Mortal Kombat: Games to Movie Fatalities Comparison

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IGN 23 April, 2021 - 05:55pm 32 views

Is Mortal Kombat on HBO Max?

HBO Max confirmed Mortal Kombat will be available to start streaming at 12:01 a.m. PT/3:01 a.m. ET Friday. Generally, most of the new Warner Bros. movies become available to stream on Max at that time on the day of their releases. CNETHBO Max: Mortal Kombat release time and everything else to know

What is the new Mortal Kombat movie about?

MMA fighter Cole Young seeks out Earth's greatest champions in order to stand against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. IMDbMortal Kombat (2021)

What can I watch Mortal Kombat on?

Mortal Kombat on HBO Max: How to Watch. IndieWireHow to Watch ‘Mortal Kombat’ on HBO Max

Read full article at IGN

Mortal Kombat 2021: The Kotaku Movie Review

Kotaku 23 April, 2021 - 09:00pm

First off, if you’re looking for a brutal spectacle, Mortal Kombat delivers. If you’re in this to see mostly familiar characters get hit so hard that your teeth rattle, you’re good. If you want to see modern fatalities, the gruesome gory ones, depicted in a somewhat passable facsimile of real life, that’s in there too.

Director Simon McQuoid did an excellent job making attractive people look like they are killing each other, and the attractive people are very good at being attractive. Many of them aren’t too shabby at acting either. Josh Lawson is a treat as cutthroat mercenary Kano, delivering some truly laugh-out-loud moments. Joe Taslim as Bi-Han / Sub-Zero and Hiroyuki Sanada as Hanzo Hasashi / Scorpion are so good in the opening moments they had me fooled into thinking the movie might be much better than I hoped.

Unfortunately for the entire Earthrealm crew—that is Cole, Kano, Liu Kang, Raiden, Jax, and Kung Lao—villainous Outworld boss Shang Tsung has come up with an evil plan. Instead of Outworld merely defeating Earthrealm in the Mortal Kombat tournament, as it’s done several times over the centuries, he decides to send out his minions to murder Earthrealm’s heroes beforehand.

That’s right. There is no tournament in this Mortal Kombat movie. Instead, Shang Tsung and pals Sub-Zero, Mileena, Nitara, Kabal, Reiko, and Goro attack Earth’s champions and their families directly. It took Shang Tsung hundreds of years to come up with this plan.

You can find out if this particular mix of good, bad, and stupid suits your own B-movie sensibilities tomorrow, when the new Mortal Kombat movie makes its theatrical and HBO Max debut.

Even for Mortal Kombat, that’s pretty stupid. Like, it’d be one thing if the killer had a magic spell which transferred the mark, but having it happen automatically?

‘Mortal Kombat’ Review: Bad Reboot Delivers Brutal Fatality to the Future of Video Game Movies

Yahoo Entertainment 23 April, 2021 - 09:00pm

@davidehrlich

It’s hard to imagine a more succinct illustration of how Hollywood’s relationship to “nerd shit” (for lack of a better umbrella term to describe comic book and video game-based intellectual property) has evolved over the last 25 years than a comparison between the opening scene of 1995’s “Mortal Kombat” and that of Warner Bros.’ inevitable new re-imagining of the gory arcade brawler.

The original starts with the sound of a man yelling “MORTAL KOMMBBATTTT!!!” at the top of his lungs as a glitchy rave-core anthem called “Techno Syndrome (Mortal Kombat)” freaks over a flaming credit sequence. From there, the title screen cools into a goofy prologue full of canted angles in which evil warlock Shang Tsung (played by human cut-scene Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) breaks some poor kid’s spine and then snarls “your brother’s soul is mine!” directly into the camera.

The whole thing lasts for about two minutes, it all feels like director Paul W.S. Anderson is just mashing the start button to speed through the dialogue, and it accurately tees up a Golan-Globus-worthy tournament movie that gets by on love of the game alone. Anderson’s “Mortal Kombat” is pretty chintzy even by the standards of nostalgia porn, but it still feels like a relic from a more innocent time before stuff like this became too big to fail — a time before the studios realized that “finishing” any of the characters they owned was bad for business, or that their ambitions could extend beyond Christopher Lambert in Raiden cos-play.

