Mortal Kombat is one of the longest and most important sagas in the history of video games today and, beyond the fact that its argument was never the main component of its titles, from Midway and NetherRealm they always managed to maintain a certain coherence and argumentative thread for connect its various chapters.
Yes, we know that the series has not become world famous for the betrayals of Quan Chi or the tricks of Shao Kahn , but without a doubt this plot accompanied the most important of all in a fairly decent way: The fighting , the violence and the action. .
Against this background, Warner Bros. embarked on giving Mortal Kombat a cinematic reboot . A restart that the saga needed on the big screen , since all the related projects had been small before the greatness of its video game counterpart.
With a new protagonist on the rise, trailers with spectacular battles and impressive graphics , the film managed to raise a lot of expectations in the fans of the series, but… Did it manage to live up to the games? We will comment on it below (without major spoilers, we will only talk about what has been seen in the trailers and synopsis of the film).
Cole Young, the prophecy and a new story.
The film begins, in its first 7 minutes , in a promising way contextualizing the rivalry between the already well-known Lin Kuei and Shirai Ryu clans , with a spectacular combat that shows us all the action that awaits us and the first nods to the attacks that appear in the games of the saga.
Drawing on a prophecy as a base, we are introduced to the film’s protagonists, including Cole Young , this new exclusive character from this film arc.
The plot is built around a prophecy involving Cole Young, causing Shang Tsung and his henchmen, including Sub-Zero , to want to quickly end the life of the protagonist.
Predictable, the first sin of the Mortal Kombat (2021) plot.
Getting fully into the storytelling, the first big mistake Mortal Kombat makes is that, at a certain point, the plot becomes completely predictable and moves away from all the essence that we know of the saga, which makes many, many scenes look terrible forced thereafter.
Those responsible for the film wanted to give a more dramatic character to the film in the midst of so much violence, but the plan was not implemented in the best way. They ended up creating situations that we have already seen in thousands of movies, only with the MK packaging.
In addition, the development of the characters, both main and secondary, was not carried out in the best way, although Kano should be highlighted , one of the high points of the film and one of the reasons to see him.
However, some supporting characters are so poorly introduced that it feels like they were only included because they needed to put someone there, as they lack importance and personality , which they do have in games.
Now, if to all this we add a good amount of dialogues that border on the ridiculous , inconsistencies in the role of some fighters and disagreements in the personality of the characters with respect to video games; we have a cocktail that undermines the quality of the film and its ability to entertain the audience, especially the fans.
The fighting does do justice to the saga.
To say that the only really outstanding thing about this film are its fighting can probably be very harsh, but it is not too far from reality , at least from my perception.
The fighting brings together everything Mortal Kombat fans expected to see in this movie: Lots of blood , references, fidelity to techniques seen in games, and fatalities .
You can see the effort that went into giving various winks to fans of the saga in the fighting, including representative moments for the characters, recognized phrases and more content that fans will appreciate when they see the film.
So, was it or was it not up to expectations?
Despite the fact that we finally got to see the action and violence of Mortal Kombat fighting well represented on the big screen; the truth is that this reboot fails to catch up with this legendary NetherRealm series .
The film, beyond not corresponding to the saga in many respects, does not turn out to be engaging or entertaining beyond its combats ; because the development of the story and its characters is so forced and hasty that it fails to connect with the public, in addition to having a soundtrack that also leaves something to be desired .
From my perspective, the main plot is not bad at all, but perhaps it would have fit better in a longer project like a television series, since there is more time to develop the characters and present some situations earlier. Although it is not something that would border on the outstanding, it could have improved the way of telling the story a bit more.
If I had to give the film a grade , as a fan of the series, I couldn’t give it more than 5/10 ; Well, it is very much a duty with respect to the expectations it generated and only meets in the fighting and in its visual section. For the not-so-fans, the grade may go up to 6/10 , but not much more from there.
Thus, it seems that we will have to keep waiting to see a Mortal Kombat adaptation to the big screen that can please the general public, although everything indicates that if this film manages to raise good income, a sequel will be made.
If so, many things will have to change, but that is the subject of another day.