case/lang/veirs, Dope or Nope, and 46 Seconds of Film

The Most Epic 46 Seconds in Film — Mortal Kombat!

Robert: Movie trailers exist to generate hype and enthusiasm for a film. If the trailer does its job, movie theaters can predict a packed house on opening weekend. If the opening weekend prediction holds, those within the movie theater are expecting a good time. If print and advertising have done their job, satisfying the audience now lays squarely on the feet of the finished film. The question now remains: You got audiences in their seats, but will they enjoy your product? First impressions are essential when talking about film enjoyment. Sure, some films start slow and take a while to warm up to the audience. When talking about Hollywood tentpole films, you have to hook the audience early and often.

And what could be earlier than the first 46 seconds of a film?

Paul W.S. Anderson is a name synonymous with mediocrity. Whether it’s the Resident Evil film franchise, Monster Hunter, or the “side-sequel” to Blade Runner, Soldier, Anderson has struggled to make a good film from beginning to end. When discussing his best, the two films likely to be brought up are Event Horizon and, what I’ll be discussing today: 1995’s Mortal Kombat.

I distinctly remember the hype surrounding the 1995 release of Mortal Kombat. From the trailer to the excellent poster, there was a palpable excitement for the film. Add on to that the third video game was newly released, 1995 was a significant year for the franchise. What would the film hold? Could it live up to the sky-high expectations? Of course not, but it was entertaining and, even with the film not engaging the blood code, worked well enough to please most who ventured to Outworld.

What worked better than well enough? The first 46 seconds of the film. Over black, a shout of “Mortal Kombat!” as the soundtrack immediately kicks in with The Immortals’ “Techno Syndrome.” Almost as iconic and well-known as the fighters in the game, the music pulsates over the New Line Cinema logo before fading to black. As the music continues, the black intercuts with flames shooting between a rotating image. White title cards overlay this fiery image with the production company. The fire envelops the screen as we get another glimpse of this rotating image. After one last fireball, we see what this image is: The Mortal Kombat dragon logo sitting amongst flames in front and behind. The music continues to pound away on the soundtrack, letters of the title shoot towards the screen, “MORTAL KOMBAT,” on top of the dragon logo. One last, “MORTAL KOMBAT!” before the fire swallows up the dragon logo, and the film is off to the races.

The first time I caught Mortal Kombat, I couldn’t imagine what type of larger-than-life film would await me after what I just witnessed in those 46 seconds. That was a hell of an impression.

From then on, your tastes may vary with how the film plays out. Paul W.S. Anderson does his best and shows why most people consider Mortal Kombat one of the better films on his resume. The movie plays well enough for me and keeps me entertained for the bulk of its runtime. One thing is for sure, the rest of the film pales in comparison with the epicness that is the first 46 seconds of Mortal Kombat.

I sphere with a dragon logo in the center, in front of flames.
The intro screen to Mortal Kombat, 1995.

Written by TV Obsessive

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