Follow TV Tropes


Film / Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Go To

Mortal Kombat Annihilation is a 1997 Supernatural Martial Arts action film. It is the second film based on the Mortal Kombat franchise, and a sequel to 1995's Mortal Kombat: The Movie; John R. Leonetti, who served as the first film's cinematographer, directed this film. It incorporates characters and plot details from the series' first four games with a heavy emphasis on Mortal Kombat 3.

After the events of the first film, Liu Kang (Robin Shou) won Mortal Kombat for Earthrealm and broke Outworld's streak of consecutive tournament victories...and yet, Shao Kahn (Brian Thompson) — the Emperor of Outworld — has somehow managed to begin Outworld's invasion anyway.

While Raiden (James Remar) confronts the Elder Gods over Kahn's invasion, Liu Kang undergoes specialized training in order to face Shao Kahn (who has far more power than Shang Tsung ever did), and Sonya Blade (Sandra Hess) reunites with her partner Jackson "Jax" Briggs (Lynn Williams) to help him fight various Outworld warriors as they arrive on Earth.

Shao Kahn's Outworld forces outnumber and overpower Earthrealm's, however, and it will take every ounce of skill and power Earth's heroes have to drive back the invasion and defeat Shao Kahn once and for all.

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation kontains examples of the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: Quite a few, owing to the film's rushed nature. The first draft of the script had an entire subplot setup for Kurtis Stryker and Kabal, detailing what happened to them after being captured by Rain.note  This subplot is cut in the final version, turning Stryker and Kabal effectively into plot mice. Also notable is Sheeva, who in early drafts (and the novelization) accompanies Sindel when she attacks the heroes in Outworld (befitting her role as Sindel's protector) and is killed in battle with Raiden. In the film, she meets her demise after having a cage dropped on her. Finally, Baraka was a more fleshed-out character in earlier scripts, being the warden of the prison that was cut from the final version rather than just another slavering bad guy attacking the heroes out of nowhere.
  • Action Girl: Both Kitana and Sonya get to show more of their fighting capabilities in this movie compared to the previous one.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the games, Shao Kahn's face is hideous under that helmet of his.note  Here, he looks like a normal man without the helmet.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Shao Kahn's outfit in the movie shows far less skin that the one he wears in the game. Kitana, Sindel and Jade's outfits also cover up their legs and chests unlike their game outfits. Jax wears a sleeveless jacket over his shirtless torso for most of the movie though he discards it in the final act.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: In the games, Ermac's power is telekinesis. In the movie, the only power he displays is spawning Noob Saibot as a Doppleganger Attack.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Jade. In the games, she is Kitana's best bud and genuinely always serves her best interest. Here, she more or less acts like Tanya: a complete traitor.
    • Cyrax is a sort of retroactive case. Here, he's a minion of evil, serving under Shao Kahn rather than the Lin Kuei, while in the games he isn't established as one of the good guys until Mortal Kombat Gold.
    • Smoke is usually in the Heel–Face Revolving Door due to being controlled by villains. Here he is killed off by Sub-Zero before he even has a chance at being a good guy.
    • Scorpion is a strange case. In the games, he is something of a Wild Card, having no affiliation with either the heroes or the villains, but solely pursuing his own goals, though he would become more heroic as the series progressed. In the first film, he is a henchman of Shang Tsung, but is expressly identified as having been enslaved into this state. In this film, he, by all intents and purposes, is working for Outworld again, kidnapping Princess Kitana and delivering her to Shao Kahn, after which he's not seen again.
  • Adaptational Weapon Swap: While Smoke wielded a Grappling-Hook Pistol in the games, here it changed to a missile launcher making this version of Smoke a Composite Character of himself and Sektor.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Shao Kahn. In the games, he's a genuinely terrifying threat, as he serves as the first Greater-Scope Villain in the series. Here, he's little more than a very physically capable Psychopathic Manchild, and his Daddy Issues with Shinnok are emphasized to the point of making him more pathetic to viewers than fearsome.
    • Stryker and Kabal. In the games they are both among the most powerful Earthrealm combatants, but are Adapted Out here, only warranting a single mention as having been captured by Rain. Speaking of...
    • Rain. In the games he is a formidable ninja, established from the start as an Edenian of powerful lineage (first the son of an Edenian general, later revealed to be an Edenian demigod). Here, although he is established as Shao Kahn's general and thus of higher rank than Sheeva, Motaro and Ermac, he is dispatched by his master with a single blow.
