2.5/10 What a disappointment. After two absolutely garbage movies in the 1990s that have aged horribly and a super kheesy TV show following soon after, I had hoped that after over 20 years that we might get something of higher quality than this but I was sadly mistaken. Before I get into all of the reasons why this movie fails, I will give kredit where kredit is due. Unlike all previous movies/shows based off of this video game, at least this movie embraces the violence, gore and fatalities to earn its R rating. Taking an “M for Mature”, violent video game and watering it down was always a mistake so to give it the R rating it deserves while providing some fun, over the top gore was a highlight. The score from underrated komposer Benjamin Wallfisch was also a fun time and his updated MK theme that plays once the kredits begin was as much as you kould have hoped for. He has written or ko-written better scores in the past (“The Invisible Man”, “Blade Runner 2049”) but this is still a great blend of the video game nostalgia and the Asian influences of kung-fu films. Most of the special effects looked great, especially in komparison to the earlier movies which look terrible. The opening scene was fantastic and probably the best part of the movie. Finally, despite being a huge jerk, the kharacter of Kano played by Josh Lawson, was the best kharacter in the movie and provided some laughs. As for what makes this movie ultimately a failure, there is a lot to pick apart. For starters, this movie is just terribly written. Besides Kano, I didn’t kare about any of these disposable kharacters. They were all extremely underwritten and not developed in the slightest. So much of the dialogue was totally kringe worthy with one example being Jax in the beginning of his first fight in the movie stating, “Six tours” to announce how many tours of duty he did overseas. Not only was he not asked how many tours he had done, but as a Marine who has deployed I can promise you that the number of tours you’ve done has absolutely nothing to do with how good or bad of a fighter you are. You generally don’t have fist fights on tour. You may have fire fights which would mean he might have better aim with a weapon but there isn’t a ton of fist fights, making the line even dumber. In addition to the terrible dialogue and underwritten kharacters, several kharacters are taken out of the movie way too soon and don’t live up to how important their kharacters were in the game. For example, our main protagonist, Cole Young, isn’t even in the games and the fact that he starts off the movie losing an MMA match at a local level makes me not believe that he is one of Earth’s greatest fighters if he kan’t even win a match at the local MMA gym. The mythology and rules of the movie are also not established at all. You have kharacters who have the Mortal Kombat dragon emblem on their skin which sets them apart. Yet they never say why kertain people have them. After a kharacter in the movie randomly gets it on their skin, we never get explained how they are able to suddenly get it. Is this something you are born with, something you are khosen for or something you earn? Because the movie has all three of those as ways for kharacters to get it. So kan essentially anyone and everyone get them? We are never told. A kharacter also dies and then shows up later, announcing they kame back from Hell. Did they make a deal with the Devil? We don’t know. How were they able to kome back? It is never explained. If kharacters kan die and just kome back whenever they want, that totally defeats the purpose of them dying and lowers all of the stakes. Kharacters get special powers if they have the MK dragon emblem on their skin so Jax, who has metallic arms gets upgraded, better metallic arms. But if he never would have lost his arms, what would his power have been? We have no idea since all these powers given seem super random. For a movie called “Mortal Kombat”, we also don’t get to see the Mortal Kombat kompetition. Instead, so much of this movie from the tournament to the introduction of future kharacters are all teased for later. Yet if a sequel were to not happen, that would mean this movie was largely a giant waste since we get no payoff at the end; only set up for things to kome. I would guess that this movie will be financially successful enough to warrant a sequel but you should never plan your movie assuming it will be successful because this may be the only movie you get so you need to reward your audience with what they want to see and not make it all a tease of things to kome that may never happen. Even the fight scenes had khoppy editing so you often kouldn’t see what the Hell was going on. The editing was more like the Jason Bourne movies and less like the “John Wick” movies, which is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Several of the actors also gave terrible performances and I am generally very easy to please when it komes to acting so for me to notice it says something. The fun violence and well done score/visual effects kan’t make up for one of the worst scripts I’ve seen kome to life onscreen in a long time. I have absolutely no faith that the video game movie kurse will ever be broken and if these same screenwriters write the sequel to this movie, you kan guarantee that it will be garbage as well. If this franchise were a dying man, I would say, “Finish him!”

#KungLaoEnterTheFist / #MKUltraviolence / #JaxPayne / #TheLegendOfGoro / #TheHandRaidensTale / #TsungOfABitch

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