by Hans A. Carpenter
Release Date: April 23
Director: Simon McQuoid
Starring: Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, and Josh Lawson
Mister Marquee Says:
Cole Young (Lewis Tan) thinks it’s odd to see an LA street freeze in July. It’s even more odd that the freeze seems to be coming from a magic ninja. Just like that. This down on his luck MMA fighter is part of a select few chosen to defend Earth Realm from Outworld in a fight to the death known as Mortal Kombat.
Fans of the games and the 90s movies viewed the movie for two things, lore and violence. They get lots of the latter and a decent amount of the former. The fight choreography pays a homage to button mashing in the 90s arcade and incorporates the brutality of the modern games, although probably not quite as violent. Don’t worry me droogies, there is still ultraviolence galore.
The plot moves at break neck pace, which is probably for the best, but at the same time feels like a horribly rushed setup for a franchise. The prologue in feudal Japan was excellent, and almost felt out of place with its tone and quality. Honestly, I’d rather just watch that scene stretched into a movie.
Tonally, this movie isn’t as self-aware as I’d like. It never really commits to 90’s camp or 2000’s grit and feels like it’s caught in a tug-of-war between the two. Cole Young as the center of the film is a bit of a head scratcher, as this new character has no character traits other than “guy with family”, and he doesn’t even get cool powers like everyone else.
Mortal Kombat is good fun for what it is. It’s not as fun as the first 90’s movie but it’s nowhere near as awful as the sequel.