HOLLYWOOD—Growing up I was quite fond of the video game for the Super Nintendo gaming system, “Mortal Kombat.” It was a game unlike any other that was notable for its fighting style, its violence and its fatalities. The popular game was so big it spawned two movies, “Mortal Kombat” (1995) and “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” (1997). Both films failed to give fans of the video games series the satisfaction they deserved. Well, cue 2021 and fans of the series FINALLY get a movie that delivers.
This new version of “Mortal Kombat” is a stunning slice of the video game on the big screen and it does not disappoint if I’m being honest. I was surprised, like legit surprised how entertained and fun this action-flick was. Was I expecting an Oscar-caliber flick? No, did I expect fighting? Yes. Did I expect violence? Yes. Did I expect fatalities? Yes and I got all of that and so much more.
This flick felt genuine in making sure to pay tribute to the video game and didn’t skirt what fans wanted. I will admit the violence was a bit much for my liking. People talked about it and I said, well, it can’t be worse than a horror movie right? Wrong, it’s excessive, it’s gory and it definitely punches you in the face and doesn’t apologize. However, if you can get over that violence you’re in great company. Let me make this clear, the writing is NOT exceptional, even some of the dialogue and acting is mediocre at best, but it excels at its fight sequences and delivering iconic characters.
The thought the opening was incredible. It really invites the audience into this battle between the real world and the Outer Realm and the battle to be victorious. We have the iconic Sub-Zero, who I was a bit stunned to see as the villain in this flick. I have to say I honestly loved to hate this villain, but in a good way. That is a testament to the character’s portrayer, Joe Taslim.
If you want a bit of plot detail I will give it to you, it involves Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) and Liu Kang (Ludi Lin) looking to recruit all the fighters on Earth who have been blessed with the iconic symbol to fight in the tournament to ensure Earth’s survival to prevent Shao Khan (we hear about him, but don’t see him in this movie) from taking over the world literally and figuratively. Lewis Tan is a standout as Cole Young, a fighter who hasn’t made his mark in the world just yet, but we later come to discover he is the Hollywood sensation Johnny Cage. His narrative does propel and shape a ton of the story in the movie.
What I thoroughly enjoyed about this movie is the action. This is an ACTION MOVIE that delivers. There is fighting throughout the entire movie. It is not subtle glimpses here and there, its actual combat and it’s a treat to witness a film that gives the audience want it wants and it works people, it works so well. That is on top of the visual effects, which are incredible. Previous flicks in the franchise just didn’t live up the hype of the video game. This movie does. Sub-Zero’s iconic freeze, Scorpion’s spear and that iconic phrase, “Get Over Here,” Sonya’s ring toss, Raiden’s lightening, Liu Kang’s fireball and iconic flying kick, Mileena and that sai, Kano and his laser bean, Kung Lao and that iconic hat, do you want me to continue?
You get what you want America and so much more its feels like a video game on an elevated scale that simply impressed me and kept me entertained. I was NOT bored a single moment watching this entire movie. I wanted to know what was going to happen, where things were going and how things would climax. “Mortal Kombat” is pure popcorn fun and after the dreadful year 2020 was and some of the big summer flicks we’ve come to expect that we didn’t get to see this movie does the trick.
It takes your mind away from all the chaos we have endured and the chaos we are enduring for 2 hours and I’m super ecstatic for that. Oh, I’m certain this franchise has a sequel in the future and I cannot wait to see other iconic characters from the movie series that will make their mark on the big screen and leave fans in a tizzy in the process.