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Hops and Box Office Flops: MORTAL KOMBAT ANNIHILATION – A Koin-Op Kalamity


For years, Hollywood has struggled in vain to crack the code of translating popular video games to film. Most simply have not worked at all. Worse, they’ve also failed to pay their due respect to the property that inspired them.

Neither Mortal Kombat movie has that issue. The first—which is vastly superior, even if it does have its own set of problems—represented the game in a way that most felt was fair. It was less violent, to be sure, but there was almost not way it wouldn’t be. The follow up, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, was unsuccessful in more profound ways.

Like most video game adaptations, Annihilation is just awful. Literally. Quite frankly, it doesn’t understand what to do with the vast source material. In a way, that’s understandable. The Mortal Kombat mythos is as deep as the “Krypt” of goodies to be mined in the latest installment of the game. Moreover, it’s pretty damn weird.

On the surface, it centers around a fighting tournament for the fate of the world. Dig a little deeper and all manner of colorful characters and locales exists within its framework. Thus, when Annihilation set its sights on bringing the plot of the third game to the big screen, it was biting off far more than it could chew.

And the result is an unsightly hodgepodge. They stuffed the majority of the game’s roster into a paltry run-time and opted to make the movie’s major MacGuffin a gameplay quirk that nobody necessarily liked all that much. Its overabundance of characters led to myriad of other issues—from cheap, flimsy looking costumes to half-baked effects to a narrative that meanders like the shambling corpse of a weary, soulless inhabitant of the Netherrealm. It was truly a dead on arrival dud, grossing $70 million less worldwide than the original

Yet none of that means you shouldn’t watch it. In fact, some of it may be a selling point. So sit back, put on some of Litefoot’s (Nightwolf) greatest hits, grab a bubbly Outworld Ale, and enjoy as I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), and the Irate Lover uppercut, sweep, and bicycle kick our way through a horde of shirtless, backflipping henchmen.

This Weeks Segments:

  • Introduction – Our general reaction to the film and lingering questions we have. (00:00)
  • “Am I full of s**t or not?” – The Irate Lover attempts to debunk or confirm facts I discovered while investigating the interwebs. (34:57)
  • Video Game Films We’d Love to See – We discuss the video games we’d love to see adapted to film. Some of our answers may surprise you. (53:56)
  • Upgrade/Downgrade – We assess whether the roles that had to be recast were better or worse than the previous film. (1:05:30)
  • Six Degrees of Movie Separation & Recommendations (Or Lack Thereof) – Can I again connect two actors in six degrees or less? (1:07:41)
  • *Thrones Talk – We dive into the second episode of the final season of Game of Thrones. (1:15:03)
    • *This segment is dark and full of spoilers.

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter (@HopsandBOFlops) to check out all the interesting factoids—the mysterious, never to be seen Quan Chi scene and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops, as always, on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!


Thomas L. Kelly

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