‘Mortal Kombat‘ is a Martial Arts action film based on the video game franchise of the same name. It is the directorial debut of Simon McQuoid and made by New Line Cinema. It was released simultaneously in theaters and on the Warner Media streaming service HBO Max.
In the 17th century, Bi-Han (Joe Taslim) attempts to wipe out the family of Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada) and though Hasashi, his wife, and son are killed, thunder deity Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) manages to save the infant daughter.
In modern times, Outworld leader Shang Tsung (Chin Han) has led his dimension into nine straight victories against the Earthrealm in a tournament called Mortal Kombat. He sends Bi-Han, now Sub-Zero, to stop more Earth champions from rising up. Cole Young (Lewis Tan) is descended from Hasashi. After almost being killed by Sub-Zero, he is united with others who have been called by Lord Raiden: military officer Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), hustling mercenary Kano (Josh Lawson), the cyborg Jax (Mehcad Brooks), Shaolin monk Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), and White Lotus warrior Kung Lao (Max Huang). Before the tournament can start, Tsung sends assassin Mileena (Sisi Stringer), mercenary Kabal (Damon Herriman), Prince Goro (Angus Sampson), bully Reiko (Nathan Jones), and vampire Nitara (Mel Jarnson) to take out the competition. This forces Cole to make tough decisions, especially when his family is threatened.
I am not a fan of the game. I can count on one hand how many times I have played it. I know that fans were unhappy with some of the changes from video game to film. It is annoying when adaptions do that, so I understand that criticism.
Also, the story is incredibly simplistic. There is no introspection and it goes from one gory battle to the next with barely any time to character development. It definitely swapped out deeper material for unnecessarily bloody fight scenes. Especially with Cole, who was kind of just there to float the plot forward.
With all of this in mind, this movie is a lot of fun. Sure, it is mindless Martial Arts violence, but it is exciting and very cool. I had a great time watching it as it did not preach, scold, or insult me. It just delivered some fiery fight scenes that had me interested from beginning to end. I had a good time overall and while I will probably not watch again for myself, it is one of those movies that is excellent for a popcorn night with friends.
Bottom line, Mortal Kombat is not exactly a ‘flawless victory’ on the scale of cinema, but it a good time for what it presents. I find myself looking forward to the sequel.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong language, Strong bloody violence and gore
FAVORITE QUOTE: Flawless victory
Check out the teaser below:
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