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IN SHORT - MORTAL KOMBAT

Updated: May 20


SYNOPSIS - Hunted by the fearsome warrior Sub-Zero, MMA fighter Cole Young finds sanctuary at the temple of Lord Raiden. Training with experienced fighters Liu Kang, Kung Lao and the rogue mercenary Kano, Cole prepares to stand with Earth's greatest champions to take on the enemies from Outworld in a high-stakes battle for the universe.


Release date: 17 May 2021 (United Kingdom)


Director: Simon McQuoid



Mortal Kombat has done well to expand its lineage. Spawning two feature films, an animated series, a brilliant series in Mortal Kombat - Conquest and a multitude of video games for which its brand is most notable.

Paul W Anderson's 1995 movie (which in some circles is considered a cult classic) isn't a great film but is nowhere as campy as has been suggested. Mortal Kombat - Annihilation on the other hand is a diabolical piece of cinema and deserves to be erased from annals of film.

As 'memorable' as the original Mortal Kombat was, this new reboot does nothing to excite fans of the series for future instalments. I'd hoped this would breathe new life into the series but it does everything but that.

Mortal Kombat hits the ground running and opens well with a great fight between rivals Sub Zero (Joe Taslim) and Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada), but after that fails to live up to the promise it's record-breaking trailer delivered.

Josh Lawson is a standout and brings an enormous amount of humour to fan favourite Kano. By a country mile, he's the best thing about this movie and steals every scene he's in.

Lacking any cinematic quality is just one of many flaws. It's shoddy editing, uninspired fight choreography and average performances create most of the problems this film has.

Its pacing is also a problem as it meanders for the sake of character development which is minimal at best. Apart from the lead Cole (Lewis Tan), there's no introduction to who some of these characters are. Some expository storytelling would've been welcomed, as fan favourites Liu Kang and Kung Lao have substantial screen time, but we're given the bare minimum to explain their involvement in this whole malarkey.

You then have a visual effects problem which exposes the budget for what is. Yes, there are some impressive scenes such as Sub Zero's ice rampage, but CGI Goro is a post-2000's abomination to cinema.

It delivers on the gore which we all know Mortal Kombat is synonymous with, but little else is offered. Its script is one-dimensional, exposing you to the most atrocious dialogue and the whole experience plays out like a bad horror film.

This latest offering in the franchise I'm sure will provide a level of fan service for Mortal Kombat purists, but they'll be a small contingent who will not be pleased with the overall outcome.

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