Mortal Kombat is one of the most famous fighting games out there. The latest screen adaptation of the video game came this month with Simon McQuoid. Similar to its previous attempt, the movie failed to craft a coherent plot around the iconic video game characters. The game is heart-snatching, limp-hacking, and brutally body-splitting. However, this gore never got fully fulfilled on screen.
If you are able to withstand the techno music, the first ten minutes of director Simon McQuoid’s debut movie will feel most glorious with its rich cinematography by Germain McMicking- famous for his work in the ‘True Detective’ series. The setup introduces us to the characters Bi-Han (Joe Taslim) and Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada), who eventually becomes the mortal enemies Sub-Zero and Scorpion. All the characters-even Hanzo’s wife and children- received great attention and detail in this scene. Since it is supposed to serve as the backbone for the whole movie’s plot, it deserves that. The acting, emotions, and conflicts between the two key characters felt real and intense.
Unfortunately, the remaining movie fails desperately to live up to the hype created by the initial motives. One major overshadowing factor is that Hanzo’s son doesn’t feel the need for revenge for his father’s death. He is living happily with his family and his intentions are just to protect them from any threats. This devalues the whole initial scene of the movie. Other than the fact that they are being chased by other-world demons or ‘fighters’, characters like Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), and Kano (Josh Lawson) have no large motive to even participate in this whole exercise. They have no backstories, no motives, and nothing to accomplish. They are there because they are in the game.
Screenwriters Greg Russo and Dave Callaham penned a very thin outline of a story in a major Hollywood production and the output feels less good than a Power Rangers TV show from the 90’s. Let’s not forget to mention that Dave Callaham also worked in the movie, Wonder Woman 1984. That explains a lot!!
Mortal Kombat count have taken lessons from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It had the potential to be built into a whole new universe and fans would have really enjoyed it as well. Each character could have given their own origin story and later a solid team up for the final compact. However, the producers ignored the successful story-telling techniques and decided to fit too many characters into a single movie with nonsensical dialogue, techno music and some blood and guts- just because it’s R-rated.
Hollywood!! You’ve failed us once again!