A quick (mostly spoiler free) review of the new Mortal Kombat movie.
When the first Mortal Kombat movie came out over 25 years ago, I was a fan. I loved the game; and the movie, while watered down and a bit cheesy, was still fun. Between the fight scenes and Christopher Lambert’s slightly over-the-top portrayal of Raiden (meant in as lovable of a way as possible), I felt thoroughly entertained.
Fast forward to today and I have to say, the 2021 reboot is even better and a worthy of its name. There was still a little cheese and some strange plot moves (like a character being abandoned and suddenly returning later), but other than that, I feel that it pays true homage to its source material. It shows that the writer knew the game series well.
The plot was less cheesy then the 1995 movie and, despite a couple choppy scenes, flowed well overall. Without getting too “spoilly,” the mystery of the new character, Cole Young, and how he fits into the mythology is strongly hinted at early on and fully revealed about half way in. The fight scenes were well worth it and included the gore that you’d expect from the source game without overdoing it (too much). They pumped me up and even gave me a thrill when certain catch phrases were unleashed, even when I predicted their usage a second before they were thrown out.
If there was anything I felt fell short was, as mentioned before, a couple choppy story elements. I would have liked a bit more development for some of the characters and character interactions. Perhaps I am a little spoiled by the Snyder Cut of Justice League now. There certainly felt like there were some scenes left out that would have helped the narrative. But, as far as I’m concerned, those were minor. Maybe a director’s cut will come out including some of those scenes, but what we did get was enjoyable enough.
Overall, I had an fun time with the flick and it helped to keep my attention during the whole movie. There was a good bit of nostalgia that pulled me back to playing the game, more so than the ’95 movie. I would definitely recommend to fans of the game or to fans of action movies and fantasy. Just be ready for a lot of blood.