Movie review: Mortal Kombat (2021)
What's up, you bunch of gutter whores? It's me, the crusty, moldy, dried out corpse that was once known as DeadSpace! I'm back from the half dead to talk about a movie I just watched a little over a day ago, called Mortal Kombat. I think pretty much everyone can agree that video game movies have had a pretty steady track record of being absolute fucking dogshit for the most part. There have been outliers here and there, in my opinion. Like the first Silent Hill movie, the first Resident Evil movie before it became brain dead shlock, and even something like Rampage which didn't take itself seriously and was just decent kaiju entertainment overall. But, when the trailer dropped for this movie, I figured it honestly stood the best chance at separating itself from being garbage and being actually entertaining and fun to watch.
And, I would say for the majority of the movie it actually is pretty entertaining and enjoyable.
There has been a very large divide amongst the audience reception wise. It seems like 50 percent of people are saying it's straight up ass, and then 50 percent of people are saying that it's a good movie. But, we all know you come here for me to spread my cheeks and show you the absolute truth when it comes to reviewing movies and games. And, I'll be up front. The Mortal Kombat movie is good, it's not great, it's not absolutely fucking terrible, it is just pretty good. I think you just need to narrow down your expectations going in, and realize it's a fucking Mortal Kombat movie. I didn't sit down to watch it thinking I was going to get a mesmerizing narrative, with deep down to earth characters and groundbreaking dialogue. There's so much shit to try and establish within just this one movie, so you can't expect that.
What this movie does try to do, is be true to the games which are over the top, gory and filled with fatalities. And, the movie does deliver on all of that, mostly. The best parts and characters of the movie are Kano, Sub Zero and Scorpion. Sadly, Sub Zero and Scorpion don't get nearly enough screen time. But, our boy Kano is here to save the day as he does get a fair amount and probably has the best dialogue out of anyone in the movie. I would say he steals every scene that he's in, and they did some justice for the character and he matches up perfectly with how he is in the video games. The rest of the characters in the movie aren't really bad or anything, but a lot of them just kind of fall a bit flat.
Well, one character in the movie is actually pretty fucking bad, and sadly, it's the main character of the movie. Cole Young is a literal wet paper bag in terms of personality, the character is the most bland, generic character I've seen in a movie in a long time. As for as forgettable action hero characters go, he's pretty far up there. It sucks, because he doesn't have a video game counterpart and they could have taken him any way they wanted to, but, they didn't even manage to make him even slightly interesting to watch. His motivation is straight out of the Fast and Furious baby, it's all about FAMILYYY. I dunno why they chose to follow him throughout the movie, but, it just was a weird choice and didn't work. Especially after the intro, where the first 12-15 minutes is amazing with sub-zero fighting scorpion. Then we cut to good old Cole getting his vanilla ass blasted and the hype dies down immediately.
This isn't the fault of the actor or anything, by the way. It's just how the character is written, he has absolutely not depth to him. They should have went with any character from the game, as they all have their own unique lore and character traits which are interesting, where Cole has neither of those things. Just a bad fucking call, in my opinion. But, lets move on, because that was by far the biggest issue with the movie. The movie is a lot of bloody, brutal action with tons of cheesy lines that could certainly be straight out of the games. They do that kind of shit in the right way though, where you can tell the film is self aware about itself. You can't help but have a little grin on your face when that goofy stuff happens. Because that silly, brutal shit is the entire reason why you're there watching the movie. So, when it comes time to hear a man utter the words "Flawless Victory", you're damn well rubbing your little micro-dick in celebration.
I have seen some people on Reddit bitching about there not being enough fights, which I don't really understand. Because, I feel like those people literally must have been hit in the eyes with rocks before sitting down to watch the film. There is a shit ton of fights in the movie, it's just that all the short little clashes typically feel like there's no purpose to them. They all just kind of lack weight outside of the more epic battle scenes, which gives them a less serious feeling. And, you can tell when you're about to see one of these fights, because the cinematography gets really lackluster. They tend to go the route of shaky cam combined with quick cuts, which fucking sucks. Thankfully, they don't do that for the important fights that happen in the movie. But, yeah, can't agree that there weren't plenty of fights in the movie. If people were saying the smaller fights reminded them of some shit from Big Bad Beetleborgs, then I could agree, however.
The only other thing that I thought was weird or off was towards the end of the movie. The narrative kind of does a speed run technique to get them to fight each other, and I thought this was going to be a bit more drawn out than it was. Because, man, they fucking steamroll through some iconic villains from the series like they're some goons from an 80's action flick. They build all of these characters up through the movie, seemingly setting up for a giant climatic battle and then someone basically will throw a sucker punch and then that villain is suddenly dead. I just thought that was kinda strange and I didn't vibe with it entirely. The very last fight makes up for a lot of that though and is solid, at least. Not the biggest deal in the world because you get a lot of battle scenes with these characters beforehand, but, yeah. Just a little lame in my opinion.
Overall, everything else in the movie is pretty serviceable though. The narrative gets you from start to finish, the characters themselves are all pretty likeable, minus Cole of course, and the CGI used is pretty standard as well. Nothing insanely cool like in Godzilla vs. Kong, but, definitely not the most god awful CGI work I've ever seen by any means. While some of the fights are kinda meh, there's enough entertaining ones in the movie to keep you interested and enjoying yourself. I would definitely recommend any fans of the video games to give the movie a try, as I for sure didn't feel like I wasted my time. When the movie is at its best, there is tons of blood soaked fun to be viewed and I personally had a good time with it. So, go check it out you fucking losers and give me money as a thank you.
Until next time, cuhhh.