Complete Monster: Elder God Shinnok, the God of Outworld and the father—and the one behind—Emperor Shao Kahn, is in one form or another largely responsible for the events of the films as a whole. Having once decreed that his sons, Shao Kahn and Raiden, must be able to kill the other to prove themselves worthy as his heir, Shinnok disowned his son Raiden after Raiden hesitated to kill Kahn, and seeks little else but his blood in the present day. Shinnok has conditioned Shao Kahn to be Emperor—threatening to take his soul should he fail to measure up to his standard—and has overseen the successful invasion of one other Realm by his hand, deliberately violating the Elder God's sacred rules to allow Kahn to invade Earth anyways after Shang Tsung's defeat. Shinnok callously oversees Kahn murdering Raiden after he denies his final offer of peace, sneering that Raiden shall die alongside the humans he's dedicated himself to protecting.
Dull Surprise: When even otherwise excellent actors like James Remar are as engaging as cardboard cutouts, you know where this is going.
Funny Moments: There was one laugh-out-loud moment in this film at least. At the end of the film when Kang and Kahn are fighting... The pair suddenly shed their skin and transform into terribly-animated CGI Dragons. Jax looks on, sounding less amazed by what just happened and more deeply confused (much like the audience.)
Jax: Aw, now I done seen everything.
Harsher in Hindsight: Jax's talk to Raiden about trusting humans rather than gods comes after one screw up by the Elder God. It becomes harsher when keeping in mind the events of Mortal Kombat 9 and how they turned out due to Raiden's actions. In a similar vein, there is an earlier scene where Sindel tells she doesn't love Kitana. Such similar rejection happened in 9, moments before Kitana's death.
The tagline for Annihilation is "Destroy All Expectations."
The throwaway line of Kabal and Stryker being killed together. In Mortal Kombat 9, they are partners in the NYPD. It could also double as Harsher in Hindsight given MK9 also had them die together just like this film.
Just Here for Godzilla: Sub-Zero vs. Scorpion is the most likely reason anybody watches this movie, as they never got to fight each other in the first movie.
During the final battle, Shao Kahn, while stomping on Liu Kang, makes random barking dog noises.
Pandering to the Base: Annihilation reveals new character after new character at the audience in an attempt to fit in all the new arrivals from Trilogy and earn some cred from the faithful (and even so, not all of them appear: Kung Lao, Kintaro and Sektor never got so much as a mention, not counting the characters that were killed off in the first filmnote Liu Kang refers to himself as a "descendant of Kung Lao" in the first movie, as in the Kung Lao from five generations earlier, not the one who is Liu's kombat buddy.). General feedback on the movie should be an indication of how well this worked.
For starters, there's all those post-production enhanced moves that obviously look the part.
Sonya and Jax diving away from a stock explosion on a green screen.
The battle at the end between Liu Kang and Shao Kahn. The dragons they turned into made the Stained-Glass Knight from Young Sherlock Holmes look like Jurassic Park, and neither the flying creature that emerges from Shao Kahn's body after he's beaten nor the body husk it leaves behind is any believable.
The gargoyle that appears is either the film's best effect,note which is saying a lot or is worse than either of the creatures in the aforementioned fight scene. When it grabs Sonya at one point, she too becomes a rather obvious CGI double.
Ermac's mask falls off during the fight between him and Sonya. This bit occurs when the latter grabs the former's head with her legs. A similar event happens during the fight between Scorpion and Sub-Zero. Only this time, it occurs when the former catches the latter.
When Liu Kang does his flip kick, there's a visual flash of when he kicks the camera.
Rain gets knocked into a flaming pit by Shao Kahn. When Baraka gets knocked towards the same pit, we see Rain falling in again.
There are cables visible all over the place, but none more noticeable than during Scorpion and Sub-Zero's fight.
Motaro's front legs are obvious human legs with human feet instead of horse legs with hooves.
During the first fight between Raiden and Shao Kahn, the actors have been rather noticeably cut out and pasted over the green screen (note their jagged outlines).
Video-Game Movies Suck: Even compared to other video game movies, this one has an especially awful reputation, with more than a few regarding it as the worst game adaptation of all time... or at least the worst one that Uwe Boll didn't have a hand in.
In the beginning of the film, when Shao Kahn was holding Johnny Cage hostage, Raiden revealed he had the ability to restrain and kill all of Shao Kahn's forces at once. Despite this, not only did he acquiesce to Shao Kahn's demand that he beg for Johnny Cage's life but when Shao Kahn kills him regardless Raiden retreats instead of using his powers on Shao Kahn's army.
When Liu Kang comes to save Kitana, she warns him about a trap in the room...right AFTER it swings down and almost kills him.
WTH, Casting Agency?: Zig-zags this. Fans of the first film will say this about the recasting of Johnny Cage, Sonya, and Raiden, but this is somewhat averted with the casting of Jax and Motaro, who seem like logical choices due to their athletic builds (both of them being former American Gladiators constestants helps too). And then it zags right back with the casting of supermodels for the roles of Sindel and Jade who really can't act (though Sindel's actress Musetta Vander has turned in other good performances, it really doesn't show here), and don't look the parts for their characters.