‘Mortal Kombat’ Offers Blood, Guts, and Not Much Else

Ulises Duenas


Usually, movies based on video games are either bad or they end up getting canceled. There has been a slew of awful game movies, and even the Mortal Kombat movies from the 1990s are remembered as lackluster films.

The new Mortal Kombat movie, directed by Simon McQuoid, isn’t great, but it’s a step above the average game movie. 

The main character of this bloody romp is Cole Young, a brand new character created just for this film. Cole is an MMA fighter past his prime who finds out he’s been chosen to participate in the Mortal Kombat tournament to decide the fate of Earth.



It’s a loose adaptation of the first game, and while the story shouldn’t be important in a Mortal Kombat movie, I still wish the writing and characters were better. Cole is a generic everyman who is there to be the fish-out-of-water that the viewers can relate to in case they’re not familiar with the games. Character designs for more iconic names like Jax, Scorpion, Mileena, and Shang Tsung are a mixed bag. Some are great and others more like something you’d see on a convention floor instead of a big-budget movie. 

The silver lining is that if you’re a Mortal Kombat fan and you want blood and gore, that’s exactly what you get. While the fight choreography is subpar, the amount of violence in the movie is through the roof. While it is gratuitous and sometimes comical, it was still fun to see and it wouldn’t have been a bona fide Mortal Kombat movie without it.



It’s clear that the writer and director had a passion for the games and knowledge of their history. While the storyline is different, there are loads of subtle and overt references to the games. Characters use the special moves from the games that fans would expect. They do a good job of adding spectacle to the fight scenes and keeping the movie from getting boring.

The weirdest thing about the film is that the Mortal Kombat games have already had a large focus on its story since the series reboot in 2011. Fans of the games can just play through the story mode if they want a cinematic take on the franchise, and the storyline of this new movie isn’t good enough to appeal to people who have never played the games. It puts this film in an awkward space, where it’s hard to see who it’s supposed to appeal to the most, and it makes the movie hard to recommend.


Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.


For Highbrow Magazine

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