A new reboot of the fighting action arcade game Mortal Kombat hit the big screen on April 16 in theaters and homes.
The Midway Games and NetherRealms franchise returned with a new director, Simon McQuoid, to relaunch the series and set a new bar that the predecessor failed to reach 25 years ago. The film is set in the original series and seeks to rekindle the enthusiasm of the original fans for the beloved characters and origin stories.
The film opens in medieval Japan with Hiroyuki Sanada portraying Hanzo Hasashi, also known as the Scorpion, as the last member of his clan is hunted down. Joe Taslim describes Bi-Han, also known as Sub-Zero. When Hanzo is killed, one of his children is saved by Earthrealm’s Guardian God of Thunder, Raiden (Tadanobu Asano), who protects Hanzo’s lineage until today with main protagonist Cole Young (Lewis Tan ).
Discovering an old tournament called Mortal Kombat, Young chooses to travel alongside veteran Special Forces Sonya Blade, played by Jessica McNamee, and Jax, played by Mehcad Brooks. Together, they solve the mystery surrounding Mortal Kombat and save their universe from the corrupt god of Outworld, Shang Tsung.
This leads to a training streak and a series of near-death escapes. The film includes each character facing individual enemies in duels to the death before the decisive final fight between Young, reincarnated Scorpion, and Sub-Zero. There’s also a final scene teasing Luke Cage leaving audiences to speculate on another film in the works.
The film had the potential to sort out the age-old confusion between the purpose of Mortal Kombat and the importance of the Dragon Marks given to each fighter. He could also have focused on the undeveloped story between Scorpio and Sub-Zero and explored their relationship, but instead he focused on the importance of training.
The real takeaways from the film for fans are the familiar characters, their battles, and the âfatalitiesâ they unleash on their opponents. A Fatality is a franchise invented knockout in which a character kills their opponent in an exceedingly bloody manner that is achievable through a combo. Notorious slogans are included in the film, such as “Come Here!” From Scorpio. or “Flawless Victory,” by Liu Kang, but other than that, the story lacks substance. It makes the film seem like an attempt to grab money from Warner Bros.
At best, this movie provides some filling ambient media to read while focusing on other things around the house. It’s not worth investing your time and attention except for some bloody action scenes. I am rating this movie a solid three out of five stars.
Sven Kline can be reached at [emailÂ protected]; @SvenKline on Twitter.