Mortal Kombat 2021 – Review
Greg Russo (screenplay by), Dave Callaham (screenplay by)
Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson,Hiroyuki Sanada
Better than you'd expect
True to the Games
90s style R rated action
Not overly deep
Could have been a bit longer
Video game films are generally pretty hit and miss and in some cases just downright bad. A lot of the time the source material is used liberally and the more fantastical stuff is just ignored, or in the case of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, so over the top that it’s badly comical. Not the case in the new Mortal Kombat, it’s true to the games, fantastical in part but grounded and it’s a bloody romp ( literally)
I’m not going to spend a load of time telling you the plot because, well, if you’ve played the games you kinda know how it works, BUT, just so you know, this isn’t a film about the tournament itself. It’s a meet and fight for some established characters and the new guy, Cole, who has been dropped in the middle of the oncoming shit storm that is Earth Realm defending itself against Outworlds advances to win the final tournament and enslave and assimilate It; it’s basically a prelude film.
You won’t find anything overly deep about the story, albeit there is a hint of depth at the start when we are introduced to Hanzo Hasashi aka Scorpion; which is potentially a missed trick. Some of the acting, especially Liu Kang, is questionable BUT whereas a lot of computer game films give you slight nods to their pixelated progenitors or ham it up so much it becomes stilton incarnate, MK keeps a good balance of 90s style action, powers, gore and comedy ( mainly Kano, who is a one-man punchline) without tipping the balance to make it overly cheesy.
It is of course not without its flaws but no action film of this type is really and to be fair if you’re watching Mortal Kombat you aren’t watching it for a deep and meaningful storyline or even the Oscar-winning performances you’re watching it for the computer game nods, the fighting and the inevitable, will they, won’t they “FINISH HIM!”; they do by the way….there’s even a “Flawless victory” in there!
An enjoyable romp that harkens back to the more R rated action films of the late 80’s 90s. Looking forward to watching the next installment and seeing what other characters they bring in.