It’s a bit hard to tear into the Mortal Kombat movie simply because a lot of people were really hoping that it would eclipse the first two that were created back in the 90s and in terms of a lot of special effects and actual fatalities being shown it succeeded. But where it started falling off the rails was in introducing Cole Young, a guy that has no connection to the games or the overall story of MK apart from being Scorpion’s descendant and, in reality, a lousy fighter when compared to the rest of the MK fighters. Seriously, this guy gets pounded on routinely and can’t appear to even defend himself unless his opponents are going easy on him or are arrogant enough to give Cole time to recover. It was a desire to see the Lin Kuei and Shirai Ryu carry this movie since their rivalry was what kicked it off, but that was almost completely forgotten until the final fight between Scorpion and Sub-Zero, where the latter somehow forgot how deadly he could be and was eventually defeated by Scorpion in a way that was at least somewhat fitting. But seeing as how Shang Tsung appeared to recover his fallen champions, it doesn’t appear that death is going to mean much in the MK universe as the sorcerer might be bringing the needed components of his army back for another go in a sequel, perhaps with more characters that are a bit more powerful, and have a wider range of skills to bring to the project. The selection of characters wasn’t that horrible, since seeing Kabal was interesting, and people pretty much expected to see Goro. But to see Kano training with the heroes, even for a little bit, was kind of odd.
Apart from that, the selection of characters felt a bit off since Raiden, who wasn’t a white guy this time as the clip points out, was kind of just ‘there’ while Liu Kang and Kung Lao felt a little incomplete, while Sonya felt way too needy. For a specialist, Jax certainly didn’t know enough about who he was up against, but then, his arcana, which is another odd quirk about the movie, had to come from somewhere. Cole Young was definitely an odd choice to make when it came to the lead character, especially since a lot of people were hoping to see Johnny Cage. That appears to be lined up in the sequel if it does get made, which feels likely at this point. But there were a few missteps in this version of Mortal Kombat that made a lot of fans look blankly at the screen as they tried to figure out what they’d just watched. It’s a big hope that whatever happened to this movie will be corrected in the next one, but hopes are likely to be dwindling just a bit since flashbacks of Annihilation are likely rolling through a lot of peoples’ minds at this point given that MK sequels don’t have a great track record. At this point, it’s still hopeful that the next movie will top the first, but Cole Young might have to take a backseat this time around since he didn’t bring a whole lot to the movie in the first place.
In terms of effects, this movie wasn’t that bad since the actual fatalities that were shown were decent made one realize that it is a Mortal Kombat movie. But the dialogue was a bit awkward at times, and the fight scenes felt a little too chopped up for the liking of a lot of people. The rivalry between Scorpion and Sub-Zero was used to hype this movie up in a big way, but the sad part is that they only had the chance to hook up a couple of times, and while the look of both of them was pretty cool, the fact is that Mortal Kombat is still pulling punches when it comes to the overall violence. It’s amusing really that the games are so violent and graphic, but the movies can’t follow suit. People might want to explain away the idea that MK can’t really get into the gore in such a way as to mirror the games because of the rating system, but on a scale of a kid’s movie to Quentin Tarantino-levels of blood and guts, this movie is somewhere in-between since it definitely went for blood and guts this time around, but it still feels as though it’s holding back.
Maybe this is something that will be discussed before the sequel goes into development, or maybe not, but one thing that is certain is that the next movie needs to turn the dial up to 11 and break it off if the idea is to keep people coming back for more.