Hey, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a proper movie review so let’s return to that realm with another blockbuster movie. Mortal Kombat is our candidate today, another popular video game turned into a movie adaptation. It’s also a reboot, because they tried to adapt this back in the 90’s, so whoop-dee-doo, our chances are looking great. You know what, you never really know with big budgeted video game movies nowadays, especially since the last two releases, Sonic the Hedgehog & Pokémon: Detective Pikachu were actually competent.
2021’s Mortal Kombat is at heart an R-rated crowd-pleasing murder and punching fest, but it’s main intent is to set-up a big multiverse with a revolving door cast of cool looking characters so they can hopefully spit out endless sequels and spin-offs. Cool, and the film wastes no time, with this flashback of introducing two side characters who fight and then hang out on the sidelines for the rest of the film. After that we meet the main character and the rest of the movie is mainly dedicated to dumping the entire universe’s lore on your back, while also simultaneously locking away behind a large iron sequel gate the relevant questions from us newbies like how the hell does the Mortal Kombat even work and why is it so important!
At least the main plot is easy to follow as it’s about some Joe who we’re immediately told is the bloody chosen one! He’s then hunted by other worldly evil fighters so he can’t fulfil the prophecy of competing in the great Mortal Kombat tournament and when he dies the bad guys will be able to own Earth and rule it. Yes, the plot is as stupid as it sounds and is very open ended because they really want a Mortal Kombat 2! None of this really bothers me, as long as it is entertaining and fun, which for the most part it is.
What bugged me the most is that there are too many characters in Mortal Kombat, which I know is like an “eye roll”, especially since this was inspired by a fighting game, but let me explain. Movies are the hardest in which to get an ensemble cast right, due to the limited runtime in which to make each character not only memorable, but at least entertaining to watch. TV shows and Video Games obviously don’t have this constraint, which is why I believe this movie adaptation of Mortal Kombat fails in this department. The main guy is not only a walking cliché, he is also just plain uninteresting. The cast of friends he meets along the way aren’t given enough screen-time to really standout. Lastly most of the villains they face, like the ice cold assassin Sub-Zero, have only one attribute of looking really cool, like I want to put that on my shelf type of cool. The only exception to this is the Aussie Merc, Kano, who is the comic relief and an actual funny one, what do you know! He’s the only character in the movie with some serious personality thanks to his quippy insults and his shady background, making him the standout of our group of bland goody good guys.
Now onto the reason to watch Mortal Kombat (unless you’re under 18 years of course) and that’s because the action is fun as all hell! It’s rated R so the film can include the epic fighting and over the top kills that made the games popular in the first place. The deaths, and the cheesy one liners after which, put a joyful grin on my face. Unfortunately there are ups and downs to this as the fights between actual trained martial artists Hiroyuki Sanada & Joe Baslim is more impressive and superior to fights between actors and their stunt doubles going up against CGI monsters. For the most part there isn’t too much quick cutting to blind the audience from the action and the CGI is convincing enough, so that’s a bonus right there.
Overall, Mortal Kombat is a safe fine first film and if this ever gets a sequel I would highly appreciate if it could raise up the insanity meter to 11. Some parts of this film are already stupid and over the top, so why not go all the way in the next one. That’s it for this review. Where this film is available all depends on where you live, so if you’re interested in seeing this I recommend doing a bit of digging into how to watch it.
The Oscars are on this weekend so that’ll be what we’ll look at next and there will be some other stuff I might check out before April closes. I have been The Blog Complainer, signing out.