starring Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada
screenplay by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham
directed by Simon McQuoid
by Walter Chaw I saw Paul W.S. Anderson's 1995 Mortal Kombat movie on opening night at a two-screen strip-mall theatre in Seattle with my friends Keith, Sam, and Dan. We knew the catchphrases from endless nights playing the game on a Sega Genesis, and we shouted them in jubilant concert like a Catholic callout and response. Since we were also fans of Highlander, the casting of Christopher Lambert as another ageless super-being felt exactly right. We were assholes. It was the best time of our lives. They were my groomsmen when I got married a few years later. Time has scattered us; Sam killed himself a couple of years ago. It all starts feeling like the framing story for Stand by Me. What's left are memories like this, which seem the easiest way now to get a movie project off the ground--a strip-mining of nostalgia that speaks more to a generational experience of loss than to a real paucity of imagination. If it didn't work, it wouldn't keep happening, and our deathless hunger for polyglot mosaics in pursuit of personal white rabbits is symptomatic of our despair.