Jay’s Mortal Kombat Movie Review
Spoiler Alert: It's no flawless victory.
I would like to begin this review by saying you'd be hard pressed to find a bigger Mortal Kombat fan in the 90's than me. Mortal Kombat was really the first video game I played regularly, and will never forget how excited I was to finally play as Reptile in Mortal Kombat II. Any MK fan knows how excited it was to finally come across him and fight him in Mortal Kombat I, so I'm sure many 90's kids grew up smashing buttons as the green ninja when he finally became playable.
Growing up in a small trailer park in Shreveport, I didn't have much. I had a Super Nintendo, though, and I only had three games. I had Madden, Super Mario, and Mortal Kombat. This franchise brings back my childhood like only a few things can. Needless to say, I was beyond excited to Mortal Kombat on the big screen for the first time in over two decades.
I will say that my excitement for the movie probably had a lot to do with my impression of the film after I watched it. I mean, I had set the bar so high for this film in my head, that realistically it would be tough for the film to even come close.
I may drop a few spoilers for the new Mortal Kombat movie in the lines to come, so you've been warned.
This film has an excellent runtime of a little under two hours. That felt like the perfect length, to me anyways. Not too long and not too short. Sub-Zero was easily my favorite part of this film. They absolutely crushed it with Sub-Zero. Speaking of excellent casting decisions, I felt like they nailed Kano, Liu Kang, and Kung Lao. In fact, Kung Lao has EASILY the best moment of the film, where he literally saws Nitara in half with his iconic hat, then proceeds to deliver the smoothest, "flawless victory" line I've ever heard. Believe it or not, I don't hate the addition of Cole Young, despite this being the character's first-ever appearance in MK and the entire film being centered around him. More on Cole Young, though, later. The actor who played Scorpion was elite, I just wish we were able to watch him work a little more. More on that in a moment as well. The fatalities were awesome and perfectly gruesome. This movie was not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, and it's certainly better than it's more-silly counterpart from 1995.
I have two main takeaways from this film that absolutely rubbed me the wrong way. The first being that this film is nearly two hours and it's most iconic and important character appeared on screen for maybe twenty minutes. I understand that the story needed to be told, but I can't wrap my head around greenlighting a Mortal Kombat film where Scorpion is absent for so much of it. Also, how can a Mortal Kombat film be made with absolutely no tournament whatsoever? That is literally the only true plot of Mortal Kombat throughout it's entire history. Everything revolves around the tournament, so I was highly disappointed to not see a tournament unfold in this movie. After watching the film and reading a little more about Cole Young, I understand his powers now, but the film did a bad job of explaining to the audience who this important new character is and what exactly his powers are.
Any true Mortal Kombat fan will have big issues with this movie, but at the same time, any true Mortal Kombat fan will appreciate it's effort and will hope for a sequel.
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