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Mortal Kombat is a 1995 action and adventure film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Based on the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games, the film was the first part of the Mortal Kombat film series.

The film follows the warrior Liu Kang, actor Johnny Cage, and Special Forces agent Sonya Blade, guided by the Thunder God Raiden, on their journey to combat the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung and his forces in a tournament to save Earth. The main inspiration for the film was the first title of the video game series, but also featured elements and characters from the game Mortal Kombat II. Mortal Kombat was filmed primarily in Los Angeles, as well as on location in Thailand.

The film was released on August 18, 1995 in the United States, on October 20, 1995 in the United Kingdom and on December 26, 1995 in Australia. It proved very popular with fans of the games, despite receiving mixed reviews by critics upon its release. The film spent three weeks as the #1 film at the United States box office and earned a total of $122,195,920 worldwide. Due to its success at the box office, the film later spawned a sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, released in 1997, and a television series, Mortal Kombat: Konquest, released in 1998.

Once every generation, there is an interdimensional martial arts tournament known as Mortal Kombat, designed by the Elder Gods to limit invasions between the realms of the universe. If the realm of Outworld wins Mortal Kombat ten consecutive times, its Emperor, Shao Kahn, will be able to invade and conquer Earthrealm. They have already won nine; so this will be their tenth tournament.

The Shaolin warrior Liu Kang and his comrades, Hollywood movie star Johnny Cage and U.S. Special Forces soldier Sonya Blade, were handpicked by Raiden, the god of lightning and Earthrealm's defender, to overcome their powerful adversaries in order to prevent Outworld from winning their tenth straight Mortal Kombat tournament. Each of the three has his or her own reason for competing: Liu Kang seeks revenge against tournament host Shang Tsung for killing his brother, Chan; Sonya also has vengeance on her mind, pursuing crime lord Kano, who killed her partner; Johnny Cage, having been branded as a fake by the media, seeks to prove otherwise to the world.

At Shang Tsung's island, Liu Kang is attracted to Princess Kitana, Shao Kahn's adopted daughter; a wary Shang Tsung orders the creature Reptile to keep a close eye on her. Liu defeats his first opponent, and Sonya gets her revenge on Kano. Johnny Cage encounters the demonic ninja Scorpion, who teleports Cage to his lair in the Netherealm; there the two battle viciously, with Cage the eventual victor. Liu Kang engages in a brief duel with Kitana, who secretly offers him advice for his next battle ("Use the element which brings life"). Liu's next opponent is the ninja Sub-Zero, who seems impregnable because of his freezing abilities, until Liu Kang recalls Kitana's advice and turns the tables.

Prince Goro, a huge, four-armed Shokan warrior enters the tournament and mercilessly crushes every opponent he faces. One of Johnny Cage's friends, Art Lean goes up against Goro as well and is defeated, along with having his soul taken by Shang Tsung. Cage demands a fight with Goro, and uses guile and the element of surprise to handily defeat the Shokan prince. Shang Tsung then takes Sonya hostage, invoking his privilege to challenge any opponent of his choosing, and takes her to Outworld. Knowing that his powers are ineffective in Outworld and that Sonya cannot defeat Shang Tsung herself, Raiden sends Johnny Cage and Liu Kang into Outworld to rescue Sonya and challenge Shang Tsung. In Outworld, Liu Kang battles Reptile and soundly defeats him after having absorbed many blows from the ceature and becoming enraged. Kitana meets up with Johnny Cage and Liu Kang afterwards; after telling the pair about Outworld's origins, as well as her own, she allies with them as they make their way to the castle where Sonya is being held.

Inside the castle tower, Shang Tsung challenges Sonya to fight him, knowing full well that her refusal to accept will result in Earthrealm forfeiting Mortal Kombat. All seems lost for Earthrealm until the three Outworld monks inside the tower reveal themselves to be Kitana, Liu Kang, and Johnny Cage. Kitana berates Shang Tsung for his treachery to the Emperor as Sonya is set free. Shang Tsung challenges Johnny Cage, but Liu Kang demands to fight Shang Tsung. During the lengthy battle, Liu Kang faces not only Shang Tsung, but the souls that Shang Tsung had forcibly taken in past Mortal Kombat tournaments, and the image of his brother, Chan (actually a transformed Shang Tsung intending to lure Liu Kang to his death). Liu Kang rises above the challenges and takes on Shang Tsung with renewed determination and ultimately fires an energy bolt at Shang Tsung, knocking him from the battle platform and impaling him on a row of spikes below. Shang Tsung's death releases all the captive souls, including Chan's. Before ascending to the afterlife, Chan tells Liu that he will remain with him in spirit until they are once again reunited.

The warriors return to Earthrealm, where a victory celebration is taking place at the Xiaolin temples. The jubilation abruptly stops, however, when Shao Kahn's giant figure suddenly appears in the distance. When the Emperor declares that he has come for everyone's souls, Raiden and the warriors take up fighting stances to confront him.


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