Mortal Kombat is a 2021 action film that serves as the latest reboot to the iconic video game franchise.
Video game movie adaptations are always fun to talk about, because it’s something that Hollywood can’t seem to get right for the most part. In particular, Mortal Kombat is unquestionably one of the most difficult properties to adapt on the big screen. After the release of the 1995 version and Annihilation, we now have a new Mortal Kombat film with an R rating this time around. Get ready to experience some brutal fatalities. Directed by Simon McQuoid in his feature debut, which is an ambitious task for someone to showcase one of the most iconic video game franchises of all time. Surprisingly, it’s an improvement compared to most terrible and/or mediocre adaptations. It’s actually a lot of fun!
In this latest reboot of the series, we now focus on our new main protagonist Cole Young (Lewis Tan) who’s an MMA fighter completely unaware of his heritage. The evil Shang Tsung (Chin Han) is gathering his warriors to invade the Earthrealm, which prompts Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) to unite a group of fighters in order to defend their world. Both new and old fan-favorite characters are back such as Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), Kano (Josh Lawson), Jax (Mehcad Brooks), Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) and Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada), and we have ourselves a really entertaining flick that surprisingly does a good job properly bringing the Mortal Kombat universe to life.
It’s just so interesting to see another cinematic take on this franchise, and fans will love seeing these unique characters on the big screen. The acting is actually quite good, even if not all of them get an equal amount of screentime. Sure, they’re very over-the-top, but that’s what you’d come to expect for a movie like this. It’s not supposed to be taken so seriously, but it doesn’t change the fact that the actors have fun with their roles. Admittedly, they don’t add a lot of depth to their performances, which is something the script should have focused more on.
Obviously, the main reason people love the Mortal Kombat games is the action. It’s very violent and bloody so make sure the kids don’t see it. McQuoid brings some really memorable fight sequences that the audience will be sure to enjoy. The filmmakers don’t hold anything back, which makes you want to praise their intention of making this movie R-rated from the get-go. The sense of faithfulness to the games is noticeable throughout, and fans will be pleased with the way they handle the lore. The story is undeniably pretty predictable at times, while also feeling rushed during some scenes. Hopefully it’s a flaw you’re able to let go and simply enjoy the film.
Saying that Mortal Kombat is one of the rare genuinely enjoyable video game movies may not sound much to most people, but it really is a lot of fun to watch. It’s ten times better than the 1995 version and Annihilation. If you’re a fan, you will have a blast seeing these characters fight each other with some vicious fatalities. It delivers exactly on the type of film it wants to be, and that’s all you need to be entertained.