Mortal Kombat – a video game movie adaptation, and there’s more coming this year – Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (tentatively slated to release in cinemas on November 2021). The movie is rated for over-18s.
I had my reservations before deciding to watch the movie, mainly because the trailer showed a lot of gore, and I’m not a big fan of that sub-genre.
Story Plot (with no spoilers)
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?
First of all, I’d like to commend the movie on its spectacular action choreography (especially the martial arts parts), special effects and tons of gore thanks to a lot of fights and bloody fatalities, of which the latter was also a heavy part of the actual game too. But other than that, it was just meh.
Missing links in the movie (spoilers ahead)?
There’s no doubt that this movie is suited for the hardcore fans of the Mortal Kombat game series. Otherwise, the average movie-goer with no background of the game and its characters will feel a little lost and not be able fully appreciate the movie. They would also not know that Cole Young (the main protagonist) is not actually part of the many Mortal Kombat games. Most of Cole Young scenes, by the way, were really slow and painful to watch… and his arcana, well, you be the judge of his abilities.
The plot just traipses from one combat to the next, and that left some major explanations missing. For instance, why did Hanzo end up in the hell when Bi Han / Sub Zero killed him? And why did Bi Han transition into Sub Zero further along in the movie?
One thing I wished the movie had invested more time in, was the backstory / depth of the characters, and not all just about the different fights.
Overall, I felt that the movie was a just a lot of fighting and extreme gore. Other than the extreme gore and inept swearing, the movie would have not been rated as over-18. It felt like I was watching Power Rangers, just an upgraded version with a dose of swearing and blood splatter.
If you’re a hardcore Mortal Kombat fan, this movie is definitely for you, because you’ll be able to get all the characters (except for Cole Young) and references made in the movie. If you’re not, well, unless you’re a martial arts / action movie fan, I wouldn’t bother watching this film.
At the very end, it was angling for a sequel, and mind you, the Mortal Kombat tournament has not even begun.
Movie rating: ★★★☆☆
Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes
P.S. There are no end credit scenes. This is not a Marvel movie.