  • Adapted Out: While numerous characters from the first three games are featured, a select few are missing such as Kintaro, Sektor, Kung Lao, Kabal, and Stryker (with the latter two being briefly mentioned by Rain during his conversation with Shao Kahn). Shinnok from Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero is featured, although Quan Chi is not; Shao Kahn takes his place as his closest follower.
  • And I Must Scream: Shinnok as his fellow Elder Gods seal him away as punishment.
  • Animorphism: Liu Kang meets Nightwolf while the latter is in his wolf form. He teaches Liu to change into a dragon to gain an edge over Shao Kahn, who it turns out can transform into an even larger hydra.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The final fate of Raiden, who is promoted to an Elder God at the film's end.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: This is the law of the land in Outworld, so much so that Shao Kahn's generals Motaro and Sheeva are identified in their character bios as the leaders of their respective races. And then there's Shao Kahn who rules solely by power and fear.
  • Ax-Crazy: Seems to be a common theme on the villain side. Shao Kahn is easily the best example, showing unashamed enthusiasm at causing death and carnage, and even killing his own minions for the flimsiest of reasons. His generals are almost as bad, to the point that they can barely restrain themselves from attacking each other in war council meetings unless Kahn is present.
  • Bad Boss: Shao Kahn's entire character is just a combination of this and Daddy Issues. He kills his general Rain just because the latter took the Earthrealm fighters Kabal and Stryker prisoner rather than slaying them and making them beg for their lives. Later minions fare little better, and in his profile on the DVD, it is expressly stated that he isn't happy unless everyone in a room with him, friend and foe alike, fears him.
  • Bald of Evil: Shao Kahn is bald and is the Big Bad of the film as he wants to conquer Earth.
  • Big Bad: As aforementioned, Shao Kahn is the main antagonist of the film as he directly invades and wants to conquer Earth.
  • Big "NO!": Shao Kahn screams this as he lost against Liu Kang.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Shao Kahn is dead, Shinnok is imprisoned by the Elder Gods, and Kitana is finally reunited with Sindel. The Elder Gods also bring Raiden back to life after he was killed by Shao Kahn and give him Shinnok's former position among them. But none of it changes the fact that Johnny is still dead.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Baraka and the other Tartakans have blades in their arms.
  • Brought Down to Normal:
    • Jax's cybernetics were damaged in his fight at the end. In reality, they never seemed to give him that big of an advantage in the first place. Still, he manages to hand Motaro's ass to him with his normal arms.
    • Raiden suffers this over the course of the film, first from the merger of Earthrealm and Outworld weakening him, and later when he sacrifices his immortality to the Elder Gods in exchange for being allowed to help the heroes resist Shao Kahn.
    • Shao Kahn gets hit with this midway through the final battle, as punishment for breaking the rules of Mortal Kombat.
  • Burp of Finality: Jade is fed to a monster carving in the wall by Shao Kahn for failing him. The carving belches after it's done with her.
  • Cain and Abel: Shao Kahn is the Cain, Raiden is the Abel as the latter tries to stop the former from conquering Earth.
  • Combat Hand Fan: Kitana uses her signature war fans from the games during the ambush by Smoke and Kahn's men. This is the only scene in the two movies where they appear.
  • Composite Character: Smoke has his gray coloring and ability to turn to smoke, but his ability to fire missiles is borrowed from Sektor, the one cyber ninja omitted from the movie.
  • Degraded Boss: Reptile. In the first film, he is the last and toughest of the ninja opponents, ambushing Liu Kang in Outworld and giving him one of the most dynamic fights in the whole movie. Here, he himself doesn't appear, due to being Killed Off for Real, but a trio of Mooks with his distinctive appearance (called "Raptors") show up to fight Raiden alongside Sindel and quickly get their clocks cleaned.
  • Designated Girl Fight:
    • Sonya versus Mileena, which plays out just like a Cat Fight. Rolling in the mud and everything.
    • Kitana versus Sindel during the final battle, with a dash of It's Personal as Kitana is trying to release her mother from Kahn's control.
  • Dirty Coward: Shao Kahn, who unexpectedly takes Sonya hostage during the opening battle of the movie and then afterwards kills Johnny Cage after the latter had tried to rescue and save her from him, making it quite clear that Shao Kahn cannot defeat Raiden fairly in a fight and that he has to resort to cowardly tactics in order to get the job done.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Shao Kahn offs Rain for not making Stryker and Kabal beg for their lives and/or killing them.
