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Dominik Vetrák
April 24, 2021, 5:06pm
Reading time: 4:52

Review: Mortal Kombat Makes Absolutely No Sense and the Characters are Terrible

The film version of Mortal Kombat got a reboot with expensive effects. Was it worth it?

Dominik Vetrák
April 24, 2021, 5:06pm
Reading time: 4:52
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The iconic Mortal Kombat game series is extremely popular. The tenth version has boosted the sales and the interest of the players. The eleventh took it all to a whole another level. And while the game saga's making good money and receiving praise from critics and gamers alike, Warner Bros. Studio decided it was time to try again with another feature-length film.


They're preparing multiple sequels, but the upcoming few weeks and months will probably determine whether they will follow through on the plans. If the decision was based on opinions of viewers, fans and reviewers, sequel to the 2021 film wouldn't be touched with a 10-foot pole. There are a few minor spoilers in the review, but we assure you that it won't bother you.


We recommend that you become familiar with the rules of Mortal Kombat in advance, because it will not be properly explained to you in the film. We are thrown into action almost immediately and it doesn't stop until the final credits start rolling. This is also the biggest advantage of the film. You don't stand a chance of getting bored, because something is constantly happening on the screen.




Awful protagonist

At the centre of the narrative is an original character that was created exclusively for the film. Cole Young is boring, uninteresting, and his motivation to fight is simply cliché. At a certain point in the story, he even gives up training due to poor performance. So he returns to his family, knowing they're being hunted by top killers (the film never explains how is it possible that the bad guys are able to find anyone anywhere). Rather than train in order to stand a chance to save himself, he chooses the death of his entire family instead. The story and the decisions of the characters make absolutely no sense.


The "boss" of the positive characters from Earth, is Raiden. He is not supposed to interfere with the events, but he still does it occasionally, when the script requires it. One minute, he lets his best fighter die, saving others in the next minute. At the end of the film, he remembers that he can teleport anyone he wants, to any place. Due to this realization, the characters come up with a brilliant plan to divide the enemies and destroy them one by one.


Facing each one of them separately, as a group, has never occurred to them. Instead, they risk their lives and the fate of humanity for the sake of their egos. Dividing them into one-on-one battles.


Mortal Kombat Source: Warner Bros. Pictures


The plot makes no sense and the action is not impressive 

Mortal Kombat doesn't make any sense, but that could be an advantage for those who were just looking forward to brutal action. Did they get to see it? Yes, but it's not impressive. The games have much better fights and the fatality scenes when they tear or break their enemies are a cherry on top. The only successful fatality scene was with Kung Lao and we don't even remember the rest.


The fights are easy to look at and they're definitely above average, but at the same time it's not like you haven't seen it anywhere else. The first and last scene, when Scorpion and Sub-Zero go at it, definitely stand out. The rest is quite insignificant.


We were also annoyed by the quick edits. The scene begins with a figure jumping towards the enemy. But instead of seeing its impact and the subsequent grasp, it cuts from the moment when she's in the air to the moment when she's already standing on the ground, stabbing the enemy in the neck. As if the stuntmen couldn't perform acrobatic stunts.


Some "forgotten" fights also come across as quite funny. In a sequence where the teams of good and evil stand against each other, evil wins. They shut down two earthly heroes, but they don't kill them. One of the negative characters even disappears from the story, just so the two remaining characters can be killed in the given place. Doesn't it make sense? Well, get used to that.


Source: Warner Bros. HBO Max


The creators did a lousy job with the characters

We are also extremely disappointed with the characters. Kano might be the only one that seems to work, but in time he'll get on your nerves as well. The rest of the characters suffer from either zero charisma, bad dialogues ("Dad, use your uppercut!" ... oof), or they have no reason to play in the film at all. A great example of that is Raiden, whose only task is to scare the other characters and move them from one place to another. He doesn't serve any other purpose in the film.


On the other hand, the rest of the characters get almost zero space to unfold their persona's. Sub-Zero is simply a manic killer who enjoys killing children. You will not learn what his motivations and goals are, or what his personality is like. All of the bad guys are just evil monsters that kill because it's fun for them, most likely.


Some will be disappointed that they did not get to see the Mortal Kombat tournament. The story focuses on finding heroes and their encounters with bad guys who want to kill them before they get "in the ring". It didn't bother us at all and we get why the creators saved it for a possible sequel. However, we do not understand why they've put an absolutely uninteresting character, who does not even feature in the games, in the epicentre of attention. They could have playfully told the story with someone else.


Source: Warner Bros.


Mortal Kombat doesn't offer much. The first seven minutes are extremely enjoyable, great action scenes, but for the rest of the time it only gets worse and worse. The film makes absolutely no sense and you'll find average acting performances in it, at best. Even the depiction of the brutal fatality scenes from games doesn't stand out. But at least the players will be pleased with famous sound-bites (yes, the legendary Get Over Here made it in here and it works surprisingly well).




We just hope that our readers aren't easily blown away with the digital blood and more expensive costumes. The creators overdid it even with that blood. The scene when Sub-Zero thrusts Scorpion's face onto a large rock and two glasses of blood splashed out was hilarious. The very next shot of Scorpion's face only shows a few minor bloody scratches. They simply whipped that digital blood in all directions, regardless of where it supposedly came from.


Source: Warner Bros./HBO Max


The new adaptation of Mortal Kombat is really bad. It has zero good actors, zero interesting characters and absolutely zero logic. It rotates about five locations over and over, and its biggest plus is the fact that it has a good pace and something is constantly happening, so you won't get bored. The fights will not offend you, but they also won't excite, which was supposed to be the biggest attraction and the reason for the existence of this film. If that's what you've been looking forward to, you'll be better off watching the trailer for Mortal Kombat X and save yourself two hours.


Due to those fight scenes, the actor Hiroyuki Sanada, the first seven minutes, the fatality scene of Kung Lao and the fact that we were not bored, we will scramble four points out of ten, as a rating.


P. S .: Goro's death is completely ridiculous. The only difference between his film version and one of the hundreds of crooks that Batman destroys for breakfast, is the fact that he has four hands. And he doesn't even use them much either. Awful.

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Thumbnail: Warner Bros.
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