Helmed by veteran commercial director Simon McQuoid, the occasionally fun but deeply misguided 2021 “Mortal Kombat” opens on a house in a serene Japanese forest circa 1617. The lighting is idyllic, the set immaculate, and the actor playing feared swordsman turned family man Hanzo Hasashi is Hiroyuki Sanada, who’s brought a measure of steely grace to even the worst Japan-centric Hollywood movies since “The Last Samurai.” At a glance, this would be easy to mistake for an Ed Zwick period drama, and that historical sobriety doesn’t entirely disappear when the cold-blooded Bi-Han (Joe Taslim) shows up to slaughter Hanzo’s family with his CGI ice powers.

The extended duel that ensues — deceptively teasing a story about the origins of the blood feud between Scorpion and Sub-Zero — is indebted to classic martial-arts movies in a way that helps it stand out from the much less memorable fights to come, but it’s shadowed by a fresh sprig of grief and the lingering delusion of a franchise reboot that might take its deaths seriously. Don’t fall into that trap.

The sequence ends with Hanzo descending into Hell and Raiden (the great Tadanobu Asano, a bit lost behind some distracting stormcloud eyes) taking custody of the baby son that was hidden from Bi-Han. It serves the same narrative purpose as the opening prologue from Anderson’s version and does just as much to make fans of the game lower their guard, only now it’s 10 minutes long and so dense with pathos, portent, and unrealized potential that it feels like the start of a new cinematic universe. Something big enough to boost AT&T’s stock price (the ultimate goal of all movies). Something, it regrettably turns out, a bit too big for a two-dimensional story about people beating each other to death with their own limbs in a bracketed karate tournament to determine the fate of Earthrealm and everyone in it.

So begins a movie that’s “Mortal Kombat” in name more than anything else. A movie full of the characters fans know and love — and replete with winking references that only they will understand — but also one so busy straining to upconvert its ’90s soul for the modern blockbuster economy that it soon feels less like a bootleg “Avengers” that a crack team of modders have re-skinned to resemble a classic fighting game franchise. Remember how excited you were to find the secret character Smoke in “Mortal Kombat II” only to discover that he was just a palette-swapped version of Scorpion? Well, some movies really do have the power to make you feel like a kid again.

This one is fundamentally undone by a single mistake that’s just mind-boggling enough to make sense in an age when giving audiences what they want isn’t nearly as lucrative as convincing them that you will next time. Brace yourselves, “Mortal Kombat” fans, because this next sentence might send even the most reasonable adults into the kind of furious rage that’s typically only triggered by some n00b using Sub-Zero to slide-attack their way to a flawless victory: There is no Mortal Kombat tournament in this movie. In fact, the entire plot of Dave Callaham and Greg Russo’s script is about Shang Tsung’s efforts to prevent the tournament from taking place by killing everyone before it starts.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the games, imagine how exciting it would be to watch a “Fast and Furious” movie about someone trying to puncture Vin Diesel’s tires before he could start up his car.

There’s really no coming back from that, nor is there anything that McQuoid and his spirited cast of actors can do to compensate for the sinking realization that all of the training montages and side battles that eat up the middle hour of this movie aren’t building towards a meaningful climax. But let’s backtrack for a minute and focus on one thing this “Mortal Kombat” gets right. When the story picks up in the present day, it does so by introducing us to cage fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan, channeling a likeable kind of DTV charisma), a brand-new character who’s been invented as a lightning rod for Raiden and all of the franchise mythology that he brings with him.

Cole has a dragon birthmark — the game’s logo — that marks those destined to fight in Mortal Kombat, and that means Shang Tsung’s coldest henchman Sub-Zero is trying to kill him before the tournament starts. Lucky for Cole, some of the other chosen few have figured this out already, and are able to intervene in time. Chief among them is retired Special Forces soldier Jax (Mehcad Brooks), who Sub-Zero leaves for dead after freezing both of his arms off (in a game famous for its Fatalities, it’s hilarious how many times Sub-Zero simply assumes that he’s killed one of his targets).

Jax is joined by his unmarked partner Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee doing her best Bridgette Wilson) and the duplicitous mercenary Kano (a very funny Josh Lawson, whose ultra-salty performance suggests Jared Harris playing Snake Plissken). This motley crew of mortal kombatants is also joined by Liu Kang and Kung Lao (Ludi Lin and Max Huang, respectively) on their way to the desert cave temple where Raiden will train them for the tournament that never happens.

This — in a version of “Mortal Kombat” that actually included Mortal Kombat — is where things would really kick into gear with a killer training montage and some fun character development that raises the stakes for the dramatically seeded duels to come after our heroes foil Shang Tsung’s plan and force him to fight for Earthrealm in the arena. But since there aren’t any dramatically seeded duels to come, the movie just sort of languishes in place for a long while, cutting away to Outworld and drifting towards “X-Men” territory (each of the fighters has to awaken to their unique powers) in a bid to distract us from the fact that Mortal Kombat has been indefinitely postponed until enough people subscribe to HBO Max.

