Movie Kumite: Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter
In the video game world Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter is a debate that may never be resolved. But what about the movies based on these wildly popular video games? What would happen if they were pit against one another in the cinematic slugfest we call Movie Kumite!
If this is your first Movie Kumite, allow me to briefly explain. We take two movies (in this case 1994’s Street Fighter and 1995’s Mortal Kombat) and compare and contrast them in a number of categories to determine which is the better movie.
Christopher Lambert and Jean-Claude Van Damme provided star power and instant action movie credibility to these video games looking to make the leap into the movie world.
But when you compare the stars, there really is no comparison. At this point Jean-Claude Van Damme was at his peak, he was just coming off his highest grossing film Timecop. His star was shining brighter than it had ever shone before. And JCVD’s star power at the time was a big part of the box office success of the movie.
Meanwhile, Christopher Lambert was a long way from the movie that made him famous, Highlander. In fact, I’d say Christopher Lambert benefited more from being in Mortal Kombat than Mortal Kombat benefited from Lambert being in their movie. The fact that he was replaced by James Remar in the sequel is proof of that.
MORTAL KOMBAT – 0 STREET FIGHTER – 1
While both movies are loosely based on video games, the argument could be made that Mortal Kombat is more true to its source material with the whole tournament aspect of the movie.
On the other hand, Street Fighter went into an entirely different direction making it more into a live action G.I. Joe movie with Col. Guile leading his forces against the evil forces of General Bison. After I saw the film, it was one of the many times my younger self wondered why nobody had made a live action movie based on the G.I. Joe action figures, cartoon and comic book I grew up on. Then in 2009 they made a live action G.I. Joe movie and part of me wish they just made Street Fighter 2.
MORTAL KOMBAT – 1 STREET FIGHTER – 1
Both movies feature some beautiful women. (Right Pete Sampras?) Street Fighter boasted the lovely Ming-Na Wen and Kylie Minogue. While Mortal Kombat featured Talisa Soto and Bridgette Wilson.
They say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but I’m not about to base this solely on who I think is the hotter pair of ladies.
If I look at it from an “action entertainment” perspective, you have Talisa Soto who appeared in the Mortal Kombat sequel, plus she was a Bond Girl in Licence to Kill. On the Street Fighter side you have Ming-na Wen, who is still kicking ass in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. keeping her action career alive and well. No real clear cut winner using that metric.
So I will defer to the “Natasha Henstridge ruling” made as part of our 2nd Movie Kumite earlier this year. The Henstridge ruling basically put the decision in the hands of our viewers and if that’s the case, Ming-na Wen and Street Fighter wins hands down. The Tough Chicks piece we did on Ming-na Wen remains one of the most viewed posts in Bulletproof Action history!
MORTAL KOMBAT – 1 STREET FIGHTER – 2
Ordinarily I would say any movie featuring veteran villain Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was a slam dunk to win The Villain category of any Movie Kumite.
But this is a special case. On the opposite side, you have Raul Julia, in his final theatrically released film, playing the role of General Bison. I read that he was actually going to turn down the role since he was fighting stomach cancer at the time but his children pushed him to do the film. For sentimental reasons alone I have to give this round to Street Fighter, especially since Julia did a great job as the over the top dictator who had his own money. And when I say he had his own money, the man has his own money! #BisonBucks
MORTAL KOMBAT – 1 STREET FIGHTER – 3
Those last two rounds were tough, but this is always an easy round… I put things in the hands of two of the most respected movie related websites on the Internet.
Mortal Kombat has an IMDB rating of 5.8. Street Fighter has an IMDB rating of 3.7.
Mortal Kombat has a 58% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Street Fighter has a 20% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The critics have tied things up!
MORTAL KOMBAT – 3 STREET FIGHTER – 3
THE END CREDITS
There’s only one way to end this battle and that is to look at the end credits of each of these video game based films.
Street Fighter ends with A.N. Forces DJ Adrian Cronauer telling some bad jokes over the end credits. Fun fact: Cronauer and his time as an Armed Forces Radio DJ were the basis for the Robin Williams film, Good Morning, Vietnam.
Mortal Kombat ends with the cool Mortal Kombat techno theme. You couldn’t go to any club in 1995 without hearing that one!
I have on occasion spoke of the power of music on my posts here, this is a prime example of the power of music leading Mortal Kombat to victory!
MORTAL KOMBAT – 4 STREET FIGHTER – 3