Mortal Kombat was one of the first big theatrical movies to be released for HBO Max and it was actually pretty darn successful. The original 1995 Mortal Kombat movie is still regarded as one of the best video game movie adaptations. Like what that did, Mortal Kombat 2021, attempted to follow the tone of the games, but instead of the 90s games, this is more like Mortal Kombat X and 11.
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The Movie Review
The movie was directed by Simon Mquoid and this was his first chance at taking on a big blockbuster movie. One of the most interesting things about Mortal Kombat was that the story was not just an attempt to retell the same story that we know from the video games. I think the direction they took with the story was pretty interesting.
The start of the movie features a fantastic scene that is set in ancient Japan. This sets up the whole Scorpion vs Sub-Zero feud that the series is known for and it is something that is done very well. The whole Outworld having to win 10 Mortal Kombat tournaments in a row thing is still here, but it is handled a bit differently.
Shang Tsung learns that Scorpion has a surviving heir and it is prophesized that he will lead Earth Realm to victory. This guy is called Cole and he is an MMA fighter and pretty damn badass. Shang Tsung sends his minions to Earth in order to kill Earth’s fighters before they have a chance.
The fighters of Earth Realm are identified by a dragon tattoo, which can be passed on to others. Jax and Sonya lead the charge in trying to figure out what Mortal Kombat is and Raiden, Lui Kang and Kung Lao are there to fill us in on the history of the tournament. I have to say that I was not a huge fan of the portrayal of Lui Kang in the movie.
The actor does a decent job and he gets some cool action scenes, but they made him a bit too cocky for my liking. Having a brand-new character in Cole be the focus of the movie, rather than an established favorite of the series as a brave move. Ultimately it was a move that some fans thought was cool and others did not.
I think that they did a great job in having a fantastic selection of Mortal Kombat characters. While Cole is new, the fact he is a descendant of Scorpion is neat. Add to this other characters such as Kabal and Goro being in the movie and you have many classic Mortal Kombat characters that we have come to know and love over the years.
For many, the biggest omission in Mortal Kombat is the lack of Johnny Cage. Johnny Cage and his family have become a major part of the last three MK games so it was a tad disappointing not to see him here. However, he is a shoo-in for a sequel if they do decide to make one.
While I would still say that the original 1995 Mortal Kombat is my favorite MK movie, I think they had some good ideas here. The action is very well done and there is a decent amount of blood, gore, and violence too. I for one am really hoping that they do decide it is worth their time to make a sequel.