    • After their little ruse fails, Jade and Sindel make a tactically correct move by retreating from a force they could not defeat on their own. Shao Kahn then basically kills Jade for not failing.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • Johnny Cage is killed minutes into the film to show how powerful Shao Kahn is.note 
    • Rain is bumped off simply to establish Shao Kahn as a Bad Boss of the distinctly irrational flavor.
    • Sheeva gets a cage dropped on her. The filmmakers seem to really hate the Shokan. There were plans to have a fight scene between her and Raiden which never panned out. Marjean Holden, Sheeva's actress, lamented that they gave her character such an inglorious send-off.
  • Duels Decide Everything: Defied. Just because Shao Kahn lost the last Mortal Kombat tournament doesn't mean he's not going to simply invade anyway. This is Double Subverted at the climax, when the Elder Gods declare the fight between Liu Kang and Shao Kahn to be a tournament anyway.
  • Dull Surprise: When even otherwise excellent actors like James Remar are as engaging as cardboard cutouts, you know where this is going.
  • Enemy Mine: Sub-Zero II doesn't like Liu Kang for killing his older brother, but he's willing to help him protect Kitana for the greater good.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Ermac, rather fittingly, is this, if only as a consequence of being yet another Flat Character. In the games, he is a gestalt entity comprised of the souls of thousands of Shao Kahn's victims from the latter's conquest of Edenia, and was then brainwashed into working for the emperor. Here, Ermac serves Kahn just as in the games, but there is no indication whether he does so out of More than Mind Control or if he is truly evil here. He is notably not depicted as particularly malevolent (or benevolent), and if anything seems to be a Punch-Clock Villain, which makes him stand out amidst all the Ax-Crazy types Kahn otherwise surrounds himself with.note  In the final battle, Noob Saibot spawns from his chest, which just raises further questions... though they don't particularly matter as Sonya quickly kills him off regardless.
  • Excuse Plot: A rare film example, as characters mostly wander around to get into fights every five minutes.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: You can tell which role Jade is playing at any given moment just by looking at her do: while she's pretending to be with the good guys, she has a fringe and a ponytail. When she's playing evil (not just after she reveals her allegiance to Shao Kahn, but also when she fights Liu Kang for the first time), she has her hair completely combed backwards and tied in a bun.
  • Fire Is Masculine: The Elder God of Fire is male and speaks with a deep, booming voice.
  • Fire, Water, Wind: The three Elder Gods in the movie represent fire, water and wind. Shinnok is the god of wind and is the one aiding Shao Kahn's conquest of Earth.
  • First Girl Wins: Jade attempts to seduce Liu Kang but is rejected in favor of Kitana.
  • Flat Character: Plenty. The first movie wasn't exactly high on character development, but this movie had Smoke (showed up with no introduction and lost his fight), Ermac (stood around and did nothing until the end, then lost his fight), Mileena (showed up out of nowhere, lost her fight), Rain (killed off so quickly his appearance was more of a cameo)... this movie had a problem with forcing characters in for no real reason other than to have them.
  • Flexible Tourney Rules: The tourney rules are well and truly screwed and Shao Kahn invades directly without so much as setting up a tournament at all. As Nightwolf says to Liu Kang, "The Tournament had rules. This time, anything goes." The Elder Gods spring a trap by stripping away Kahn's immortality when he least expects it, allowing Liu Kang to destroy him for good.
  • For the Evulz:
    • You'd be forgiven for thinking the Lin Kuei ninja clan were Adapted Out; as it turns out they were not (something only mentioned in the DVD character bios), but willingly allied themselves with Outworld for...reasons?
    • This is the motivation of Shinnok, who has near-unlimited power as an Elder God yet wants even more power by proxy through Shao Kahn.
  • Forced to Watch: After defeating Sindel, Kitana made her watch as Liu Kang beats Shao Kahn. She is just amused as Liu seem to be losing... until the Elder Gods arrive and declare Mortal Kombat.
  • Forgot About His Powers:
    • At 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 Kahn's demand that he beg for Johnny Cage's life, but when Kahn kills Cage regardless, Raiden retreats instead of using his powers on Kahn's army.
    • Shao Kahn, who seems to enjoy killing off his minions if they do so much as sneeze. Even in the final battle, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why he doesn't simply use his armies to overpower the heroes like he did at the start of the movie. Shinnok even lampshades one moment of Kahn's stupidity when he leaves Raiden alive instead of killing him outright when he had the heroes sorely outnumbered:
      Shinnok: YOU LET HIM LIVE?!!
