For years now, video game-based films have been disappointing the masses wherever they go. The “video game movie curse” has taken some of the most beloved gaming stories and turned them into mediocre, CGI heavy, bores. Anticipation for the latest video game film, Mortal Kombat, didn’t manage to hide the ever-growing sense of fear that moviegoers all across the world had for the release. Thankfully, the curse seems to have been lifted, thanks to the action packed, gruesome adaptation of one of the most famous video game series of all time.
The Mortal Kombat game series has been entertaining millions of gamers since the early 90s. Whether fans enjoy the convoluted story line, which spans over 20 years of games, or the gory, fighting gameplay, the Mortal Kombat series has cemented itself as one of the most popular franchises of all time. The films script, which focusses on an amateur fighter who must save the world, is enjoyable, even if at times a bit unstable. Classic characters of the games return to the screen to act as assistance for a brand new, never-before seen protagonist, Cole Young (Lewis Tan). Cole’s addition to the Mortal Kombat universe makes for a fresh, new story, that is sure to please not only the die-hard Mortal Kombat fans, but fans of cinema as well.
Filmed in South Australia, the set pieces and production design are on par with the major blockbuster Hollywood productions. Fight scenes are built around the tremendous settings, which are just as captivating as the action on screen. Not only are the set pieces enchanting, but they also serve as a homage to the video games. Fighting arenas are replicated on screen on multiple occasions thanks to the production design and clever cinematography, which recreates the famous design of the street-fighteresque game layout.
The brutal action that made the games famous is perfectly demonstrated on the big screen. The exciting choreography will keep some viewers on the edge of their seats, while the spine-chilling gore will have others hiding away in pure horror. The hilarious script also provides a great amount of action. Incredible performances from Hiroyuki Sanada, Joe Taslim and Jessica McNamee provide emotional depth, but it is the hilarious Josh Lawson that steals the show. Lawson portrays the vulgar Australian antagonist Kano to perfection, supplying the audience with endless amounts of humour to complement the recurring bloodshed.
Mortal Kombat has given hope to the video game movie genre. The once cursed genre has now produced a gem of a production. It manages to capture the energy, ferociousness and fun that the games supplied perfectly. Although it has its flaws, Mortal Kombat is a grisly experience for all adults to enjoy.
Movie Review By Felix Baldassi-Winderlich