“Mortal Kombat”: A Bloody Good Movie


Nico Gonnella, Guest Contributor

No other action movie than “Mortal Kombat” will leave you screaming “FATALITY” or “FINISH HIM” as you throw air punches and kicks. This movie, directed by Simon McQuoid, hit the box office April 23, 2021, making over $83 million worldwide.

The movie begins with a written quote saying, “Earthrealm is on the verge of catastrophe should it lose one more tournament the savage realm of outworld will invade, but an ancient prophecy foretells that a new group of champions will be united by the rise of Hanzo Hasashi’s blood”.

The characters in the game are split into realms. This includes the Earth Realm (Earth) with human fighters with inner chakra powers, the outworld a land of dark magic full of amazing graphically designed beasts and ninjas, and the nether world (hell) with one contestant so far.

Subzero, a ninja from the outworld, hunts the “Mortal Kombat” contestants on Earth to destroy the Outworld’s competition for the multi-realm tournament. Subzero is one of my favorite characters from the movie and game because he can freeze objects, create ice in his hands, and is the strongest in physical combat and ninja weapon wielding.

The actor, Joe Taslim, did a great job of creating a personality behind the otherwise lifeless game character and excelled in the choreography for the fight scenes.

The main character from Earth, played by Lewis Tan, is a washed-up UFC fighter named Cole Young. He is known for his dragon shaped birth mark which is later identified as a ticket to the ancient “Mortal Kombat” tournament.

Subzero, ex-soldier Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), and ex-sergeant Jax (Mehcad Brooks) know the significance of the mark and all race to find Cole first.

In a near death escape from Subzero, the Earth team finds the training ground for “Mortal Kombat” fighters led by the god of lightning Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) but has the realization that they are totally powerless.

Although they all excel in hand-to-hand combat, none of them possess powers like the Outworld characters.

Yet, “Mortal Kombat” contestants are chosen for their power from birth or because they share a bloodline with the assassinated clan of Hanzo Harashi. Oddly enough, Cole Young was raised without a father in the same town.

The movie ends with a thrilling blood bath in the training temple for Earth champions as five of the Earth fighters are paired against five outworld beasts. Everything from the stunts, graphic design, and acting is amazing.

However, many viewers were caught off guard because the movie never showed the “Mortal Kombat” tournament. This was an interesting decision made by the franchise so they could slowly create a “Mortal Kombat” series ending in the big tournament.

This is like the “Marvel Avengers” series as each movie provided background information about each character until the finale, “Avengers Endgame”. “Mortal Kombat” focused on Cole Young who introduced the movie concept to new watchers just as Marvel started by introducing the backstory and concept of the Avengers with Iron Man and Captain America. In the footsteps of Marvel, the “Mortal Kombat” producers can then build up to the big combat tournament.

One thing I really liked about the movie was that it was a lot like the video game. I owned one of the original “Mortal Kombat” games and enjoyed seeing it develop over the years. It featured everything from the old game’s soundtrack, gory combat, and famous quotes like, “fatality” and “flawless victory.”

Understandably, the movie featured some of the best and most popular characters in the video game to hook the new audience, but the downside was that most of them leave the plot line. Assuming that there are going to be more movies from the cliffhanger ending, I would have liked to see some of the better characters stay in the plot or be introduced later.

For these reasons, I would rate the movie a 4/5 stars because it was filled with adrenaline inducing, cut-throat (literally) fight scenes and incorporated elements of the old games, but I foresee the series getting worse because they got rid of the more popular characters. I would recommend this film to anyone seeking an overall solid movie with intense fights and some grisly scenes.