Mortal Kombat (VOD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Director: Simon McQuoid
Distributor: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Duration: 110 minutes

Mortal Kombat (VOD) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Some of the gore sequences lean close to the source material, Has potential
Bad: Very superficial, Some character do not even get an introduction, Pacing
User Score
(4 votes)
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Rating: 2.3/10 (4 votes cast)

It’s hard to believe that the first Mortal Kombat movie already dates from 1995, the era where Stallone and Schwarzenegger still reigned supreme in the action movie scene. The first MK movie was loved by the fans, and because of this, it spawned a truckload of crappy sequels. The cinematic universe as a whole gained a certain cult following and it was still adored by many fans of the series, who could see past the many flaws of the low-budget productions. With the newer titles getting a lot of coverage, and the release of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, a well-received animated film, we were not fully surprised when the live-action remake/reboot was announced. Having seen snippets here and there, we were quite curious to see the whole film when it was finally available to us. Without further ado, here’s our humble opinion on the new MK film.

The movie starts off with a fairly impressive introduction of two rivaling people, one clearly being the character we know as Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) and the other being Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada). The latter clearly has some of Scorpion’s traits, judging by the weapon he uses. After the gruesome death of Hanzo, who also lost his family at the hands of Sub-Zero, there is still one living heir, making sure the Hasashi line lives on. Going an undefined number of years into the future, we get to see who that heir is, namely a washed-up MMA fighter by the name of Cole Young (Lewis Tan). His career basically still exists because he can take a lot of punches, making most fights still somewhat entertaining. When he soon gets targetted by Sub-Zero, because of his oddly shaped circular Dragon ‘birthmark’, he finds himself having to prepare for Mortal Kombat, a tournament that will decide the fate of Earth itself.

In terms of pacing and flow, this new rendition of Mortal Kombat feels a bit off at times. We get a nice introduction for the setting, but after that, things turn into one long and shallow fighting sequence. Half of the characters we see during the film don’t even get an introduction, and only if you have the captions for hard hearing on, you’ll actually see the names of some of them. That being said, the information given was often superficial, making things more confusing than they should be for a movie based on the Mortal Kombat games. Even at the movie’s conclusion, we weren’t sure what exactly happened in terms of the key part of the film: the tournament. Nonetheless, the overall fight scenes were fairly okayish, but we also don’t get the design choices in terms of gore. The movie starts off with a fair amount of blood shown, but just blood splatters and the usual things you might expect. Then, in the last quarter of the film, we suddenly see guts flying, heads being split in two, dismemberment, etc. While this perfectly suits the MK setting, it felt like it should have been spread out more, or included in the first bits more.

Acting performances left us with somewhat mixed feelings. In many cases, we feel that the cast does a proper job portraying the characters that are presented in this new Mortal Kombat flick, but they also do not offer more than superficial husks of characters that now already have years of background information to them. We reckon the director and the writers mainly wanted to focus on the flashy fighting scenes and the gore that comes out of them to mimic the fighting sequences of the different games. It’s clear that the writing also dictates the characters to be a bit ‘cheesy’ as they actually use lines from the game, such as ‘flawless victory’ to provide the necessary fan service. We didn’t mind the new cast of this film, but it’s in a way not extremely positive if you get the most attached to Josh Lawson, who plays the villainous Kano, as his character actually has the most depth. Lewis Tan, who plays Cole Young, the protagonist for this new MK universe, has little to no baggage, outside of a wife and kid, who just get dangled in front of the viewer to try and create a sense of urgency when in danger.

As we viewed the VOD version of Mortal Kombat we can only speculate on what extras are included with a physical copy. We would like to see some snippets about the effects in the movie, as well as commentaries about certain design and story choices. It could be quite cool to see the creative process that made this reboot come to life, and perhaps some extra insights about some of the characters would also be a treat.


Mortal Kombat is in many ways a great new start for an MK-based movie series, but it also drops the ball on multiple occasions when it comes to character introductions, overall plot design, and pacing. That being said, if you like the franchise, and you want a no-brainer for a slow evening, we can still recommend this title, even if it’s only to compare it to the 1995 original film. We didn’t mind the movie, but we could have lived our lives without this one being made. As the movie clearly hints at a sequel, we hope some of the faults in this one are rectified and that a few items are approached differently. Nonetheless, blood, guts, and fighting scenes might just entertain you for a bit.

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Rating: 2.3/10 (4 votes cast)
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Mortal Kombat (VOD) - Movie Review, 2.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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