Some of these dead end scenes are a lot of fun, even if Jax’s most exciting fight is against the wooden dialogue that he’s forced to spit out (brace for an MC Hammer joke so forced that you can almost feel the movie reaching back to the bygone era where its franchise was more comfortable), and the series’ villains seem to be thrown on screen at random. Kano is a toxic gas of a good time whenever called upon, and the ultra-violent skirmishes that break out throughout the movie do a fine job of honoring the history of these characters. Some of them are staged against intriguing backdrops, even if McQuoid doesn’t shoot any of them with the clarity of the games’ side-view camera angle; one brutal fight scene evokes the trailer brawl in “Kill Bill Vol. 2” in a way that almost — almost! — finds a silver lining in the diverse assortment of combat arenas that omitting the tournament allows.

And whenever the Marvel-ization of “Mortal Kombat” threatens to make you forget what you’re watching (a queasy sensation that’s constantly made worse by Benjamin Wallfisch’s generic superhero movie score), McQuoid treats us to the kind of kill that Tony Stark only sees in his fever dreams. Heads roll, a metal hat vertically saws a woman in two, “Kano wins.” After seeing half of the MCU snap away and then come back from the grave just as fast, it’s weirdly satisfying to see major supporting characters be ground into bloody fountains of digital meat, even (or especially) if the fans who love playing them wince at the carnage in a way that feels personal. The “everyone is expendable” attitude is enough to sustain interest long after the movie has made clear that it’s just spinning in place.

But when it comes to modern “blockbusters,” the only thing that actually stays dead is the way things used to be, and the best thing that can be said about this “Mortal Kombat” is how — for a second there — it might fool you into thinking that the past is present again. Legend has it that if you cup your ears and look to the stars at just the right moment you might even hear trace memories of “Techno Syndrome” hovering in the night air like the unsettled ghosts of old video game movies that, however terrible, tried to recreate the feeling of having a controller in your hands. This “Mortal Kombat” is more broadly watchable than the 1995 version ever was, but it’s hard to shake the dull sensation that video game movies are now playing us.

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Mortal Kombat review: Glorious action and fatalities, but shallow characters

CNET 23 April, 2021 - 09:00pm

Scorpion is one of the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie's best elements.

Mortal Kombat is all about awesome fights, gory fatalities, a colorful cast of characters and rich lore. The game series has hit all of those elements beautifully for nearly three decades, but movie adaptations have ranged from deliciously cheesy to truly atrocious. So director Simon McQuoid's 2021 movie reboot feels like a fresh start. 

The movie hit US theaters and HBO Max Friday. It's already out in Australia, and will be available in the UK on Amazon Prime at a later date.

We kick off with an engaging 17th century prologue giving birth to a rivalry between iconic ninjas Scorpion and Sub-Zero (Hiroyuki Sanada and Joe Taslim). It's an intense, emotional opening and sets up the adventure nicely -- the movie is at its best when it leans into their conflict.

Jumping to modern times, we meet series newbie Cole Young (Lewis Tan). This luckless-but-likable MMA fighter just keeps losing, but his dragon-shaped birthmark and strange fiery hallucinations hint at a fate beyond getting beaten up in cage matches. I won't spoil the details of his heritage, but game fans will likely figure it out pretty fast.

Entertain your brain with the coolest news from streaming to superheroes, memes to video games.

Destiny comes calling for Cole as Sub-Zero hunts him like a chilly Terminator, forcing him to team up with klassic characters Sonya Blade, Jax and Kano (Jessica McNamee, Mehcad Brooks and Josh Lawson). In the grand tradition of the Mortal Kombat series, they must battle for Earthrealm as it faces the threat of invasion from another world.

The first hour of the movie is mostly setup, as the universe is established and our heroes figure out their destinies. The fights and choreography are excellent, but there are long stretches without any action and it starts to feel a little dull -- fans want to these guys testing their might, not talking. 

Kano gets all the best lines.

Captive criminal Kano injects some fun with pop culture references and quips, but the one-liners come so thick and fast they start to grate. Lawson's delivery can't be faulted, it's just a shame his co-stars didn't get to stretch their comedic muscles alongside their actual muscles.

