By ANGELA XU
Get over here!
On Apr. 16, the long-awaited screen adaptation of Mortal Kombat was released.
Based on the famous fighting game franchise, Mortal Kombat takes place in a fictional world where chosen fighters from different realms fight one another to the death to protect or conquer the world. These fighters can range from literal gods to normal human beings. The movie adaptation’s plot revolves around the story of a past-his-time MMA fighter Cole Young finding himself entangled with other chosen Mortal Kombat fighters training to try to defend themselves from a terrifying assassin called Sub-Zero.
As a beloved franchise, fans were ecstatic to witness the gorily epic fighting scenes Mortal Kombat is known for. However, while the CGI was up-to-expectations, the storyline and pacing got the short end of the production stick.
Admittedly at the start of the movie, the pacing was just right, with great introductions to our main heroes and villains that will come into play later on in the film. However, the plot continuously got worse as events felt extremely rushed and incomplete, especially with the villain’s incentive. For example, Shang Tsung, who is the ruler of the Outworld, wanted to take over the Earthrealm. But, one question remains, why? Unaddressed within the 2-hour run, viewers can only guess until the next film, which is still unconfirmed.
Furthermore, to the nightmare of every Mortal Kombat fan, the movie possessed a lack of logical fighting sense between characters. For example, after Cole Young failed to finish his training, he left to go see his family, leading the assassin right to them. With several warnings given to Cole to avoid interacting with close acquaintances in order to protect them, Cole avoiding all the warnings only leaves frustration within the audience towards this obvious plot device to get engage the two characters in combat.
Additionally, the film’s set and costume design were not up-to-par in terms of Mortal Kombat standards. While the costume design in the film was relatively decent, staying true to the source material, only a few stood out. When compared to the costumes in Mortal Kombat 11, the costumes from the movie appeared much more bland and basic, disengaging the audiences from the realistic world of Mortal Kombat.
Despite the poor execution, some believed that this movie was one of the best remakes of the video game franchise with dynamic action scenes and excellent CGI. While the effects might be within expectations, the infinite plot holes of the storyline ruined these positive aspects for the movie for a certain demographic: long-time fans of Mortal Kombat.
To start, many were confused as to why the writers decided to introduce Cole Young, who is a completely new character to the video game series, as opposed to Johnny Cage, a well-loved character in the series. With a new character, the movie had to rush through introductions of already established fighters in the game series. For instance, one of the original characters, Kano, only appeared briefly, which may have easily left some audience members who do not know much of Mortal Kombat rather confused. In addition, in the introduction of the movie, audience members are faced with Sub-Zero later on in the film, yet just within several minutes, the audience members are introduced to Outworld. Since it is more than likely many audience members may not be fans of the original video game franchise this quick transition will be very confusing for them.
Overall, the movie had a lot of potentials for Mortal Kombat to expand into a beloved film franchise. However, due to the lack of impact within the story, original fans lost out on a “Mortal Kombat” Universe.