Mortal Kombat – Review

Posted on May 7, 2021Comments Off on Mortal Kombat – Review

The Mortal Kombat movie has been long anticipated by fans and gamers the world over since the last blunder of an installment in 1997. Finally, 24 years and 15 game releases later we get Hollywood’s next attempt at a reimagining. Like with most video game adaptations, Hollywood really doesn’t know their audience. Yet, the argument has been and will continue to be made, “What do you honestly expect from a Mortal Kombat movie?”


What’s To Like?

First off, two things. Sub-Zero and Scorpion. Holy shit. They could not have picked better actors to helm the roles of the two most iconic fighters in all of gamingdom. Hiroyuki Sanada plays my personal favorite Scorpion and his opening fight scene is not just one of the best in the movie, but one of the best fights I’ve seen since The Raid 2. Speaking of The Raid, Joe Taslim portrays Sub-Zero. With these two legendary martial artists going head to head as the two best characters, we were served an incredible treat!

Not to downplay that, but there is one person who carried the weight of this movie on his shoulders. And that is none other than Josh Lawson playing Kano. Mind you, there is some great action in this game as alluded to above. But there are also a lot of problems with this movie which I will dive into. Josh single-handedly made this movie watchable. Talk about a hidden Hollywood gem!


Going back to the action, this movie leaves little to be desired. We actually got fatalities! The violence is graphic and brutal. Exactly what it should be for a Mortal Kombat movie. Finally, to top it all, they do a good job representing the fighting styles and powers of the characters. In that much they keep very true to form, which was a relief to many fans, myself included.

What Went Wrong?

As stated in the beginning, this movie doesn’t really know its audience. The fact that Mortal Kombat has a long-standing history that has left fond memories in many fair-weather fans’ hearts is the biggest claim to its success in this film. Most people are largely unaware of the lore and Mythology Ed Boone and his team have created and established in this franchise. As a die-hard fan, I was disappointed at how little inspiration they drew from the mythos. It was also especially disheartening to have a new character created, rather than use one of the many existing ones not present.

This movie is campy. I’m talking corny to the highest degree. Normally I am a fan of those things. For example, the Evil Dead franchise is one of my all-time favorites. That franchise lives and breathes in campy. Campy corny things can be a great way to be self-aware and make light of the flaws. In this case, the campy nature mocks some of the best elements from the game and franchise. It mocks, the gamers who work tirelessly to perfect their skills to hear the beloved “Flawless Victory.” It mocks the very thing that put this game on the map in the first place, the fatalities. While doing so, it further hurts the development of the story and its characters.

My Thoughts

Can you still enjoy the action, fatalities, and campiness? Of course. But, it’s unfortunate that it was done in a way that detracts from the whole of the film, rather than builds it. Like I stated in the beginning, people have asked me, “well what do you expect?” Look at Batman. Batman was a franchise that lived and died in its campy nature, until Christopher Nolan came in and made it relevant and enjoyable for critics, fans, and general audiences. They definitely missed an opportunity here by making this in such a way that critics and fans were both alienated from the general audience.

Mortal Kombat Score

I feel like I’m in a tough place with this movie. Much like with Godzilla Vs Kong, I am going to have to give this movie 2 scores. For its action-based entertainment value, I’m giving it a 9 out of 10. It’s really hard not to enjoy the fatalities, choreography, and special abilities of the characters. As a film, for story and characters, I’m giving this a 3 out of 10. Mostly because of Josh Lawson’s work with Kano. They butchered the source material, nothing made sense, and they tried to cover it up with cheese which while silly, kinda made it worse.

What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments!

Liked this review? Read our other articles and reviews here!

Join us on discord! There you can banter with us, debated pop culture topics with us, get the latest and greatest memes and cosplay, and hang out with our friends over at ShowBoys Podcast!

Please follow and like us: