Mortal Kombat was visually appealing, but not the best story

Lasirra Hines , Entertainment Editor

It’s time to choose your character. You have a wide selection, ranging from the Outworld warrior Sub-Zero to Hollywood action movie star and martial artist Johnny Cage. It’s a battle to the death, best two out of three rounds. If you tie, it’s sudden death. 

This is the infamous fighting game known as “Mortal Kombat,” created by NetherRealm Studios. 

Mortal Kombat is an ancient tournament which takes place on a distant island, in which the Outworld’s best warriors fight against Earth’s best warriors. There are also six different realms within the universe, including the Outworld, Earthrealm, Orderrealm (known as Seido by its inhabitants), Chaosrealm, The Heavens, the realm of gods and Dreamrealm, an ethereal plane of existence.

There have been 11 different Mortal Kombat games, the most recent being “Mortal Kombat 11” released in 2019.

There have also been movie adaptations of the game, including the first movie “Mortal Kombat” released in 1995,  “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” released in 1997, and the newest movie “Mortal Kombat” released April 16 of this year. There was supposed to be a third movie released after Annihilation, but ended up being cancelled and thus not produced.

I absolutely love the video games, and have been playing them for years. It’s always interesting to see video games turned into movies, and since there were already two other movies, I wondered how this one would turn out. Would it be just another remake? Would we follow a different storyline? Which characters are going to be featured?

I can’t say it is the best adaptation, but it most certainly isn’t the worst. Many argue that “Annihilation” is the cheesiest and overall the worst. I had read a couple reviews, and they weren’t all that great, so I was nervous of what could’ve possibly been done. The previews focused heavily on Scorpion and Sub-Zero, arguably two of the most well known characters of the series. I wasn’t too excited about that, even though I naturally choose to play as Sub-Zero, I didn’t want to watch a film so heavily focused on either of them. The games aren’t focused on just those two, and I didn’t want the movie to do the same.

It shockingly didn’t actually focus too heavily on the two characters. It focused on Scorpion’s lineage and the next Mortal Kombat tournament, Sub-Zero obviously being a main antagonist, and had characters such as Sonya Blade, Jax Briggs, Kano, Liu Kang, Mileena, and we even got Goro, the four-armed warrior and considered one of the most powerful characters in the Mortal Kombat games. Of course there was Raiden and Shang Tsung, which were naturally enemies. Each of these characters clearly took more of a resemblance to the video games, and were insanely accurate, even the final moves were on point.

This movie definitely reflected a video game more than a film, and I did appreciate that. It felt like I was inside of the game, watching these characters fight to the death. The special effects were outstanding, including Liu Kang’s fire dragon he creates when battling Kabal. The gore was incredible and intense. I watched a girl get split in half by Kung Lao’s saucer hat, I watched Jax basically clap Reiko’s head into oblivion, blood and brains going everywhere and even watched Sonya Blade stab a garden gnome into Kano’s head. It was by far the goriest film I have seen and heavily resembled how violent and bloody the video games are. It is extremely hard not to compare the video game and the movie, but I’ve grown up with those games, so it’s only natural for me to do so.

From a story perspective, I wasn’t all that intrigued, and it didn’t really follow the original concept anyway. First, Shang Tsung was trying to kill off all of Earth’s champions to end the Mortal Kombat, which makes no sense as the entire point of Mortal Kombat is to compete in the tournament, so why get rid of it? 

There was also the whole “being born with the dragon marking” concept that didn’t make any sense, considering first it wasn’t passed down anyway, but also originally the competitors didn’t get special marks but rather received items such as coins or medallions, even scrolls such as the one Johnny Cage received. 

It wasn’t super exciting from a plot perspective, but how can it when it’s based off of a player versus player game?

It is worth watching if you like blood and gore, crazy effects, intense fight scenes, and of course video games. I certainly enjoyed all of the battle scenes, the final moves, the special moves, which I know we all tried our best to learn when playing the game, and the overall look of the film. It’s not worth watching if you expect a good story, because it wasn’t one.