Mortal Combat (2021)

I was actually looking forward to the new Mortal Kombat movie. No reason. I had only a mild interest in the video game when I was younger and the other Mortal Kombat movie left a lot to be desired. There was just something about this one that intrigued me.

Now after seeing the film on HBO Max, I realized that I was fooling myself. This was terrible.

To be fair, if you are a fan of the video game, there may be more here than I think.

This version was rated R and it was extremely bloody and violent. It is some of that blood that seems to be there for no other reason than to be gory.

MMA fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tang) is a descendent to one of the greatest ninjas of all-time, Hanzo (Hiroyuki Sanada) who had been attacked and killed by Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) in an attempt to remove the bloodline. Now, Cole is trying to gather the heroes of earth to battle against the forces of Outworld. Head of those forces, Shang Tsung (Chin Han), is trying to destroy earth’s forces before the great tournament that would put the world’s fate in balance.

This is so dumb. I will state off the bat that the movie has some good fight scenes, though I thought the blood was a distraction. The CGI was certainly better than the original movie, which had some of the worst CGI of the time. The acting was okay. I would not push it any farther than that.

The story was weak. The dialogue was terrible. We have very little connection to any of the characters outside of the fact that they had a resemblance to the characters we know from the game. The third act featured one of the sloppiest deus ex machinas that I have seen in quite awhile.

I expect that this is one of those movies, like the Fast and the Furious franchise, that everyone says you have to understand what kind of movie it is and that you should not come into Mortal Kombat expecting much. I’ve never truly understood that thinking. Either a movie is good or it is not. It is subjective so you really shouldn’t need to clarify why you like a movie when it is a piece of garbage. The new Mortal Kombat movie is garbage, but there are plenty of people who will defend it as “fun” and that this is one of those “types” of films. I wish I found much of anything in this fun so maybe I could stick my head in the sand and pretend that this is a good movie. It is not.

1.7 stars

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