Saturday, September 30, 2023

Mortal Kombat (2021) - Movie Review

The Movie: Mortal Kombat

The Director: Simon McQuoid

The Cast: Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, Hiroyuki Sanada, Max Huang, Sisi Stringer, Matilda Kimber, Laura Brent

The Story: It's a movie about the video game.

The Review:
Video game movies have typically gotten a bad rap over the years because they're never very well made adaptations so the reputation has unfortunately been quite justified. Mortal Kombat is one of those game franchises that you really hope a filmmaker can get right because the material is just asking for a big time, blockbuster style showcase with all the bells and whistles. Director Simon McQuoid makes a valiant attempt and I think he almost got there but maybe the studio didn't quite believe in the project leaving it a little shorthanded in some key creative and budgeting type things.

There's plenty of good fight scenes to go around, I mean, look at the names in the cast list and you'll see how this aspect of the film is kind of a no brainer. Lewis Tan and Hiroyuki Sanada instantly make this movie a must watch no matter how good or bad it is and then throw in Joe Taslim who is best known for his work in The Raid: Redemption and the Warrior TV series on top of that as well.

Where the movie really falls short is that it looks like a video game and not like a theatrical adaptation of a video game. The special effects are cartoony at times and just sub par almost everywhere else, you get none of those big OMG moments you are hoping for with that big screen experience so you might as well just stick to playing the game. There must be some way to make this franchise work but unfortunately this wasn't it.

The Verdict:
Mortal Kombat goes for the kill but falls well short of scoring that elusive fatality. Hopefully a studio will throw a couple more quarters into the machine to see if they can finally level up. Or not. At this point I'm not sure if it matters any more.

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