The newest incarnation of Mortal Kombat is directed by Simon McQuoid(in his feature directorial debut), from a screenplay by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham and a story by Russo and Oren Uziel.It is based on the video game franchise of the same name created by Ed Boon and John Tobias, serving as a reboot to the Mortal Kombat film series. The film stars Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, and Hiroyuki Sanada.
When the original Mortal Kombat film debuted in theaters in 1995 it was considered the best video game film of all time. Fast forward to 2021 and honestly the majority of video game films have varied from bad to downright unwatchable. So with the video game franchise enjoying a strong resurgence over the past couple of years it was time for a reboot of the franchise with modern day technology and actual martial artists. So why is it I still prefer the ‘95 version? The 95 MK was a guilty pleasure popcorn flick that was fun and still is fun to go back and watch on a bad movie night or when you are seriously hungover. The problem with this new Mortal Kombat is that it’s pretty much a joyless gore fest that often times takes itself too seriously.
And the biggest issue? WHERE THE HELL WAS THE TOURNAMENT?!? We are constantly told that there is one but we never see it, the antagonists want to cheat for some reason before the big tournament to conquer Earth realm because it’s something to do I guess.
The film spends way too much time trying to get viewers invested in new character Cole Young (played by Deadpool 2’s Billy Tan.) who is not a character from the game but instead is a new character made for the movie. It would be like watching an X-Men film for example with characters you already know of but instead of showing you them, the film introduces a new hero and you have to follow that person around throughout. It’s a bold move MK tries to do and it fails miserably.
However, despite all of these shortcomings, the film does deliver on the action. Fans of the game will be pleased that the characters they have come to know and love all have pretty much their video game accurate costumes and display their unique fighting styles. The gruesome fatalities are also all on display here with every gory and bloody measure shown in all its glory.
If it wasn’t for the clunky script and the shoe horned inclusion of a character no one knew about, and by the end of the film, cared about that was used as the central protagonist, this film would have been something great. However it’s just a less enjoyable version of the 95 MK film.
With that said HipsterZOMBIEJoint Experience gives Mortal Kombat the slightest of recommends.