  • Happy Ending Override: The first film closed with our heroes defeating Shang Tsung and winning Mortal Kombat, greeting the appearing Shao Kahn with a cocky, "Who cares? We're gonna kick your ass!" attitude and Ass Kicking Pose. Here, Shao Kahn's arrival is treated as a major deal, all the heroes are scared, Raiden starts losing his powers, and Johnny Cage is killed off in the first few minutes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Johnny Cage spurred into action that got him killed off because Shao Kahn took Sonya, his Love Interest, hostage first. Sonya ends up living because Johnny dies for her, something that haunts her throughout the movie.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Scorpion to Liu Kang and Sub Zero after he catches Kitana:
    Scorpion: SUCKERS!!!!
  • An Ice Person: As his name unsubtly indicates, Sub-Zero has ice-based powers.
  • Immediate Sequel: Picks up right after the first movie left off, though it leaves out Shao Kahn being a giant.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Ageless Shao Kahn is over hundreds of thousands of years old but has little interest in anything beyond being the Bad Boss to end all Bad Bosses and making his Daddy proud of him. The first comes to him easily, but the latter eludes him to the very end.
  • Improvised Weapon: During the fight at the military base, Sonya and Jax use lab equipment against Cyrax and the extermination squad.
  • Inconsistent Spelling:
    • In the novelization, Shinnok's name is spelled as "Shinnock", though it is spelled correctly in the DVD bios.
    • Raiden's name is spelled "Rayden", as was the standard spelling for the character's name at the time.
    • Shao Kahn's name is consistently spelled in the DVD bios as "Shao-Kahn", with a hyphen.
  • In Name Only: Aside from being an evil Elder God, Shinnok bears very little resemblance to his in-game counterpart.
  • In the Hood: Shinnok, who, in a departure from his depiction in the games, appears as an ordinary old man in a hood and robes.
  • Kudzu Plot: The film goes so far into the politics of the Elder Gods and Outworld that there is no way the uninitiated can understand it. Hell, so little of it comes from the games even the initiated can't understand it. And the story basically takes a backseat to the protagonists finding the rest of the cast.
  • Large Ham:
    • Shao Kahn tries to be this, but his constant Daddy Issues overshadow even this aspect of him.
    • Sindel, who is expressly identified as such by her actress on the DVD character profiles.
    • Raiden indulges in some scenery-chewing when the opportunity permits.
    • Motaro gets in a hamtastic line with a dash of Third-Person Person for good measure.
      "Without your weapons, you are no match for Motaro!"
  • Left Stuck After Attack: Jax ripping his roboticized arm out of a wall just in time to deflect an evil robot's acid attack.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Shao Kahn is built like a tank and has great speed belying his strength and size.
    • The ninja cyborgs Cyrax and Smoke display great strength and speed in their respective fights against Jax and Liu Kang.
    • Jax is a Mighty Glacier for most of the movie but once he discards his arms he becomes a Lightning Bruiser as seen in his fight with Motaro.
  • Living Shadow: Noob Saibot, who makes a downright bizarre last-minute appearance as some kind of animated shadow/duplicate thing of Ermac.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Jax has this happen to him three times. The first, he has no idea of Sonya's adventures on Shang Tsung's island and Outworld. The second, was that the repercussions of said tournament that resulted Shao Kahn sending his squads to exterminate potential threats, including him. And the third, was that he didn't know about Johnny or his death. The latter of which sparked some jealousy:
    Jax: Who the hell is Johnny?!
  • Masked Villains, Unmasked Heroes: Downplayed somewhat. Shao Kahn wears his iconic helmet from the games but only does so twice. The only heroic character in the film who wears a mask is the new Sub-Zero who appears for about eight minutes before disappearing. Some of Kahn's minions — Scorpion, Rain, and Ermac — also wear masks.
  • The Mole: Jade is introduced halfway into the film and it would seem at first that she's gonna be a new member to the main protagonist group, but later on, it's soon revealed that Jade is actually a double agent for Shao Kahn, part of a ploy to capture the main protagonists together with Sindel.
  • Mud Wrestling: The Cat Fight between Mileena and Sonya very quickly devolves into this as they fight in a muddy area.
  • Murderous Thighs: Ankles in case as Sonya uses them on Ermac.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Liu Kang has one of these after being knocked unconscious by Nightwolf.
  • Older Than They Look: Nightwolf, though you'd either have to read the novelization or the characters bios on the DVD to know it. While the body Nightwolf inhabits is that of a young man, Nightwolf himself is identified as an ancient guardian of his people, presumably passing from one warrior to the next over the years.