On the dark side, sorcerer Shang Tsung (Chin Han) and his goons are so underdeveloped they feel like a group of one-dimensional baddies -- several of whom are dispatched before they can do much of anything.  Anyone who recalls Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa's gleeful scenery chewing as Shang Tsung in the 1995 movie (a take so iconic they brought the actor back in Mortal Kombat 11) will be disappointed, but Chin Han does the best he can with an underwritten character.

All that said, you don't come to Mortal Kombat expecting deep character studies or epic narratives, you're here for the combat (sorry, kombat). The fighting really kicks off in the movie's second half, and it instantly becomes much more engaging. 

We flip into a constant (konstant?) barrage of battling, with iconic special moves, fun matchups and delightfully gory fatalities that let the actors show off their action chops. Their physicality makes it utterly believable and each fight is a joy to watch. The film builds to a glorious final confrontation, with choreography and camerawork coming together beautifully -- you'll want to scream "Finish him!" as it draws to a close.

It's unlikely anyone will be seeing this movie without at least a grounding in Mortal Kombat history, but the video game has a fun backstory.  Original plans were to create a fighting game based on action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, aka The Muscles from Brussels, but JCVD said no thanks. His loss, and perhaps the game's gain, as it gave the designers freedom to blend in elements of Chinese mythology for a fuller experience. The game earned notoriety for its graphic violence, especially its gruesome finishing moves, especially those in which a character's spine is ripped out, and another in which a still-beating heart is torn out and held up.

The game saga is up to Mortal Kombat 11 now, and is still regularly banned in certain countries. But that hasn't slowed down the Kombat. A new downloadable Kombat Pack for Mortal Kombat 11 came out in November, and Sylvester Stallone voices his iconic John Rambo character.

McQuoid's movie is by far the best live-action cinematic Mortal Kombat adaptation we've ever seen. It doesn't make enough use of its characters or tap into the lore nearly enough (hopefully a sequel will draw more from that incredible history) but it nails the fights and fatalities. Shao Kahn himself would be proud.

This reboot isn't quite the flawless victory fans were hoping for, but it's an encouraging way to kick off a new era of Mortal Kombat movies.

‘Mortal Kombat’ Is A Surprisingly Great Video Game Movie

Forbes 23 April, 2021 - 07:45pm

My only big complaint about the new Mortal Kombat movie is that we don’t get to spend more time in feudal Japan. The opening scene is one of the best in the movie, and it’s the only time we get to explore the past. I could easily watch an entire Mortal Kombat movie set hundreds of years ago without guns and car chases.

Fortunately, even though most of the rest of the movie fast-forwards to present day, it’s still a ridiculously enjoyable ride.

The thing is, most movies based on video games are terrible. Almost all of them. A handful are mediocre and one or two are actually pretty fun. The Sonic movie was an example of a pretty good video game adaptation. The best video game movies aren’t adaptations at all, but rather entirely original stories like Wreck It Ralph and the new Jumanji films. These are great because they make use of video game tropes without feeling the need to attach themselves to a specific video game property.

In some ways, this is how Mortal Kombat succeeds also, even though it’s very much about the weird, grimdark world introduced in the video games. It never shies away from being a ludicrous, over-the-top video game movie. It never tries to hide its roots in self-seriousness or a pretentious story. Instead, it embraces its origin as a video game with lines like “GET OVER HERE!” with gusto and style. This is unabashedly a video game movie from start to finish.

Mortal Kombat also embraces the gory, bloody ultraviolence of the video games series, giving us truly badass fights and some great, twisted fatalities. Sub-Zero freezes another character’s arms off. The entire opening Hanzo Hasashi scene with the Kunai (a rope-knife-spear weapon) is a joyfully blood-drenched bit of martial arts. When Kano—an aggravating Aussie mercenary—kills Reptile, he literally reaches into the monster’s chest and pulls out his beating heart. “Kano wins!” he proclaims gleefully.

Kung Lao offers up the film’s goriest fatality when he uses his sharp-edged hat to cut another character in half. He doesn’t get a great accompanying line, but plenty of the movie’s biggest deaths come with some sort of famous utterance, like the wicked Outrealm sorcerer Shang Tsung’s diabolical quip “Your soul is mine!”

Sonya Blade probably has the most hilarious fatality, but I won’t spoil it for you. Suffice to say, I don’t recall garden gnomes from the Mortal Kombat video games and that needs to be remedied post-haste.

