The first Mortal Kombat movie that we all know and love debuted back in 1995; I still remember my mom taking me, my sister, my friend next door and his little brother. This is the first time I remember seeing a movie who’s origins came from a video game and it was actually good; stuck to its gaming roots, had great visuals (for its time), and actually got my mom to buy me the VHS tape of it! Unfortunately the follow-up movie, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, wasn’t nearly as great.
While we heard a new Mortal Kombat movie was in the works and the casting had been done, it is surprising to actually see a trailer, let alone the movie itself releasing in two months! I am always wary about movie adaptations of video games, but I will always have faith that it can work for MK considering they are one of the only franchises to at least do it properly before.
First off, we are greeted to a change in the Mortal Kombat lore with Jax’s arms being ripped off by Sub-Zero and a new character named “Cole”, who seems to be the protagonist. While this could initially offput many people who are fans of the video games and want something more akin to the storytelling we got in Mortal Kombat 9 – Mortal Kombat 11, we have to remember something. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is not a direct reflection of the comics and many things have been adapted verbatim, implied, skewed, or omitted and it turned out to be great.
I am not a fan of the “birthmark” of the iconic MK logo as a symbol of being chosen, nor am I a fan of signs left all over the world by cultures who seem to know what “Mortal Kombat” is. Something as elaborate as that doesn’t work for me and makes it seem cheesy, especially considering the serious atmosphere that this movie seems to be going for. I am however, glad that the tone seems to overall be serious, but thankfully it seems we have Kano there for some much needed comedic relief (where as I believe this should’ve fallen to Johnny Cage had he been in the movie trailer).
The combat that we’ve seen seems to be good, but it looks incredibly slow. Like they do something and pause for a minute or have a slow-motion moment before proceeding. Good examples of this are the blood dagger Sub-Zero makes when fighting Scorpion, when Liu Kang is summoning his Fire Dragon (which I assume is a fatality), and even when Goro jumps. I hope we get some fast-paced action that is similar to when Liu Kang fought Reptile during the first Mortal Kombat movie; though that also brings up another concern.
Reptile. I am hoping that what we saw at 2:23, Kano ripping out the heart of his opponent, is not “Reptile”. My favorite fight from the original MK movie featured him, so I am hoping we get justice done. NetherRealm Studios has slowly changed characters away from the “Palette Swapping” ninja syndrome and Reptile is more reptilian in his appearance, so that may very well be him.
The armor for Scorpion and Sub-Zero seems way too big; I am used to their outfits being more form-fitting. The Samurai-esque getup of Scorpion seems out-of-place considering he’s a ninja and Sub-Zero’s mask looks entirely too big for his face.
The last thing I am disappointed about with the movie is Scorpion’s iconic line of “GET OVER HERE!”. No matter who the voice actor is in the Mortal Kombat games, these are always delivered by Ed Boone, one of the creators of the video game series. Not hearing him say it already prompts concern, but hearing it delivered in such a pitiful way while simultaneously supposed to serve as the “hypest” moment of the trailer rubs me the wrong way. If nothing else they need to go back and correct this to get the “feel” of Mortal Kombat we all know and love.
Overall, this trailer doesn’t really do this movie many favors but many of us are going to watch it anyway because it’s Mortal Kombat. We want to support gaming creators when they take big gambles like this and who knows, we may end up with another gem like the first movie. Trailers do not tell all, and it’s obvious that they kept quite a lot from us so we are surprised; what role does Shang Tsung play in the movie? Is Shao Kahn going to be the final boss here? Who’s going to go up against Goro? What role does Cole play and how does he fit into the universe? Too many things that cannot be answered until we either get a new trailer or the full movie comes out. I’ll be reviewing them either way, so stay on the lookout!NOTE — If you’re interested in what the director of the Mortal Kombat movie thinks of the trailer and his thought process on what inspired him to make the movie it is, you can watch that HERE