Mortal Kombat 2021 review

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by CT Phipps, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016

    I am a huge MORTAL KOMBAT nerd. I played the first three arcade games in movie theaters and have kept abreast of the series in various formats across multiple consoles since. I can tell you who Nitara is and what elements of the original movie were incorporated in the greater canon. The fact I know there is a canon is something of a feat in itself but Mortal Kombat has always had more of a story than most fighting games. I even watched the cheesy television show but I'll be honest that was 90% for Kristanna Loken.

    This feels like a different movie.

    When I heard there was a new movie, I was skeptical but that's because the original is one of the few examples of video game tie-ins that didn't completely suck. It managed to find a decent balance between cheese, humor, and martial arts action. The new movie promised to treat the material more "seriously" and I wasn't exactly sure that was a good thing. So what did I think of the film? Eh, it's okay.

    Don't get me wrong, whoever wrote this movie is clearly an enormous Mortal Kombat nerd too. We get Sub-Zero referred to by his real name, the origins of Scorpion, and Kabal voiced by the actual video game actor due to his mask covering his face. However, there's also a very large number of flaws that keep this from being as enjoyable as the original film but much better than the godawful Annihilation.

    Part of the biggest problem is the introduction of an entirely new character in Cole (Lewis Tan), who is a down-on-his-luck MMA fighter who discovers he has a great destiny due to being one of Scorpion's descendants. I don't want to sound like one of those fans but there's like 200 Mortal Kombat characters and a good sixty of them are ones that would make good introduction characters to the weirdness of the setting.

    Why is Kano the best character?

    It gets worse because Lewis Tan would have been able to play a good chunk of them. Johnny Cage, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Sub-Zero II, Scorpion (via possession!), Kenshi, Takahashi Takeda, and so on. Cole is an okay character but his role as the everyman isn't something we really needed to create a new character for. It's like doing a Street Fighter: The Movie remake except the protagonist is a blond red-gi wearing American karate champion named Bill. Worse, maybe get him played by someone too good for the part like Chris Evans or Ryan Reynolds.

    If I'm being overly harsh on Cole, it's also because the other Kombatants (see what I did there?) are all undercooked. The movie has Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Raiden, Sonya Blade, Jax, Scorpion, Nitara, Goro, Shang Tsung, Kabal, Mileena, Sub-Zero, and Kano. Now if you told me that I was going to have this cast of characters and the most entertaining of them would be Kano then I would have called you a liar. Except Kano is, by far, the best part of this movie and the sole source of badly needed comic relief. No, let me correct that, Kabal also provides some and I'm now down for a Black Dragon movie.

    Mileena has almost no lines but is awesome.

    Really, the movie is too packed to be able to properly develop anyone beyond being exposition machines with three or four characters filling the role of the Obi-Wan to Cole. The first movie made the correct choice that we had multiple people serving as the everyman and able to develop relationships with each other.

    Cole doesn't get to know any of his fellow Kombatants and is primarily worried about his wife and daughter that play no role other than to give him emotional support while being endangered. I mean, reveal the wife is Jade or Frost or something. For a franchise that has a huge chunk of ass-kicking women, this film has a lot of them murdered to motivate our heroes.

    Another small complaint is this feels more like the first few episodes of a Mortal Kombat HBO series than it does the actual Mortal Kombat movie. Which is a pretty poor complaint because it would have been a pretty good miniseries, I think. It probably would have been better than this film because with ten episodes we could have gotten to fill out the backstories of the bloated cast of mooks and supporting protagonists. Bi-Han Sub Zero feels like he should be a more developed character than the randomly evil chief henchman he is. It's also hard to take him seriously as Shang Tsung's chief henchman when Goro is RIGHT THERE. Hell, Kabal solves the primary problem of our villains in like five minutes while Bi-Han can't kill our protagonist before he gets powers.

    This would be a better movie.

    If I sound like I hate the movie, I don't. Not by a long shot. What the movie lacks in plot or character, it more than makes up in hilarious video game violence. I mean, I'm not 100% sure if there's actually a Mortal Kombat tournament or what the rules are but I don't care. I mean, Shang Tsung cheating is fine but is double-teaming Sub-Zero with your ghost ancestor allowed? I feel like our heroes should be sticking to the rules since you know Shao Khan is going to rules-lawyer that shit. Plus the violence goes from cartoonish PG to ripping hearts out and bisecting people with magical hats pretty quickly. Which is as it should be.

    In conclusion, this is definitely a movie to watch if you have HBO Max as its fun and utterly brainless. Unfortunately, it seems to think it is a lot smarter and more serious movie than it is. There's like a 15 minute opening of Scorpion's family being massacred that feels like it belongs in a different and better movie. Normally, you don't open the film up with the origin story of someone other than your protagonist. Watch it for Kano making fun of everyone, the over-the-top action, and goofy faux-seriousness. Just, next time, we need someone other than the scummy bad guys as comic relief.

  2. Aurelius Of Phoenix

    Aurelius Of Phoenix Psued.

    Mar 9, 2018
    In the original stills shown to hype the film I thought Cole was going to be Tremor or something, I guess he's just a random OC.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  3. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    He's generic enough he could have been like twelve.
  4. mustadiokeepsdying

    mustadiokeepsdying Nobody's beating him.

    Aug 25, 2020
    I don't like when movies do this, it feels like someone's oc and they end up just being exposition machines. I haven't seen Kong vs Godzilla but I can already hear a bunch of exposition. I wanna see a monkey throw shit at a lizard goddamnit ;(
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  5. Big No

    Big No Watch as I open and close this door

    Oct 28, 2014
    You can tell the movie is mediocre because CT Phipps actually gave it a rating below 8/10.
  6. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Yes, that would be a mediocre movie's score.
  7. Gamesbasi

    Gamesbasi First time out of the vault

    Jan 5, 2021
    Of all the game flicks from back then MK was the better one and then tomb raider. Street Fighter was quite bad, but doom annihilation took the crown itself.
  8. MayonaiseCream

    MayonaiseCream It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Nov 22, 2017
    Really bummed no one got their spine ripped out.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  9. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    What's a bit sad is that it does not contain (to my knowledge) the mortal combat theme.
  10. maximaz

    maximaz Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 2, 2006
    It does for like 3 seconds and you can just tell they've been saving it to try to make that moment epic. By that time though you're so tired of this stupid ass movie, you don't give a shit.

    I'd say the movie has about 20 minutes of good-to-great material. Most of that is the opening scene.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  11. Kakaroow

    Kakaroow First time out of the vault

    Nov 22, 2017
    Haven't seen it yet, where is it available?
  12. Norzan

    Norzan Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 7, 2017
    The whole arcana thing was absolutely retarded. Why they were trying so hard to explain everyone's powers is beyond me, but the thing is that no one questioned those powers when Mortal Kombat came out because they assumed people in this universe can have magic powers if they practice at them.

    It's like when people complain about something not being explained and the writers overcompensate by explaining something that really didn't need explaining because it was obvious why it works the way it does.
  13. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    What's actually really dissapointing how little they have done with the Mortal Combat franchise in terms of movie entertainment. Despite all the viollence it really has become quite a rich universe with a lot of story and many different types of characters. It doese have a lot of potential here if you throw some good cast and competent writters at it to make it a sort of TV Series or a few good movies.
  14. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
  15. Kakaroow

    Kakaroow First time out of the vault

    Nov 22, 2017
    Oh, geez, thanks.