Today, Mortal Kombat stomped into theaters (and HBO Max), and I thought it would be a good time to revisit our new series, “Should I Watch it?” Basically, we take a brand new movie, watch it, let it digest, and try to answer a very simple question, should you watch it? We tell you why you should, why you shouldn’t, and then why we did. With that in mind…
Should I Watch It? (Mortal Kombat, 2021)
If you’re watching a rated R Mortal Kombat movie, you’ve obviously got a strong stomach. You’re coming to watch a movie with some colorful characters, flashy fight choreography, and gratuitously grotesque violence. Congrats, you get that. For the “who cares, it’s a Mortal Kombat movie” crowd, go ahead.
This movie gives me M. Night Shyamalan’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” energy, where someone has the general idea of what a thing is, and then they decide to make a movie about it. There’s an animated movie, also on HBO Max, called Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, which is way, way, way fucking better at doing exactly what this movie attempts to do.
The people who made this movie love the idea of Mortal Kombat, but don’t know the first god damn thing about the series. I know that the plot of Mortal Kombat is a silly, convoluted mess, but it’s still the plot of Mortal Kombat. Eragon was a dumb book, but changing the plot to make a terrible movie was still inexcusable.
This film does not understand the source material at all. Using character names and referencing an “Eddy Tobias” don’t make it a Mortal Kombat movie. Here are some personal beefs I have, as someone who loves the series. I have an entire list of things I absolutely hated about this movie, but the point of this article is to encourage or discourage you from watching it, and should you choose to make that mistake, you should get to watch it with fresh eyes.
Even if you’re not a Mortal Kombat fan, and you just want a dumb action movie with some gory violence, the dialogue is so laughably bad. This movie takes itself so god damn seriously, none of the characters have any chemistry, and the acting makes pro wrestling look like oscar-worthy.
I almost didn’t watch the movie because creator Ed Boon has yet to acknowledge it in any capacity, and now I see why.
Why I Did
Because I love Mortal Kombat. I’m a diehard fan of the series, and I wanted, desperately, for it to be watchable. I overlooked how bad the character designs were. I ignored the fact that Boon didn’t acknowledge it, I just wanted a good Mortal Kombat movie. Is it as bad as Annihilation? No, it’s worse. Because at least Annihilation was so bad, it was kinda funny. This movie is boring, takes itself too seriously, and should never have been made.
Ryan’s Grade: 3.2/10
“Good enough if you love the idea of Mortal Kombat without actually loving Mortal Kombat”
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