‘Mortal Kombat’ Review: As Much Depth as the Loading Screens

Mortal Kombat

Video games don’t have the most robust track record when it comes to big-screen adaptations. And the previous Mortal Kombat films certainly haven’t don’t anything to help. So when I saw that they were making yet another film based on the gaming franchise, which first debuted in 1992, my expectations were extremely low.

So what’s the plot of this latest take on the classic game? 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.

Take a look at the trailer below.


Mortal Kombat Review: What I Liked and Didn’t Like

This film does deliver a lot of blood, guts, and over-the-top violence (if you like that sort of thing – I don’t), as one would expect. But I was actually surprised it wasn’t even more over-the-top. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been nearly a year since I’ve seen something that I would classify as an action flick (thanks, Covid), but it felt like they held back with the gore.

There are some moments throughout the film that fans of the franchise will likely enjoy – recognizable characters, signature fight moves (and finishing moves), famous lines… and while the pace of the film does a decent job at keeping you “entertained” (I put that in quotes because this film has about as much depth as reality tv series about a rich family of socialites), the script is absolutely terrible. In gamer terms, it’s like the writers were all newbies, and instead of knowing how to do a finishing move – they just smashed all the buttons at once… repeatedly…. that’s kinda what this film felt like.

If you’re a fan of the franchise, there are easter eggs here for you to enjoy. But if you’re a casual fan of the game – or someone that enjoys well-constructed films – this movie probably isn’t for you.

Overall Thoughts

2021’s Mortal Kombat is premiering in theaters and on HBO Max today (April 23). This time around, Warner Brothers has even higher expectations for the franchise (seeing as they have signed on cast members for the potential of four more films). Hate to break it to WB, but much like me going into watching this film, they need to lower their expectations. The script was terrible, and the film as a whole felt shallow. There are some cool fight sequences, and (despite a few messy effects) there are “neato” effects too. But overall, there was a lot left to be desired.

This may be the best Mortal Kombat film yet…. but that’s not saying much. Just because it’s not totally unwatchable doesn’t mean it’s a good film. It’s a low bar, you guys…. low bar.

Mortal Kombat Review

Grade: D


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  1. I am right there with you on this one, Emma. Just not good at all. To me, even the costumes in some cases were just pitiful. Very good review of this disappointing film.

    1. We’re 100% on the same page! haha 🙂 I was actually surprised by how many local critics here in Atlanta liked it. I get that it has some easter eggs in it – but that didn’t save it from being a bad film.