Simon McQuoid makes his directorial debut with “Mortal Kombat,” which has essentially been in production for a quarter of a century given that there was supposed to be a third film in the ’90s series that kicked off Paul WS Anderson, but fell into development hell after the failure of the terrible 1997 “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation”. McQuoid works from a script by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham that is clearly familiar with the source material, dropping favorites fans like Raiden and Liu Kang, but also digging a little deeper to bring characters like Mileena and a truly questionable CGI version of Goro to life.
An effective prologue opens the film in 17e century in Japan as Lin Kuei’s assassins led by Bi-Han (Joe Taslim) attack Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada) and his family, killing Hanzo’s wife and son along with his, shall we say, freeze power. The choreography for this first scene is surprisingly strong, mixing moves familiar to “MK” fans with an intense level of combat that you don’t really see in Hollywood anymore – think blades stuck on top of heads. Hanzo is killed by Bi-Han, but his spirit is taken to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, where he will become … well, fans of the games know that, but the movie keeps the secret long enough that I don’t. don’t waste it here.
The movie then jumps to reveal that Outworld has won nine out of ten tournaments in Mortal Kombat, which means another will mark the end of Earthrealm. Because villains never play fairly, Shang Tsung (Chin Han) decides to rig the final tournament in a way by preemptively killing Earthrealm’s champions, sending his fighters to send them one by one. MMA fighter named Cole Young (Lewis Tan), new to the MK Universe character, has always wondered what his dragon birthmark means and finds out he’s one of the aforementioned champions when Sub-Zero comes along. for him and his family. Jax (Mehcad Brooks) tries to warn him of his fate before having his arms frozen and ripped off by the classic video game villain. It might not be for those who are easily turned off by violence, but the truth is, “Mortal Kombat” really comes to life in these fight sequences and their deaths – finally putting on film what game fans love. for so long in a way that most people thought they would never really see. You wish there were more. After a strong first act of face-to-face MK combat, it becomes less focused, to the detriment of the film.