I by no means thought I’d say this – however whereas streaming Mortal Kombat on HBO MAX, I discovered myself eager for Johnny Cage and his genital punching acrobatics. Midway by way of the film, I hoped to listen to Linden Ashby’s voice are available off display, saying, “These had been $500 sun shades, a_hole…”
Now that I’ve received that off my chest method, Mortal Kombat (MK) is a enjoyable reboot and a very good one-time watch. It’s not, nevertheless, an impressive movie. However sure, very like a ‘Fillet o Fish’ at your nearest McDonalds – MK isn’t gourmand, however it’s precisely what you paid for.
Mortal Kombat leans into its strengths, very like Godzilla vs Kong did. Balancing a campy tone and with ample gore – the movie ensures that it’s generations forward of its 90s predecessor by way of visuals. It additionally packs in sufficient skilled Asian actors in key roles, and offers us sufficient online game fatalities, brutalities, and irreverent references that can make franchise followers blissful.
The truth that the film doesn’t take itself too severely helps. The plot by itself isn’t something new. Followers who’ve performed the final two instalments of the sport, seen the hyper-violent and entertaining Scorpion’s Revenge, seen the 90s films and even watched the Machinima collection will discover themselves in acquainted territory. What the film does do properly, nevertheless, is take the most effective bits from the varied lore and “portal-hop” throughout them rapidly – retaining Cole and the Hasashi clan’s story because the grounding issue.
Nevertheless, this additionally implies that the film solely takes off in its second half, when Kung Lao leap begins the proceedings along with his “Flawless Victory”. That may be a particular fan-moment served with glee – and the film solely ramps it up from there.
Coming to the soul of the film – the fights. Whereas some fights are gorgeous (Scorpion vs Sub Zero, Cole vs Goro, Sonya vs Kane), some are downright clunky (something with Jax or Liu Kang). Lewis Tan (Cole) and Jessica McNamee (Sonya Blade) throw in some good performances – whether or not with their fists, or with the script they’ve been handed – and Hiroyuki Sanada delivers his ordinary A sport as Scorpion. Whereas I did point out earlier that Kano (Josh Lawson) falls quick because the stand-in for Johnny Cage, he does nevertheless ship a few of the funniest (and corniest) strains within the film with aplomb. By way of performances, the solid does properly to embody the fan favourites they’re taking part in, with a certain quantity of self-awareness and humour that comes with figuring out you’re a online game character in any case.
Mortal Kombat is aware of it’s a online game film and tries to personal it as a lot as potential, ensuring the humour is self-referential. It’s, nevertheless, a particular sufferer of franchise baiting, sacrificing some good first outing alternatives. I’m wondering if benching fan favourites like Johnny Cage, Kitana, Shan Tsung and Shao Kahn for the sequels, or firming down the Outworld segments had been definitely worth the bait in case a sequel isn’t greenlit. With an hour and half runtime, Mortal Kombat is brief, enjoyable, and brutal – just about what the followers anticipate. Watch it when you may – with out the youngsters round, in fact.