Mortal Kombat Movie Review
People are excited for a new Mortal Kombat movie because, apparently, they think that an adaptation of a video game that really has very little plot other than mystical beings killing each other in violent ways is the basis for a major motion picture. In the end, it is exactly what you should expect: fairly dumb, fairly forgettable, but action-packed and gory in a way that should satiate fans.
I’m no stodger; I appreciate some quality gore and ultraviolence more often than not, and I played my fair share of violent video games growing up. But for whatever reason, I didn’t play Mortal Kombat much at all.
And that may be the make or break factor for those looking to consume the new Mortal Kombat film, from first-timer director Simon McQuoid. The movie is entertaining enough as it introduces the various combatants (kombatants?) from the game and pieces together just enough of a story to give reason to the violence. Kano, played by Josh Lawson, is a hoot, while Scorpion, portrayed by Hiroyuki Sanada, is a badass. Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) is as ruthless as they come.
Those are the characters I recognize. The rest are all sort of nameless and generic, and when they appeared on screen didn’t elicit more than a shrug, if that. Fans of the game will likely have a different reaction, and it’s that nostalgia factor that will surely drive utmost enthusiasm from this subset.
For the rest of us, Mortal Kombat is fine but unremarkable. There are several good fight sequences that only increase in intensity as the film progresses, and McQuoid rarely holds back when it comes to blood, guts, spinal cords, and hearts. As mindless entertainment goes, you could do worse.
But let’s not kid ourselves. This isn’t a good movie. It’s simply a movie that delivers on its promise.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.