Blood, fighting, magic and murder. What more can we ask for? Mortal Kombat is a long running video game series about a fighting tournament that decides the balance of power between worlds and the movie managed to do it justice.
Mortal Kombat (MK) explores the old rivalry between Scorpion and Sub-Zero with Scorpion’s descendant Cole being the focus of the film. He, among others has a mark which makes him a champion of Earthrealm for the Mortal Kombat tournament for which we follow him as he trains and learns of his powers, all the while the villains are trying to cheat by killing Earthrealm’s champions early.
With movies there’s always a worry that they won’t stick to the source material but the bloody one-on-one battles that MK is known for were spot on in this film. Popping heads, torn off limbs, ripped out hearts and more blood filled deaths kept a wow factor in the film as it was hard to guess who’d die next or how it would happen. There are nods to the voice with Finish Him, Fatality and Flawless Victory all being said as well as the iconic “Get over here!”. There’s environmental interaction and an arena transition. We even got a good cast of characters using magic accurate to the games, the special effects even looked good.
As an actual movie though, it’s surprisingly good. With a lot of story to set up alongside setting up all the characters on both Raiden and Shang Tsung’s sides the first half of the movie is a bit slow. Kano the psychopath mercenary manages to hold the viewer’s interest through the boring bits by being quite a charming, funny guy, referencing Harry Potter and Forest Gump. There’s a lot going on with a a Jax origin story alongside Mortal Kombat, Cole and Sub-Zero it could be hard to keep up for the casual viewer. When the fighting really starts it looks good, dramatic and violent rather than the cheesy weirdness we could’ve got. As serious as this film comes across, it does have funny moments and there’s set-up for a sequel.
I’d probably recommend watching this as something good for an afternoon. It’s even alright for families if you don’t mind swearing.