Faithful readers on this site know I am not a video gamer in any way. It’s not that I’m against them but I have a lazy eye (strabismus) making anything with hand eye coordination very difficult. My brother Sam loves video games but I never got into them outside of maybe tetris!
This makes reviewing movies like the new Mortal Kombat a little difficult. I know nothing about the game and when I say nothing I mean nothing.
The only thing I know about the franchise is from watching the 2 previous films with my friend Patrick this month for 2 reviews.
What I can say is this new film is definitely better than Mortal Kombat Annihilation but that’s not saying much. Is it better than the first one? That’s a tough question. Paul W.S. Anderson is a pretty bad director, but he had more fun with his version than this new version.
Lately it seems like the answer to modernizing franchises is to make them dark and gritty. This can be done well but often you lose the humanity and the stories become drab and dull in their self-seriousness.
In this new Mortal Kombat the action has energy and is well done but is that enough for a movie? Are we supposed to ignore characters, story, dialogue, acting because the action is good? Maybe some can but I struggled. I particularly disliked the character Kano played by Josh Lawson. He is an incredibly annoying character that shouts and swears a lot and I couldn’t stand.
The rest of the cast is not the strongest acting. They were obviously selected for their action prowess, which is effective. The script is clearly full of nods to the game but I wish they had crafted a better story around that action. I’m not expecting Shakespeare. I enjoyed the recent Tomb Raider which had the exciting action with a serviceable plot if you ask me.
If you only care about action than you will probably enjoy Mortal Kombat, but I want more. Maybe watch it on HBO Max? But if you want gritty over-the-top action I would watch last year’s Extraction instead. That was a lot better done and more entertaining.
The action is also extremely bloody and R Rated so take that into consideration when you decide if it is right for you.
5 out of 10