In our region, the attitude to the Mortal Kombat series of games can be called almost sacred, and the film adaptation of 1995 has long acquired a cult status. It isn’t easy to find a person who, at least out of the corner of his ear, has not heard about this franchise, and therefore the creators of the new film had a huge responsibility. Whether they coped with the task, what to expect from the picture and how satisfied with mortal Kombat hardcore fans will be – now we will tell.
Perhaps it is worth starting with the fact that the film’s script has little to do with the plots from the games, and this may even disappoint fans of the series.
Also here as the main character is Cole Young’s character, who never appeared in games and was invented specifically for the film. Nevertheless, the picture is focused on fans and slightly unceremonious to those who are not at all familiar with the universe of Mortal Kombat. For example, no one explains the rules of tournaments. What the Outer World and the Earth Kingdom are, the film does not even try to acquaint the uninitiated viewers with the fighters. You have to know everyone in advance, and that is why this film adaptation is unlikely to help join the ranks of fans of the fighting game.
But if you are among those who have absorbed the love of Mortal Kombat with mother’s milk, and remember by heart all the combinations of buttons on the controller, then for you there are many pleasant bonuses prepared here – from the mention of Boone and Tobias to the very iconic music.
Many could notice that the roles in the film are performed by completely unknown actors, except for Only Tadanobu Asano and Hiroyuki Sanada. Everything would be fine, but some images are not at all suitable for the actors who embody them on the screen (Raiden is the brightest example of such a miscast). The characters’ elaborate characters could correct the situation, but this is clearly not a film that would bother with psychology and depth.
But there is no hood without good: the character of Kano turned out to be insanely charismatic, and in contrast to the faded colleagues in martial arts, looks much more advantageous. Even the film’s protagonist does not stand out in any special way, and his name is weathered from memory even before leaving the cinema hall.
But what the film can definitely be praised for is the choreography of the fights. There are real fighters of martial arts among the cast, so they also filmed fights in sufficient detail. Given the fact that the creators of the tape did not skimp on computer effects, the scenes of collisions of characters turned out to be a real decoration of the film. The soul of fans will be warmed by the recognizable signature techniques of the characters (of which there are not so few), and the performance of fatality is a separate delight. Some may argue that they say it could have been implemented better, but the staging of even those fights that we received, in the end, is definitely worthy of respect.
Mortal Kombat games are traditionally famous for their bloodiness, and the film adaptation, of course, could not do without violent scenes. Rating 18+ unleashed the hands of the filmmakers and allowed them to embody the most sophisticated scenes with the dissection of different parts of the body. We’ve already mentioned fatalities, but apart from them, there are also enough scenes in the film to make sensitive viewers feel bad (social distancing helps you).
But if we put aside the scenes of battles and spectacular reprisals, we see a straightforward film in which the banal plot is filled with no less banal dialogues. The whole epic scope of the idea remained somewhere behind the scenes and left for later. This is the main problem of the picture: “Mortal Kombat” is never self-sufficient and very much needs to be continued, but whether the second part will be is anyone’s guess.
As a result, we got a film that tries to please fans of the series, but at the same time is in no hurry to lay out all the trump cards. If you’re looking for a strong plot and characters to empathize with, Mortal Kombat is not your choice. Well, if for you in the first place beautifully staged fights and a meeting with the heroes of childhood, you can safely go to the cinema. Mortal Kombat has pleasant impressions, and you will not get bored.