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Mortal Kombat (Review)

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Director – Simon McQuoid (The Night-Time Economy)
Starring – Lewis Tan (Iron Fist, Deadpool 2), Jessica McNamee (The Meg, The Loved Ones), and Josh Lawson (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Superstore)
Release Date – 2021
Rating – 3.5/5

My youth was spent surviving the week and waiting on the weekend where I would rent a stack of VHS tapes and a couple of games. On the weekends that my older brother would visit I would rent a bunch of games and we would stay up all night playing them. We had many Mortal Kombat tournaments on the weekends he would visit and the year the movie was released I remember renting it. He didn’t care for it but I fucking loved it. So much so I bought the tape when I could and have since upgraded to DVD.

When a new Mortal Kombat adaptation was announced I was curious. The recent MK animated film was amazing but I suspected that the live action film would not take as many risks as the animated film would. When it premiered on HBO Max I watched it that evening and was completely blew away by it. I wasn’t going to review it but the more I thought about it, and subsequent re-watches, I decided to go ahead and write one.

**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Cole (Tan) who is a struggling fighter with a peculiar birthmark. After a fight he meets Jax and is then attacked by Sub-Zero. Jax reveals that he has the same birth mark and they are chosen ones who are to compete in a tournament with the other realms. However, the evil Shang Tsung is breaking the rules and killing the marked ones on Earthrealm so he can win before the tournament begins. **Spoiler Alert**

The original Mortal Kombat games, the ones from the 90s, were bloody but extremely cheesy. If they were anything other than cheesy then you don’t remember the games correctly. The games were very campy with b-movie quality action writing and extremely cheesy moments tossed in to break up the monotonous gameplay. They were fun, especially with friends, but you can’t deny how cheesy they were. Come on, babeality and the whoopsie? The blood gave you a sense of seriousness but the games were anything but. I think that is why so many people struggled with the movie. They wanted a bloody and gruesome fight flick but got a movie that embodied the original games. It was fun and cheesy as fuck.

The acting in this one is far from perfect but the games were not that well acted either. The voice acting was extremely poor and as the franchise grew the acting never improved. The film does take some liberties with the characters but a lot of the scenes are underwhelming. With that being said, Josh Lawson carried the entire film on his fucking back. He made Kano is own and absolutely killed it. If he was in the scene then he was the center of attention.

The story for this one does change it up from the original lore around the games. We get the introduction of the character Cole which was a replacement for Liu Kang pushing him to a secondary character. I don’t understand why this was done and he had the worst ability of them all. I did like the idea of marking the ones chosen to compete in the tournament and having them unlock abilities that you would see in the game. It made the film feel more like a Marvel movie but I liked that approach. I also liked the cheesy one liners and fatalities that made the games so much fun. We got that same level of cheese as the games which I was not expecting.

Finally, the film is overflowing with visual effects. We get some not so good looking effects in the way of Goro and a few of the fight sequences but we do get some cheesy yet fun effects in the way of a few deaths. The CGI gore is not the best visually but I really enjoyed the deaths. It added that cheesy bit that I was looking for. Overall, Mortal Kombat is for the people that played the games in the 90s. They were bloody, extremely goofy, and fun. The movie was everything that I loved about those games and if you didn’t like this movie then it wasn’t for you.

Written by Blacktooth

(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.

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