Mortal Kombat: A Real Fan’s Honest Review
It's been over 25 years since we got our first taste of a Mortal Kombat live action movie. For a film based on a video game, the original 1995 film wasn't bad at all, at least by the time's special effects standards. There were a few over the top moments and some "campy", almost cheesy acting moments, but all in all, it was a decent movie. If you were a fan of the game, more than likely you enjoyed the film.
Pretty much all the same things can be said for the brand new 2021 R-rated version, but the fact alone that this version is rated for a more mature audience gives it a slight edge. It's very difficult to do a film where the characters are brutality dispatched of without giving it a R-rating.
Another plus for the new film is it did a much better job at casting the characters races more accurately. While I think Christopher Lambert did a pretty awesome job at playing the thunder god, Lord Raiden, in the original film, to be frank, he's not Asian and the character is. The casting is pretty much all around better this time around. Big props to the actor who played Kano. He basically stole the show.
The fight scenes are pretty awesome as well. As somewhat of a martial arts film savant, I did still notice some near misses (which can be expected; the actors aren't really supposed to hit each other), but I do enjoy them more when they keep the illusion intact.
For the sake or argument, yes, there still some cheesy/bad acting moments, but it's a film based on a video game. You can't expect Shakespearian performances. I watched it once at the theater on opening day and then again a few days later on HBO Max. I will say, the kid in me, while still super excited, went in the first time with blinders on, which is to say I half expected to be disappointed. Although I still enjoyed it, the second time around, it was better. Maybe because I already got the preconceived notions out of my system, but it was definitely better the second time around and keep in mind I still enjoyed it the first time.
They definitely set it up for a sequel. While I missed seeing Johnny Cage, I think adding an all new character, while leaving a few of the ones we've grown to know and love, out of the this film, was probably a good thing. Trying to shove too much into one film was the main problem with the original Justice League (Whedon version). We got just enough of to makes us hungry for more. I think they killed off a few characters too easily, but Shang Tsung definitely hinted at their otherworldly return.
I give the new film a 7.5 out of 10. That's a definite must see, but know it's a for fun watch. it's nothing that was meant to be too thought-provoking, and that's totally okay. Sometimes we just need to be entertained.
Check out the the two trailers and compare. Which Mortal Kombat film do you think was better?