More like Mortal Borebat.
No, wait… I can do better than that. Hold on. I know.
Mortal Kombat? More like Mortal Mehbat.
There. Nailed it.
Originally, my expectations for this movie being any good were set low. For one, the last Mortal Kombat film is infamously terrible. And lastly, videogame movies in general tend to suck. I don’t know why this is always the case but they just somehow never translate well to the big screen.
Sad thing is, people are calling this the best videogame movie ever made. That’s a major problem, mainly because this movie kind of sucks. If this is as good as it gets… we are in trouble.
With all the hype and not to mention good, even gushing reviews of the film, I set my hopes a little higher than it should have been. I bit too high. Giant mistake on my part.
If anything, I knew it had to be better than Mortal Kombat Annihilation. Anything could be better than that. And thankfully this film is leaps and bounds better.
However, other things really bring this movie down and get in the way.
I stopped playing the MK games around the 4th game, so a lot of these characters they are presenting, I had no clue who they even were or if they are from the first game I don’t know, seeing as I haven’t played a MK game in like 20+ years.
Hell, I’m not even sure the main character is from the games or not. He kind of just seems like someone made up just to be included for the movie.
There’s like hundreds of characters to choose from, seeing as the game franchise is in the… I want to say 11th in the series?
It’s also kind of puzzling as to why so few characters from the games are actually in this. You’d think you’d want to pack it with those who are generally well known like for instance Johnny Cage, who is nowhere to be seen in this.
The plot unlike the original movie, is no longer set around a fighting tournament, but kind of just borrowed elements from Terminator but with Subzero acting as the T-100 Terminator.
Typically, Liu Kang is our lead character, but this time around it is this dude named Cole, who again, I’m not even sure is even in the games.
Liu Kang is still in this, but downgraded to a secondary character below Kano, another character I wasn’t familiar with.
I guess he was in the first game, but he had more of a metal eye covering and looked nothing like he does now.
That’s one thing I do want to comment on. The character design. Instead of working off the original looks of the characters, they are going with the more updated ones from the newer games.
Which is fine, I guess. But take Scorpion and Subzero for instance. They look bad in my opinion.
They’re both these tiny dudes with these almost comedically large masks. They looked funny, rather than badass which is what they always were.
In my day, EVERYONE loved Subzero and Scorpion.
Even Scorpion looks kind of dumb with the hood… I guess that’s a newer version thing. Either way I’m not crazy about the look.
I loved these games when I was younger. Hell, the first proper website I ever visited was a website for behind the scenes of the original movie.
I saw it in a magazine and had to wait until computer class to enter the long ass web address, as apparently back then it wasn’t as simple as just typing in the name or dot com.
I saw the first film in theaters, even the second one. Only reason I ever wanted to go shopping with my parents was because the super Walmart had Mortal Kombat 2 in the small hidden away arcade section.
In the 90’s the market was pretty over saturated with arcade fighting games, so the love of Mortal Kombat for me did eventually fade. Like I mentioned, the 4th game being were I left things.
So, I’m going into this not even have played any of the games that featured a story mode.
Literally everything I know about the story is from the 1995 movie and the failed little seen live action tv series.
The story is pretty simple and basically the same throughout.
Evil ruler wishes to conquer every planet in the universe, Earth being one of the last. But is only up for grabs if the chosen champions are defeated in hand to hand combat.
In this film however, only a select few are given symbols on their skin, in the shape of the MK logo. Cole on the other hand was born with his symbol, unlike the others.
You kill someone with that symbol, it passes down to you.
The mark means you have been chosen as one of Earth’s fighters for the coming Mortal Kombat tournament.
Not wanting to play by these rules however, Shang Tsung sends his warriors secretly to Earth to quickly remove any challengers.
Enter Subzero, who has a mastery of ice.
Every MK contestant, if trained well enough, is granted a special ability. This is actually a kind of cool addition, as it helps explain some weird superhuman things they can do.
Cole is our main character, also a descendant of Scorpion, who was murdered by Subzero many years ago, it’s never explained why.
I don’t really know how to explain Cole other than kind of a bland loser. The guy can’t fight and aside from that, there really isn’t much that’s interesting about it.
