MORTAL KOMBAT (2021)
Not having played the game or been a fan of it’s movie franchise may have made it a bit harder to quite get what is going on here, but probably not. Apparently there are other “realms”, or worlds, of which Earth is only one. There are champions on each world who gather together at certain points in time to compete in Mortal Kombat, which is a sort of gladiatorial battle to the death. Dull, pontificating villain Shang Tsung (Chin Han) wants to derail a prophecy predicting his realm’s loss, by eliminating Earth’s champions before the competition.
Tedious flick is directed very by-the-numbers by Simon McQuoid from a messy script by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham, based on the fan favorite video game. There are a lot of fights and CGI bloodshed, but very little storytelling or character development for those of us who are uninitiated in the original game and it’s characters. A movie should not rely on assuming one knows the source material, whether based on a video game or book. There should be some depth to make the characters three dimensional and thus give the audience emotional investment when they fight. The cast are all dull, along with their thinly written characters, and the fights, which are the reason we watch this, are generic and routine with a lot of CGI effects enhancement. Watch any classic Hong Kong flick from the 80s and 90s to learn that martial arts and SPFX can be combined inventively and with energy and excitement. Not so here. At least the catchy song from the 1995 movie gets a remix during the end credits.
Franchise reboot is overall boing and forgettable and will probably set this series back another twenty-four years. Don’t waste your time unless you are a real fan and absolutely have to.