollars. Leading the A.N. counterattack is United States Colonel William F. Guile (Jean-Claude Van Damme), a headstrong and gifted fighter that Bison can’t wait to challenge in hand-to-hand combat. Many others would converge at Bison’s stronghold, including television reporter Chun-Li Zang (Ming-Na), arms dealer Victor Sagat (Wes Studi), and a couple of roguish martial artists named Ken (Damian Chapa) and Ryu (Byron Mann).
MMA cage fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan) is someone who usually takes a dive for money in the arena. Young doesn’t know his heritage is tied to the ancient ninja Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada) and that his dragon-shaped birthmark means he is chosen to compete in the Mortal Kombat tournament for the fate of Earthrealm. Outworld sorcerer emperor Shang Tsung (Chin Han) is out to get Young, sending his best warrior, Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim), to snuff him out. Young finds out more about why when meets Jax, a major in the U.S. Special Forces with the same special dragon symbol. Jax directs Cole to seek out fellow special-ops soldier Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee).
They soon find themselves in the temple of Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano), an Elder God who is the protector of Earthrealm. Raiden provides sanctuary for all from Earthrealm who bear the sacred mark, including the fire-ball flinging Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), the metal-helmeted Kung Lao (Max Huang), and nasty-dispositioned crime boss Kano (Josh Lawson). Their mission is to prepare themselves through martial arts training to take on the evil warriors of Outworld, which is set to take over Earthrealm if they win one more interdimensional Mortal Kombat tournament. The training has the capability of unleashing each warrior’s arcana, or special power that emanates from their souls. Cole must not only save his family from harm, but also everyone on Earth.
In this episode, Vince looks at the ill-fated attempts to release the third film in the original Mortal Kombat film franchise from the 1990s, followed by an in-depth look at the 2020 animated feature, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, an ultraviolent origin story to one of the game’s most popular characters. This one features a man named Hanzo Hasashi, a ninja of a sort who vows revenge as an undead warrior on Sub-Zero and the Lin Kuei, who wiped out Hanzo’s people, the Shirai Ryu, including his young son. Hanzo rises from the eternally torturous underworld known as NetherRealm as Scorpion, resurrected with wraith-like demonic powers bestowed by the dark sorcerer Quan-Chi, in exchange for his loyalty, the theft of a mystical key that will free the Elder God known as Shinnok, and representation in the once-in-a-generation tournament run by the evil Shang Tsung.
In this sequel to 1995’s Mortal Kombat, portals between Outworld and Earth are illegally opened by Outworld’s emperor Shao Kahn, who has decided the rules of “Mortal Kombat” need not apply to him. This leaves the world’s mightiest fighters only six days to vanquish this new threat and close the portals or lose Earthrealm to the powers of evil. They return to Outworld to fight for humanity’s fate.
Mortal Kombat: The Journey begins was a direct-to-video animated video released in conjunction with the release of Mortal Kombat in theaters in 1995. It purports to be a sequel to the live-action film. For the story, producer Larry Kasanoff employed the services of his screenwriter for the live-action film, Kevin Droney. In Droney’s script, we learn that “Mortal Kombat” is a tournament where warriors from Earth and warriors from the alternate dimension of Outworld compete for domination. Three warriors from Earth are chosen by Raiden, the God of Thunder: Liu Kang, a monk who hails from the Order of Light Temple, Lieutenant Sonya Blade, a United States Special Forces officer, and Johnny Cage, a major Hollywood action star with actual martial arts skill. Their mission is to travel by boat to a mysterious island to fight the reigning champion of the “Mortal Kombat” tournament for five centuries, a half-humanoid/half-dragon named Goro. However, to get there, they must first get through evil sorcerer Shang Tsung’s minions, SubZero and Scorpio, as well as a horde of Nomads (aka Tarkatan warriors) protecting Goro. Along the way, Raiden describes the scenario and the backgrounds of the foes they are about to face for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the game.
The debut episode of “To the 90s and Beyond” podcast!
In the film, there is a gathering of Earth’s top fighters every generation to compete for the fate of the planet to keep the evil forces from Outworld from gaining dominion. It seems that if Outworld’s fighters defeat Earth in one more tournament, Earth will be theirs. The current generation’s elite are rounded up, including monk fighter Liu Kang (Robin Shou), Hollywood action hero Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), and military operative Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson), to join forces with Earth’s defending thunder god Rayden (Christopher Lambert) in fighting to the death against the outlandish, deadly creatures from the planet of darkness, headed by the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). Paul W.S. Anderson directs.
This site is undergoing a restructure, as The Qwipster Film Review Podcast transitions to a podcast covering primarily movies from the 1990s, as well as newer movies influenced by the 1980s and 1990s cinema. Click subscribe on any of the podcast platform links to subscribe and get the show episodes when they are released!
Vince thanks listeners for their feedback regarding the future of the show and briefly lays out the format change going from henceforth, including what the new title will be.