  • One-Winged Angel: Shao Kahn's Hydra Animality, which is a form exclusive to this film. It might actually be cool, if not for the silly transformation effects and how brief the fight between him and Liu Kang's Dragon Animality is.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Nightwolf isn't inflicted with lycanthropy, he's just a Voluntary Shapeshifter with only one form.
  • The Power of Blood: After Shao Kahn and Liu Kang's Animality fight, both kombatants crash to the ground and demorph to their regular forms, bruised and bleeding. Liu Kang copes with this, but Kahn is downright horrified, as his bleeding indicates that he is no longer immortal, a fear which his father quickly confirms:
    Liu Kang: Your blood flows, Kahn. Just like the blood of a mortal.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In stark contrast to Shao Kahn, Shinnok has little use for Cartoonish Supervillainy, and would easily be the film's Knight of Cerebus if he was not bound from acting by the rules and limits of his position as an Elder God. Near the end of the film, when it becomes clear that Kahn is going to lose, he sneers at his sniveling son "Must I do everything for you?!" and prepares to use his godlike power to dispatch Liu Kang himself, wasting no time with threats or boasts as his son would. Only the timely arrival of the Elder Gods saves Liu Kang.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Motaro wastes no time in bragging about the hunting prowess of his race the Centaurians.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Behind the thin veneer of his near-Physical God strength, Shao Kahn is little more than an immortal manchild whose every act invariably goes back to pleasing daddy.
  • Race Lift: In the games, Jade varies from being Ambiguously Brown to having more African features. Here, she's played by Irina Pantaeva, a Buryat model.
  • Random Events Plot: In a cross with Pinball Protagonist, the story is mostly the main characters meeting the enormous roster of Mortal Kombat 3, fighting them, and supposedly driving a storyline forward.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • Raiden and Shao Kahn are brothers, and Shinnok is their father.
    • Subverted with Kitana and Mileena, though their physical similarity is noted by Sonya.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The final fate of Shinnok, who is sealed away by the Elder Gods as punishment for breaking the sacred rules of Mortal Kombat.
  • Shapeshifter Showdown: Liu and Shao Kahn at the end, though each only uses one form.
  • Shed Armor, Gain Speed: Jax becomes capable of great speed and agility once he ditches his cybernetics.
  • Shoot the Messenger: In the novelization only, one of the Tarkatans from the Baraka battle survives the fight with Liu Kang and reports his and Kitana's escape to Shao Kahn. Ever the Bad Boss, Kahn prepared to do this, only to be stopped by, of all people, Shinnok (though Shinnok is by no means benevolent, he is pragmatic).
  • Smug Snake: Shao Kahn's total overconfidence, which Shinnok warns him about (and is expressly identified as his only weakness in his bio on the DVD), and near-absolute contempt for everything and everyone that is not himself or his father, turns him into one of these. Being an immortal Physical God warlord, Kahn has an utter lack of understanding of the human capacity for Heroic Willpower.
  • Spinning Out of Here:
    • Queen Sindel literally dances in a circle, Wonder Woman-style, to teleport.
    • This comes into play with the "Velospheres", man-sized hollow metal balls that the heroes make use of early in the film. They are propelled through a series of tunnels in the Earth by volcanic gases, and allow their users to travel across the planet in a matter of hours:
    Kitana: They are faster than I remember.
  • Stronger Sibling: Raiden is established as this, with the late revelation that he was pitted against his brother Shao Kahn long ago and was able to beat Kahn, though his brotherly compassion kept him from being able to kill him. This status has not changed in the present day, at least not until Raiden is depowered.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Johnny, which probably happened because of his death in the third game, from which the movie takes most of its story.
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: Queen Sindel looks pretty much the same age as her daughter Kitana. In the games, her race the Edenians are established to have longer-than-human lifespans, so Sindel is Really 700 Years Old.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Jax essentially serves the same role in this film that the now deceased Johnny had served in the previous one:
    • Like Johnny, Jax is the comic relief character who is bewildered by all the weird supernatural stuff happening around him.
    • Both Jax and Johnny have insecurities that they mask with a facade of bravado and humor. Johnny's tendency to rush into fights without thinking was attributed to his fears that deep down he was a fake as his critics accused him of and Jax's reliance on his cybernetic enhancers is attributed to a lack of confidence in his own skills. Sonya's dialogue even implies this is not the first time Jax has dabbled with body augmentation.
