By Adam Magara
A bit of faith has been restored in video game movies after abysmal entries like Assassin’s Creed, Monster Hunter and the Mortal Kombat movies that came before. The Mortal Kombat movies that preceded it were marred by claims of lack of commitment to the source material, poor CGI, poor casting choices, poor plot and cringe fight scenes and for a movie based on a fighting game that’s the one thing they had to get right.
The latest iteration got what they needed to right, the fight scenes were incredible and gory; something every fan of the game enjoyed. Watching it as a fan of the game you recognize a lot and can’t be judged if you squirm when they do a fatality, signature move or a catch phrase after a win. The rivalry between Scorpion and Subzero was arguably one of the best parts of the film though they didn’t share as much screen time as advertised despite it being the driving force for the entire film but when they did they brought it. Lest we forget Kaino the loud mouth black market arms dealer who stole every scene he was in with his humor, charisma and just overall entertaining.
The major drawback from this movie was the choice in protagonist in Cole Young played by Lewis Tan famous for his roles in “Into the Badlands” and “Deadpool 2”. He played an original character for the movie, a descendent of Scorpion and former MMA champion who lost his winning ways and is just looking to take care of his family. He was considered the boring aspect of the film with a weak backstory and fans of the Mortal Kombat lore may feel disappointed in that he took the role of fan favourite Lui Kang had in the original story which was to rally up Earth’s champions for the tournament. He represents the audience in that he isn’t familiar with what’s going on and needs explaining to in almost every scene he’s in.
Another drawback is the choice in characters involved, we understand this is a build up to a franchise and you have to save your best pieces but out of about a hundred characters they could’ve done better. Nitara and Reiko were clearly throwaway villains with the latter’s only form of dialogue being grunts and roars while a fan favorite in Mileena who’s rich in back-story and purpose was reduced to a mere henchman yet the fans all know she could’ve had a more integral part in the entire franchise. Raiden and Shang Tsung were only there for exposition..again we get it’s a build up but you can’t have such hardcore characters and reduce them to mouth pieces.
Overall Mortal Kombat is not a great movie but it is a good movie that hits the fundamentals right action, commitment to the lore, world building and fan service. It is a good place to start and gives people hope for any future installments. We’d love to see Shao Khan, Onaga the Dragon King, Baraka, Shinook , Kitana, Johnny Cage in the future so support the movie. Verdict 7/10.