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Where was the tournament? Mortal Kombat review.


Mortal Kombat was a game-changer in the 90s. It showed the world just how violent videos could be. It made congress lose their minds, and they created the ESRB because of it. The first film in the 90s was a hit as well. The sequel, well …… at least the theme song, was a club hit. As the games pushed on over the years and had their hit and miss, the film series was DOA. There was talk of a revival back in 2010 that had an awesome trailer. It's called Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, and it starred Michael Jai White. We didn't get a film from it. We had a web series that was pretty good for what it's worth. But when James Wan, the man behind the Saw and Insidious franchise, announced he would produce a Mortal Kombat movie with an R rating, I was Hype. When they announced it would be available on HBO, I was elated. Then it came out. I was like


There are good things and bad things in this movie, and I will try to break them down.


One good thing about it is the characters look great. These characters have been seen in soo many iterations that picking the right look for them was integral. I thought that Sub-Zero and Scorpion had too much armor, but I still like the look.


The moment you see these characters, you know exactly who they are. On the other hand, you have the main character, Cole Young. Cole Young is a new character made for this movie, and to be honest, I'm not feeling him. A video game series that has 97 characters. I feel like making up one for the movie is just lazy. There was a story mode in some of the older games when you would play as some character on a journey, and he kinda sucks, so you never play as him in your free time. That's who he is; he's

Tavik.



The acting is par. Most of the cast doesn't have a lot of experience. The ones that do are more knowing for their fighting or dying in campy horror or comedies. But there are a few shining lights. Sub Zero is played by Joe Taslim, who some of you might remember from The Raid. His performance was cold (no pun intended) and menacing at times. He appeared like Jason from Friday the 13th. The surprise for me was Kano, played by Josh Lawson. He chewed up the scene every time, and as a viewer, I liked him. He was the best one in the film.




Let's talk about the fight scenes. It's based on a fighting game, so the fights should be good, right? Well, they are okay at best. I love a good fight scene. Some of the best tell a story. I didn't see much of that here. I saw some great moments. But overall, the fights were a slightly gritty power rangers show. I mean, over the last few years, there have been some awesome fights in the media. Daredevil, The Raid franchise, Creed 2, and Ip Man franchise have set standards that I don't think this movie met. I looked at the IMDB for the film and didn't see a choreographer's name. Perhaps they didn't want credit for the film. They're not awful there, just not where they should be.


 

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The story of the movie was odd. There is a tournament between two dimensions, and if outworld wins ten times, they take over the earth. The film also shows the rivalry between scorpion and subzero. Here's where things get weird, the whole movie takes place before the tournament.  Right!! The tournament never happened in the movie. This fight with Goro that he lost wasn't even in the tournament!! How do you make a prequel before you make the franchise?!  

Simon McQuaid makes his directorial debut here. He has mostly done commercials until now. I think this was a massive misstep on both sides. The movie needed a more experienced director, especially in this genre. Don't get it twisted !! The writers are guilty too! Greg Russo is not related to the Russo Brothers, Only has 2 credits on his IMDB, one of them being this movie, the other is Death Note 2.


Yes, that Death Note. Netflix whatever you think you're doing.  STOP!! The other is David Calliham. He's actually been part of some divisive but successful films WW84, Godzilla 2014, Zombieland double-tap. His fingerprints seem to be all over this one. What literally pisses me off the most is Oren Uziel. That Mortal Kombat rebirth video I mentioned earlier and the Web series he wrote and directed rebirth and wrote on the web series. Outside of Sub-zero and Scorpions scenes in the film, I feel like he had no impact on the process overall. I'm sure people are gonna say they love the movie. I'm sure some will say it's the worst video game movie yet. I will say this. Mortal Kombat Legends or Scorpion's Revenge tell the story a lot better. Yes, they're animated, but it's still just as violent, and you don't have to wait for the sequel to see Johnny Cage.

 

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Now the worst game movie? Not by a long shot.



Mortal Kombat Final Grade: C -

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