    • Both Jax and Johnny try to reach out to Sonya who is standoffish and refusing to rely on others for help due to the death of someone close to her. The first movie seemed to imply that Sonya was the way she was because of Kano killing her partner, while her jerkass behavior towards Jax in this film is clearly attributed to her grief over Johnny's death.
    • Jax, like Johnny, seems to have some attraction to Sonya. He makes a joke about her looking good in mud and his "Who the hell is Johnny?" line could be interpreted as jealousy.
    • Like Johnny, Jax's arc climaxes in him defeating a character who was a sub-boss in the games. Jax even delivers a Groin Attack to Motaro just as Johnny did to Goro.
    • Jax even makes a comment referencing being picked on in high school just as Johnny did in the previous movie.
  • Tail Slap: Motaro makes generous use of this when he fights Jax in the final battle.
  • Take Me Instead: Raiden offers himself up as Shao Kahn's prisoner in exchange for Johnny Cage. Kahn, for some reason, accepts, then immediately declines anyway and kills Johnny.
  • This Is the Final Battle: Shao Kahn at the end:
    "Prepare for final battle!"
  • This Was His True Form: After being beaten at the end, Shao Kahn's body devolves into a living version of the dragon crest tattoo that is his family's crest, which then blinks out of existence just like the fake crests used by his minions.
  • The Three Trials: Nightwolf tells Liu Kang he must pass three tests before he can defeat Shao Kahn. The first test is courage, which apparently involves having a hatchet thrown at your head to induce a "dream-state." We never learn what the other two tests were.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the first movie, Sonya beat up some mooks, got smacked around by Kano after he was told to go easy on her, eventually managing to get her legs around his neck and kill him via a Neck Snap, and then was dragged off by Shang Tsung to give the guys someone to rescue. In this movie, she kills Cyrax, Mileena, Ermac, and a whole bunch of mooks. A definite upgrade.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Though the movie does not state this, it is indirectly implied that this is the reason behind Shao Kahn's defeat: being an ageless warlord with Immortal Immaturity, it has been eons since Kahn last had a fight with anyone on his level, and he has long since gotten used to crushing anyone who challenges him with raw strength, having nothing to fear from any opponent thanks to his immortality. When said immortality is taken from him by the Elder Gods, he is rendered utterly demoralized, allowing Liu Kang to dominate and ultimately defeat him.
  • Villain Killer:
    • Between this movie and the previous one, Liu Kang has the highest on-screen body count among the heroes. He killed Sub-Zero, Reptile and Shang Tsung in the first movie, and in this one he kills Baraka and Shao Kahn.
    • Sonya has killed the second largest amount of villains after Liu Kang. She killed Kano in the previous film, and in this movie kills Cyrax, Ermac and Mileena.
  • Water Is Womanly: The only female deity shown in the movie is a water goddess.
  • We Can Rule Together: Shinnok offers this to his son Raiden shortly before the final battle, and of course is turned down.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Nightwolf's "test" involves three stages. We only see the first one and never get an explanation of what they are, though in the novel the final test is identified as Liu finally overcoming his self-doubt and facing Shao Kahn in the final battle.
    • One of the major criticisms of the movie involved characters simply disappearing after their allotted scenes. Sub-Zero disappears after his fight with Scorpion, who disappears after capturing Kitana. Nightwolf doesn't show up again either despite the story seeming to position him as a major character.
    • Due to their subplot being cut, Stryker and Kabal are both this as well, with neither character appearing though they are identified as having been captured and not killed.
  • Woman Scorned: The DVD character bios imply that this is the reason why Jade betrays the heroes, asserting that she genuinely wanted Liu Kang's affection (rather than cynically seducing him as the film itself implies) and then turning against him after he rejects her in favor of Kitana.
  • World of Ham: Virtually every single person on set seem to be having the time of their life with their performances, especially Shao Kahn and Sindel. Even when characters are chatting casually, the ham is subtly present within the dialogue and line delivery.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • Rain tells Shao Kahn that Outworld's forces captured two fighters (Kabal and Stryker) without making them beg for their lives before killing them. Kahn shows his displeasure by hitting Rain with a giant hammer and knocking him into some sort of Hell Well.
    • Jade, Kahn's mole in the ranks of the heroes, gets it even worse. She leads the heroes into a trap, but then Sindel fails to kill anyone, so Kahn feeds Jade to a monster carving in the wall, which gives out a great big burp when it's done with her.
    • Subverted in the novelization by Shinnok, who tells his Ax-Crazy son not to Shoot the Messenger.