Welcome dear reader to our newest section that we’ll post every Tuesday, Battle Grounds. Here we’ll take two similar/competing properties in the Nerd World and pit them against each other. Nelson and I will argue each side and then let you, the reader, decide in the comments section who you think won. This column truly is a Clash of the Nerds!
So here we are in the age old argument, Street Fighter vs Mortal Kombat, but with a twist, we’re tackling their first American Movie outings. On the side of Street Fighter will be me, and on the side of Mortal Kombat, Nelson.
Nelson, you begin, why is MK better than SF?
Nelson: There a many reasons that MK is better than SF. First off the makers did a better job of staying true to the source material, the character development was better than SF, and the Fight choreography was way better. For a movie called Street Fighter, there was a surprising lack of fighting, and the friggin had Van Damme! Overall, it was more coherent of a story and made something more organically good than shoehorning characters from all over the series in roles they weren’t meant to play. Oh and the there’s no victory pose at the end of MK.
Josh: First off, you’re wrong and I hate you. Secondly, more coherent plot? Say What? Mortal Kombat’s plot is completely stupid. A fighting tournament to control the Earth Realm? That is the dumbest way to determine the fate of a planet, not to mention the tournament format wasn’t even followed. So many of those fights didn’t even happen in the tournament. SF didn’t follow the tournament format of the game because for a plot of a movie that is completely stupid. Now M. Bison trying to take over a country and hold the Queen of England hostage to have his Bison dollars worth 5 pounds each is just brilliant. Since you brought up Van Damme, let’s compare casts. We have Van Damme, probably to best damn action start in the mid-90’s, Raul Julia playing the fuck out of M. Bison, holy shit how he didn’t win an Oscar post-mortem is beyond me. Then we have Kylie Minouge, perfectly cast as Cammy (sexy cast as sexy, hell yeah), Ming-Na Wen (May from Shield) as Chun-Li, this movie just nails the casting. What does MK have? Christopher Lambert as Rayden, and unlike Julia, he just sleep walks his way through the role, and then the kindergarten teacher from Billy Madison, yes I want to touch the hiney but I don’t want to see her shitty fighting. And victory pose, victory pose! That was awesome and a better way to end the movie than MK’s leading to a sequel that was just god awful.
Nelson: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold your horses there cowboy. The tournament storyline has proven to be perfectly viable movie generator. How do you think your boy Van Damme came to fame? Bloodsport (the inspiration of MK) Lionheart, The Quest, and yet much like Mike from Swingers, SF had all that Van Damme and couldn’t even make an entertaining movie. In spite of MK’s short comings SF lacked consistency in everything from casting to Characters and costumes scene to scene, seriously WTF happened to Dahlsim’s Hair at the end, and why did he even have it in the first place. I will say that M. Bison was the one shining light in that movie because even with the over the top borderline idiotic themes and Dialogue, he gave gold, but that’s not enough to save a whole movie (See Masters of the Universe) and don’t get me started on the SF franchise players Ken and Ryu. I mean wth were they thinking? They’re not con men! They’re not hustlers. They’re supposed to just be the two best fighters in the world. MK at least Scorpion and Sub-Zero looked like themselves. Again, consistency is key here Josh. We watched the movie 2 days ago and it was the first time I saw it in its entirety and there were so many things going on I thought I was watching Spider-Man 3. Hell, we didn’t even realize that one dude hanging out with Cammy and Guile was T-hawk till the assault on Shadowloo and he magically started morphing into his video game counterpart much like the rest of the class minus Dee Jay and Sagat. Oh and Sagat was played by a Native American, last I checked, a reservation is nothing like Thailand.
Josh: Consistency? What about Cage’s fight with Scorpion, where in the blue hell did come from? Sonia vs Kano on a random beach that we never come back to? MK is just a mess when it comes to plot, also if you’re Sheng Sun why are you recruiting Sonya and Johnny Cage to fight you? Seriously, why give Liu Kang help? Nowhere in the rules of MK (which change on a whim) does it say they have to recruit the best. The only part of this that makes sense is that Rayden recruited Kang. Yeah the movie based on the game that was based on a Van Damme movie couldn’t get Van Damme, that’s because Van Damme knew which movie was better, plus who could pass up acting alongside Raul Julia. You give credit to Julia, that’s a point for me, I give you nothing for the acting in MK, and in fact I’ve seen better acting in the cut scenes of the original Resident Evil game. Sure Ken and Ryu’s characters were mishandled but so was Sub Zero and Scorpion, they are probably MK’s most popular characters, at least Ken and Ryu help Guile defeat Bison’s army, Scorpion and Sub Zero are mortal enemies and are second fiddles who don’t fight each other to the death and are kill haphazardly. Every character from the SF series got a good amount of screen time and a backstory, the same can’t be sad for MK. Plus MK spawned Mortal Kombat Annihilation; at least the makers or SF respected their movie enough to let it stand alone.
So dear reader, there are mine and Nelson’s arguments to which is the better video game film. Sure they both suck, but in my opinion at least Street Fighter: The Movie is a lot of fun. But that’s my opinion, feel free to leave your opinion in the comment section below and let us know what you think and who you think won. Also, let us know what topics you’d like to see us cover on a future Battle Grounds.