Thursday, April 22, 2021

Mortal Kombat Review: The Video Game Adaptation We Need Right Now

Lewis Tan	...	Cole Young Jessica McNamee	Jessica McNamee	...	Sonya Blade Josh Lawson	Josh Lawson	...	Kano Joe Taslim	Joe Taslim	...	Bi-Han / Sub-Zero Mehcad Brooks	Mehcad Brooks	...	Jax Matilda Kimber	Matilda Kimber	...	Emily Laura Brent	Laura Brent	...	Allison Tadanobu Asano	Tadanobu Asano	...	Lord Raiden Hiroyuki Sanada	Hiroyuki Sanada	...	Hanzo Hasashi / Scorpion Chin Han	Chin Han	...	Shang Tsung Ludi Lin	Ludi Lin	...	Liu Kang Max Huang	Max Huang	...	Kung Lao Sisi Stringer	Sisi Stringer	...	Mileena Mel Jarnson	Mel Jarnson	...	Nitara Nathan Jones	Nathan Jones	...	Reiko Daniel Nelson	Daniel Nelson	...	Kabal Ian Streetz	Ian Streetz	...	Ramirez

Release date: April 23, 2021
Running time: 110 minutes
Directed by: Simon McQuoid
Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, Hiroyuki Sanada, Max Huang, Sisi Stringer, Matilda Kimber, Laura Brent

In “Mortal Kombat,” MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld's Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family's safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana—the immense power from within his soul—in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?

Yukiko Shinohara	...	Harumi Hasashi Ren Miyagawa	Ren Miyagawa	...	Satoshi 'Jubei' Hasashi Mia Hall	Mia Hall	...	Hasashi's Baby David Field	David Field	...	Referee Kris McQuade	Kris McQuade	...	Cargo Plane Pilot Angus Sampson	Angus Sampson	...	Goro (voice) Alice Nassery	Alice Nassery	...	Shang Tsung Elite Guard Damon Herriman	Damon Herriman	...	Kabal (voice) Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Elissa Cadwell	Elissa Cadwell	...	Nitara (uncredited) Michael Coward	Michael Coward	...	Bar Straggler (uncredited) Mike Foenander	Mike Foenander	...	Audience Fight Scene (uncredited) Amy Rose Hancock	Amy Rose Hancock	...	Fight Crowd Girl (uncredited) Tegan Nottle	Tegan Nottle	...	Audience Fight Scene (uncredited)
Mortal Kombat is a reboot of the 90s franchise based on the long running video game.  The film has many elements from the original game series, such as a fight between the Earth realm and the Outworld realm, many of the characters from the franchise, and the no holds barred battle to the death.  The movie has a diverse cast of all sorts of Earth and Outworld fighters, all from the series.  And the movie doesn't just give you the normal characters you would expect (but they are all here), there are a good variety of characters including a newcomer in Cole Young.  The sheer number of fighters that are present in this movie both give fans of the series something to look for and also makes the fighting seem more balanced.  In the past films, you would have one or two evil characters and a score of good ones.  But here you have roughly equal numbers of good and evil.  

And Mortal Kombat really gets a lot of the video game right.  The fights have gratuitous amounts of blood.  In an early fight someone gets stabbed like 4 or 5 times, each time with a spout of blood shooting out, but they are still fighting.  The film has a ton of characters from the series, far more than I expected for the first film in a franchise.  It emulates a lot of the elements of the game, such as fatalities (which are recreated from the game itself), many of the fight stages, and some of the comments like "flawless victory."  It also has lots of references to the game and characters that fans of the series will enjoy, such as some well placed props that will be easily recognizable.  And despite the film's somewhat serious start, it does lean into some of the campy elements of the series.  The movie is far more serious than the 90s films but still has moments of levity thanks to some characters.  On top of all this, it also gets the kombat right, with some well choreographed martial arts fights and skill on display.  You have some very elaborate fight sequences mixing both traditional martial arts and otherworldly powers.  

But Mortal Kombat's story is where it seems to whiff on the test of might.  Don't get me wrong, they are working with trying to stay true to the original series while still making it enjoyable for moviegoers.  But there seem to be some liberties taken to make the movie have more gravity and higher stakes.  There is a lot of buildup to the tournament, and then when it actually happens it goes so quickly that I was expecting more fights.  It really felt like the movie built up to a final, epic showdown and then the credits rolled.  And the film spent so much time in the build up that it made the movie feel longer than expected.  I also was a little upset at the sides that were chosen by two iconic characters in the series, but it did work with the story.  But maybe that is just the curse of trying to make a movie on this series; there really isn't much you can do to please fans and traditional movie goers.  But the end result is a film that will make fans happy but also provide an enjoyable action experience for those who aren't drenched in Mortal Kombat blood.

Mortal Kombat is a bloody good video game adaptation, with a diverse cast of MK fighters, exciting fights, and enough references and callouts to give fans a flawless victory.

Rent it.

Richard Brener	...	executive producer Michael Clear	...	executive producer Todd Garner	...	producer (p.g.a.) Lawrence Kasanoff	...	executive producer Simon McQuoid	...	producer Dave Neustadter	...	executive producer Victoria Palmeri	...	executive producer Jeremy Stein	...	executive producer E. Bennett Walsh	...	producer (produced by) James Wan	...	producer (produced by)    Directed by  Simon McQuoid	...	(directed by)Writing Credits   Greg Russo	...	(screenplay by) and Dave Callaham	...	(screenplay by)   Oren Uziel	...	(story by) and Greg Russo	...	(story by)   Ed Boon	...	(based on the videogame created by) and John Tobias	...	(based on the videogame created by)
If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Mortal Kombat is available in theaters and on HBO Max on April 23, 2021.  It will leave HBO Max in late May.  For tickets to see it in theaters, click here

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

No comments:

Post a Comment