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Mortal Kombat Movie (2021) – Review

We’ve watched the original 1995 ‘Mortal Kombat’ more times than we can possibly remember. The sequel to that movie, however, well, we don’t speak of the sequel ‘Mortal Kombat: Annihilation’. Moving on.

Now 2021 has brought with it a new Mortal Kombat movie. It is not a sequel in any way, it is its own movie that I would loosely class as a reboot of the original. The story follows the same path as the original in that Outworld has won 9 tournaments in a row and Earthrealm needs its greatest champions to prevent a tenth victory to save us all. That is about where the similarities end.

This Mortal Kombat is really more about Scorpion Vs. Sub-Zero, not to say this is a bad thing in any way, but we would be lying if we said that we didn’t feel a little disappointed that the tournament felt like more of a sub-plot, while the battle between Scorpion & Sub-Zero took center stage.

Audiences will get a glimpse into the origins of Hanzo Hasashi prior to becoming Scorpion and what lead to him becoming hell-bent (literally) on seeking vengeance against Bi-Han, who later takes on the moniker of Sub-Zero. Hiroyuki Sanada’s portrayal of Scorpion will really make audiences sympathise with him and feel his pain, while Joe Taslim does an amazing job looking incredibly menacing as the cold-hearted Sub-Zero. Their story will shock some of the younger MK fans who aren’t fully aware of the true nature of these two fighters.

The fight scenes are exciting, intense, brutal, and have all the glorious bone-crunching, blood-splattering violence which the game series is best known for. Some fatalities are even taken straight from the game and the movie does not even hold back on the graphic scenes, which will really please any MK fan.

The very diverse cast really shines throughout the film. The interactions with all the characters are really entertaining and allows the audience to see all the various and unique personalities. Cole Young is a washed-up cage fighter and feels way out of his league, after getting dragged into a tournament to decide the fate of Earthrealm. Sonya Blade may seem like the weakest link of the group, but quickly shows she isn’t someone to be taken lightly.

Jax is the biggest and strongest of Earth’s champions and along with Sonya, both bring their years of special forces experience. Liu Kang and Kung Lao are the two more traditional martial artists representing Earthrealm and have the calmest demeanours. And Kano just absolutely steals the show with his arrogant, abrasive, and smart-mouthed Aussie humour, which also really compliments his brutal brawling fighting style.

With the movie being filmed in Australia, it created opportunities for lesser-known Australian actors to add a major franchise to their resume including Jessica McNamee, Sisi Stringer, and Josh Lawson who play Sonya Blade, Mileena, and Kano respectively. African American star, Mehcad Brooks is the perfect fit for Jax.

Tadanobu Asano as Raiden and Ng Chin Han as Shang Tsung really make their presence felt throughout the whole movie, even if they don’t really participate in the fights all that much. Every single cast member really bring these iconic characters to life on the big screen. Unfortunately, there are fan favourite characters missing from the movie, especially Johnny Cage. But of course, they could very well be included in a possible sequel.

Lots of Easter Eggs can be seen throughout the movie that will really satisfy long-time Mortal Kombat fans. Other well-known and even lesser-known characters also make appearances, with a few of them not having been seen since the 2006 game “Mortal Kombat: Armageddon” get their chance to shine, especially a certain dual hook sword-wielding speedster, Kabal, and a fan-favourite four-armed half-dragon prince, Goro.

This movie has done what we thought was no longer possible, and that is to create ‘another’ exciting Mortal Kombat movie that not only pays homage to the Mortal Kombat history but also opens up the possibility for a successful line of MK movies.

The original 1995 movie ‘Mortal Kombat’ will always have a special place in the hearts of die-hard MK fans, with its action-packed martial arts scenes, diverse cast, staying close to the source material, and memorable soundtrack that’s still popular even to this day. But the 2021 film, ‘Mortal Kombat’ has all of that, but finally brings the gory Fatality goodness that the 1995 film didn’t have. 2021‘s ‘Mortal Kombat’ is the movie that true MK fans have been waiting for.

Somebody please, please give Josh Lawson a massive high five for me! “KANO WINS! YOU FUCKIN’ BEAUTY!”

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The Good

  • The incredibly diverse and multi-talented cast
  • Action packed and brutal martial arts scenes
  • Bringing classic MK characters to life
  • Lots of Easter Eggs for MK fans to spot
  • Kano just steals the bloody show

The Bad

  • Some changes from the source material
  • No Johnny Cage

Written by: MKAU Gaming


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