He has a family. That’s it.
He gets tracked down by Jax, who we all know as the character with the metal arms. He fills Cole in on what’s happening as Subzero hunts them down.
Jax holds Subzero off while telling Cole to find Sonya.
Jax gets his arms frozen off and left for dead while Cole tracks Sonya down in an old junk yard.
She has Kano held captive because he knows of the whereabouts of the temple those with the dragon marking must go to train.
But Kano is a bit of an asshole, so getting him to cooperate is a bit of a struggle.
Sonya and Jax have been researching everything they can about Mortal Kombat after Jax unexpectedly got the symbol passed to him when he killed someone who first had it.
Shang Tsung sends Reptile after them, who in this is just an actual reptile. Originally I remember him being a hidden character, that was mostly Scorpion but green. I think his special move was, he just spit acid.
But now he’s a full on reptile.
Kano and Sonya have to work together to defeat him since Cole is goddamn useless.
They do manage to defeat him, with Kano ripping out his heart.
Offering to pay Kano a few million bucks for his services, he agrees to lead them to Raiden’s Temple.
Instead of dropping them close or anywhere near the temple, they skydive out of a plane in the middle of the desert.
Eventually they stumble onto Liu Kang, who once again should have been our lead character. Hell, make Sonya the lead… there’s so many better options than just making up a boring character like Cole.
Anyway, Liu Kang brings them to the temple and introduces them to Raiden, the thunder god. He looks after Earth and the Mortal Kombat tournament on Earth realm.
Jax is also there, getting worked on by healers from other worlds, giving him those metal arms he’s known for.
Liu Kang is basically there to train them, pushing them to discover their special ability only those with the mark can possess.
Sonya unfortunately doesn’t have a mark, meaning she can’t train with Cole and Kano.
Training gets interrupted when Shang Tsung shows up with his elite fighters, but gets held back by Raiden’s force field.
On the side of the bad guys is Kabal, an old acquaintance of Kano’s. He knows that with the right price he’d flip to their side, which he does pretty easily.
Back to loser Cole, who just wants to throw in the towel and go back to his family. Raiden humors him and sends him back-
Only to be attacked by Goro, this 4 armed… thing that was always second to last before the final boss in the first Mortal Kombat game.
I think he was taken out by a nut punch in the 1995 movie, if I’m not mistaken.
Here, Cole finally discovers his ability, to I guess take a punch and then hand it back to them? Either way the fight ends with Goro getting his arms punched off.
Now it’s time for some butt kicking, as both sides finally have a battle. The good guys mostly get their asses handed to them before Raiden steps in to transport them away.
This part of the film did feel very rushed. It was like they realized they needed to hurry things along and actually get to what people came here to see. Actual Mortal Kombat-like fighting.
They make a plan to separate the bad guys, drawing them to each of them separately.
Sonya takes on Kano, Cole takes on Subzero, Jax fights Kabal and… I feel like I’m forgetting one. There’s a lady on the bad guy’s team, someone fights her.
Sonya kills Kano, finally gaining her dragon symbol, giving her the power of… those dumb pink loops she has from the game.
Long story short, good guys kill the bad guys.
The main fight is Cole verses Subzero, who has kidnapped his family, trapping them in ice.
The fight somehow summons the undead Scorpion to join in. Which to the film’s credit is pretty cool. The fight scenes here aren’t bad by any means.
They’re very well done and choreographed, the issue is really everything in between. The dialogue is so bad, mixed with awful one liners so bad that even the videogames wouldn’t use them.
The weird out of place techno music didn’t really help things either. It felt like I was watching an early 2000’s Dead or Alive movie or something.
The plot was so weak and so were the characters. I really don’t know who this was made for other than diehard MK fans. Only they I think would overlook everything, just as long as you give them the bloody Fatalities like in the games.
Which they do. So credit there as well.
I know I should just take the movie for what it is, but I really wanted more from this.
For that, I do still recommend it, however it’s a RENT. This isn’t something I can say go to the theater to see, even if it wasn’t already streaming.
Want EARLY access to our videos, uploads, and movie/script reviews? Members get them FIRST! Follow this link to our Discussion Forum.