Short on time? Here’s the gist: Mortal combat (2021), currently available on HBO Max and in theaters, is a satisfying adaptation that disregards large elements of the source material but captures its spirit very well. The big action sequences are the climax, with a plot that exists to justify them. However, some characters don’t spend as much time in the spotlight as they deserve, and the music does nothing to intensify the action.
Mortal combat (2021) is out of nowhere on my radar. I enjoyed the recent entries in the Mortal combat franchise for their gameplay and robust story modes for the genre, but it’s definitely not my main fighting game franchise to follow. As such, I was aware that there had been discussions about film projects. But there have been talks practically since 1997 Mortal Kombat Annihilation, and how many other video game movies have been âin the worksâ for years and nothing actually materializes? So I was surprised when the trailer dropped in February, promising a return to the franchise’s roots, focused on martial arts. Even more surprisingly, the trailer had me cautiously optimistic. Historically, most video game movies were garbage, but it looked good! So, did the end product hold up?
Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Bi-Han (Joe Taslim) in battle
It definitely exceeded my expectations. The movie largely ignores specific video game events and storylines, but could be better for it. For example, a historical setting of the rivalry between Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) and Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada) really allows the film to delve into the transformation of the classic palette swap duo into the very different and distinct characters that they became. This is just one of the big changes in most fighters’ backgrounds, but it all works out pretty well and ends with existing kombatants developing fighting styles recognizable to fans of the games.
Cole Young (Lewis Tan) in an underground MMA fight.
The new protagonist (Lewis Tan) was a surprisingly decent addition to the mythology, tied directly to the differences between the film and game storylines, rather than the bolted addition expected by many fans. Kano (Josh Lawson) and Jax (Mehcad Brooks) are similar to their gaming personalities, and both perform well with quality action. Liu Kang (Ludi Lin) and Kung Lao (Max Huang) are presented with similar personalities to their game incarnations, but very different storyline roles. It was an interesting change from 1995 Mortal combat, who used Robin Shou’s Liu Kang as the main protagonist. Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) doesn’t really deserve her in the action sequences, but she’s played well with an interesting screenplay role. Aside from some issues with Sonya not getting the proper screen time or respect that she should, this is also very true for Raiden (Tadanobu Asano), Shang Tsung (Chin Han) or one of the minions. of the last. I’m hesitant to say it could have been done with fewer characters, so everyone featured could have a decent level of spotlight, and that doesn’t solve Sonya’s issues, but that’s kind of the feeling. which remains to me.
Liu Kang (Ludi Lin) and Kung Lao (Max Huang) ready for battle.
The plot isn’t really anything special, but for a game the adaptation is interesting in that it doesn’t follow the typical Mortal combat formula of a tournament between Earth and Outworld, avoiding comparisons with previous MK movies and games by taking place before the titular tournament. Still, just like the tournament, the story exists as an excuse to feature fight sequences and does a great job of that and bringing the characters to interesting fighting locations.
The music, unfortunately, is a disappointment. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but the 1995 soundtrack Mortal combat was a great fit. Mortal combat The 2021 soundtrack makes a few callbacks to this classic but is mostly fairly soulless “epic movie” generic music.
Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada) holding a sword and throwing its iconic spiked chain
Overall, however, the movie is quite fun and definitely better than I expected. It sure won’t change your life or anything, but as a good, violent martial arts test it delivers. The useful plot and characterization frames some excellent fight sequences, especially the first and last of them. If there is a sequel, I hope it will continue on the same quality streak. I would love to see the tournament with this level of quality action.
This press release was prepared by Fountaindale Public Library District. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.