This is how you make a game as brutal and goofy as Mortal Kombat into a movie. It’s live-action but it’s basically a cartoon. It’s very violent but the violence doesn’t ever feel real. It’s not “kid friendly” but I won’t tell you not to watch it with your kids. The script is cheesy but not in a painful, cringey way. It’s just enjoyable. It’s fun. It’s well made. The fights are a blast, the special effects are well done, the good guys are likable and the bad guys are nefarious. Costume design is on-point as well, and the movie’s soundtrack is perfect from start to finish, a vivid, upbeat electronic score that matches the action perfectly.

The whole thing sets up a sequel at the end, with a little nod toward a character we didn’t get to see in this movie (Johnny Cage) and I, for one, will be there for it.

Mortal Kombat is one of those rarest of creatures: a video game movie adaptation that actually works, and does so by leaning into everything that makes both video games and movies fun. The story never gets in the way of the action, and the movie never acts like it’s too good to be a video game. If you want to see Mortal Kombat come to life on the silver screen, you won’t be disappointed.

‘Mortal Kombat’ Ending Explained: What Does the Cliffhanger Mean for Johnny Cage?

Decider 23 April, 2021 - 06:00pm

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The new Mortal Kombat movie on HBO Max may end with a fatality, but it’s not quite a flawless victory. At least, not according to the film’s villain, who promises our heroes that this fight is not over.

Even if you’re not familiar with the ’90s video game that the new Mortal Kombat film is based on, it’s pretty clear that the Mortal Kombat ending is setting up a sequel. But for those of us who are first-timers in the Outworld, the final moments of the movie—directed by Simon McQuoid with a screenplay by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham—might be a little confusing.

Don’t worry, because Decider is here to help. Read on for a breakdown of the Mortal Kombat ending, explained, including a briefer on Johnny Cage.

At the end of Mortal Kombat, our protagonist Cole Young (Lewis Tan) finally learns of his true heritage—he is the son of Hanzo Hasashi. Lord Raiden gives Cole a blade, and tells him that if he uses it, the spirit of his father will fight with him.

And he’s right! The villainous Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim)—the same man who killed Cole’s father at the beginning of the film—kidnaps Cole’s family. Luckily, Cole has that handy dagger from Raiden. As soon as Cole’s blood spills on the blade, it bursts into flames. Then, in the movie’s most epic moment, Hanzo—now the vengeful Scorpion—appears, uttering the franchise’s iconic catchphrase, “Get over here!”

Scorpion and Sub-Zero duke it out for a while, while Cole tries to free his family. Then father and son team up to defeat Sub-Zero, with Scorpion burning Sub-Zero using the fires of hell.

But you didn’t think the story was over, did you? After Scorpion thanks his son for freeing him, he peaces out. Cole frees his family, and Raiden and the other champions arrive to celebrate their happy ending—until the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung interrupts the moment.

Shang Tsung warns the champions that they may think they are the victors, but that “death is only another portal,” and that next time, he’s bringing an army. As he says this, some ominous black smoke rises from Sub-Zero’s body, suggesting he will rise again. Game fans won’t be surprised by this hint—in the game, Sub-Zero returns as a mysterious ninja called Noob Saibot, Sub-Zero’s younger brother.

In the Mortal Kombat final scene, Cole quits his job as an MMA fighter, and tells his boss he’s going to Hollywood. For what, his boss asks. Not what, Cole corrects him—who.

As Cole exits, the camera zooms in on a poster for a movie called Citizen Cage, starring Johnny Cage. Now, who could that be?

Johnny Cage is a main character in the Mortal Kombat game series, first introduced in 1992 as one of the original seven player characters. Cage is an actor and an action hero inspired by Jean-Claude Van Damme, and in the 1995 Mortal Kombat film, he was played by Linden Ashby (who younger fans may know as Sheriff Noah Stilinski on Teen Wolf.)

The character of Johnny Cage was noticeably absent in the 2021 film. Screenwriter Greg Russo told CinemaBlend that Cage was left out because they felt Kano (Josh Lawson) filled the role.

“Johnny Cage is a character that we wanted to put in there,” he said. “Ultimately the reason he’s not in there is because of Kano, and we ended up loving Kano [Josh Lawson] in that role more.”

But now it seems the writers were saving Cage to set up a sequel, Avengers-style.

There is not yet an actor cast to play Johnny Cage, because, as of right now, there is no guarantee of a Mortal Kombat sequel.

However, actor Joe Taslim has hinted that if the movie does well for Warner Bros., there could be more Mortal Kombat movies in the works—so let the Johnny Cage dream casting begin! Frank Grillo, anyone?

Mortal Kombat

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