It might be the highest moment of tension in 1995’s Mortal Kombat
. While the video game movie positions a wonderful, scenery-chewing Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
as its big bad, I doubt many feared how Robin Shou
would handle him in the ring. But Johnny Cage
fighting Goro? It’s B-movie actor Linden Ashby
playing B-movie actor Johnny Cage, and both the performer and character are entering the arena with a six-limbed demon—a bellowing banshee who just murdered a dozen other token “good guys.” The beast even has the cojones to steal Johnny’s signature sunglasses before the bout and crush them in his hand. How scary is that?
Not very, as it turns out.
As soon as the bell rings, Johnny pulls an honest-to-Raiden split, just like he’s Jean-Claude Van Damme
, and punches the stony monster directly in the loincloth. At least in ’95, director Paul W.S. Anderson
understood the assignment