Flawless Victory

Mortal Kombat (2021) got over a 2 decade absence from the big screen. While the 1995 Mortal Kombat was campy fun, the 1997 Annihilation was one of the worst movies ever made. The video game franchise remained incredibly popular when the reboot was stuck in development hell. When the 2021 movie was finally announced, my brother and I made sure to play Mortal Kombat (2011). Although it was simultaneously streamed on HBO Max, we saw it in theaters among like-minded fans. I’m not a diehard fan, but I do have more expectations. Since every game’s fatalities got progressively more violent, it was nice to know the movie would actually be R rated. It also meant a lower budget which is obvious when the movie doesn’t even include the titular tournament. Earthrealm or Outworld rarely feel grand despite the literal gods and monsters on display.

Costumes are grittier, but a little too detailed for my liking. Specifically the armoured look given to Scorpion and Sub-Zero. The movie begins with their bitter rivalry centuries in the past. Despite having the iconic catchphrase “Get over here!,” Scorpion and Sub-Zero speak Chinese and Japanese respectively. Mortal Kombat (2021) includes many important characters, but makes the idiotic decision to omit characters for the sake of being PC. Fan favorite Hollywood actor Johnny Cage is left out to leave room for Lewis Tan as original Asian American character Cole Young. There are literally dozens of characters on their roster yet they chose to make something up. I absolutely hate anything having to do with the character. Kitana is also left out, but Sonya Blade fills the void. She has a kind of pointless arc where she has to prove herself as a champion. Despite their attempt to keep the story Asian focused, Australian mercenary Kano is still the biggest scene stealer.

Former Jimmy Olsen Mehcad Brooks got jacked to play Jax and Raiden actor Tadanobu Asano already had experience with a thunder god. They could’ve once again made Liu Kang the star, but he spends more time training the others with Kung Lao’s help. Shang Tsu isn’t the imposing force he should be, but he gets the job done. His motley crew of enemy opponents consists of Mileena, Nitara, Reiko, Kabal, and Goro. The latter is obviously CGI, but the four-armed monster loses his menace when he has to fight Cole in a barn. The climax captures the spirit of the game, but there’s too much emphasis on Arcana. Scorpion and Sub-Zero have their final dual, but Scorpion’s revenge was done a lot better in the much more faithful hyper violent animated movie of the same name. The movie finishes with serious sequel baiting for an uncast Johnny Cage. Mortal Kombat (2021) is far from a “FATALITY,” but it’s barely a “FLAWLESS VICTORY” either.

Mortal Kombat

Liu Kang and Kung Lao ready to fight

Reboot of: Mortal Kombat (1995)

2 thoughts on “Flawless Victory

  1. I remember the original Mortal Combat films were aired a lot on TV when I was between 8-15, I thought they were both OK fun. I also remember being blown away when I read that Cameron Diaz originally tested and trained for the role of Sonya Blade, makes you wonder what her career would’ve been like had she played the role. This one seems like they really tried to match the quality of the classic games for the big screen, but still managed to fall a little short. Funny enough, a few of the movie buffs I watch on YouTube all said they had a fun time with the remake, flaws and all. I wished so much they kept Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen on Supergirl a little longer, or at least given him a spinoff show.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s