Cinema’s are back open in the UK for the first time in 2021. It has been 7 long months since the last film I saw in the cinema. We’ve had plenty of releases on streaming services as well as plenty of Oscar nominations going through the pipe, some of which are now available to watch in cinemas along with films that got on demand releases like Mortal Kombat and Godzilla vs Kong.
But on to the reason you’re here. Mortal Kombat was released on HBO Max and cinemas in America in late April, but for us in the UK it was on Video on Demand just 2 weeks ago, so I was happy to wait for the return of cinemas this week and got to see it in IMAX, which is just incomparable to watching it at home, I don’t care what your set up is unless you somehow have an IMAX screen in your home.
Of course, Mortal Kombat is based on the hugely successful video game franchise. Hugely successful it may be but apart from the odd fight on there I haven’t played much more than a couple of hours. I’m only aware of Sub Zero, Scorpion, Raiden and Goro. I knew nothing of any of the lore or story from the games, so I was going in relatively blind, of course I know the music, “finish him, “fatality”, “get over here” the classic things that everyone knows. So now you know where I was at going into the film.
The film follows a completely new character to the Mortal Kombat universe, Cole Young after he is tracked down by fellow human fighters who are preparing to compete in Mortal Kombat but are being hunted down by fighters from Outerworld who just have to win one more Mortal Kombat in order to takeover the Earth realm.
Mortal Kombat is a fighting game, I was expecting a fighting movie and that’s exactly what I got, and is the best part of the movie, just like when you go to a Fast and Furious movie your wanting to watch a car movie. You want to go in and have fun. The style of fighting movies was really changed when audiences responded highly to The Raid 1 and 2 as well as the John Wick trilogy, and it’s safe to say this film would be barely watchable if it had the choppy cutting of the Jason Bourne era. I particularly enjoyed the Scorpion and Sub Zero fights in the film, they are clearly the characters that are the best fighters in this universe, it’s more fun watching characters at the top of the game rather than most of the movie which is following people who haven’t found their abilities.
The weakest part of the film is definitely anything that just isn’t fighting, the dialogue is pretty poor and the writing in general is poor. I find it comparable to the Saw franchise, where by the end they were coming up with traps before the story when, for a better movie you’d be doing the story first and making that good. I think some of the actors do a solid job particularly Josh Lawson (who plays Kano) and Ludi Lin who plays probably my favourite character in the film, Liu Kang. At times the film is very cheesy making plenty of homages to the games and famous lines from the series, which might land more for people that care more about the franchise.
Overall, Mortal Kombat was exactly what I was expecting the film to be, could it have been better? Yes, of course. But the fighting and action is good enough to have kept me entertained and I hope another one gets green lit during this difficult time, because I think there’s a better Mortal Kombat movie out there and could be achieved.
It was great to be back in the cinema and expect more reviews in the coming weeks as I try to catch up on everything that you can watch in the cinema, so be sure to like on Facebook and follow on Instagram @Floodersfilms to keep up to date.