Title – Mortal Kombat (2021)
Director – Simon McQuoid (feature debut)
Cast – Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Joe Taslim, Hiroyuki Sanada
Plot – A group of earth bound fighters and soldiers must work together to stop a nefarious otherworldly force from taking over Earth in preparation for a timeless battle too the death, a battle that has long raged throughout human history.
“What do you say? You want to dance?”
Review by Eddie on 27/04/2021
You’ve played the games. You’ve seen the 90’s movies and you’ve seen the trailers, no doubt then you know exactly what to expect when you walk into the theater (or log in at home thanks to HBO Max) to partake in some extremely over the top fisticuffs and dismembering courtesy of long-lasting property Mortal Kombat.
An Australian tinged affair, with this mid-budget offering shooting in South Australia thanks to producer extraordinaire James Wan and Australian based commercial director Simon McQuoid (as well as starring the scene-stealing Josh Lawson as foulmouthed criminal Kano), this latest rebirth of Mortal Kombat is as over the top and nonsensical as you’d have imagined it to be but in a world where many video game features are nigh on unwatchable, this blood-soaked adventure stands up as a decent bout of entertainment for anyone heading into it expecting exactly what was promised.
Suffering at times quite badly by the unnecessary new addition to the Mortal Kombat cannon of Lewis Tan’s bland MMA fighter turned fighter of Earth Cole Young, Mortal Kombat still gets things right where it needed too thanks to some frenetic and fan service heavy fights and beloved characters, that ensure the many millions of fans across the world of this property are going to have a blast watching a collection of iconic creations go toe to toe as they face an impending threat that is often at the hands of Joe Taslim’s devious Sub-Zero.
Forgoing the what was to be expected tournament format that the games have become famous for, focusing too much on the films plot would cause many to feel uneasy but when the focus of the viewer can be maintained on enjoying a colorful bunch of misfits and miscreants, McQuoid’s fast-moving and energetic film can be a popcorn munching good time.
A stand-out amongst all the gushes of blood, the Gandalf inspired smack-downs and the training montages is what is likely to be a Hollywood calling-card performance for Australian based actor/director Josh Lawson, who absolutely steals most of Mortal Kombat’s best scenes and moments.
While his short temper and even shorter grasp of language that is not considered a swear word may grate a few viewers and could’ve been dialed back a notch or two without losing impact, Lawson as Kano provides a series of laugh out loud moments and saves an at times otherwise dull exercise that gets bogged down on more than one occasion as it heads towards a rushed feeling finale and Lawson’s fun and excitable turn is a great piece of work for an industry veteran that has here finally got a chance to take hold of the spotlight.
In many ways Kano can be seen as a metaphor for this film, devoid of any real substance, loud and brash but there’s no denying there’s enjoyable elements to a rough around the edges product that never tries to become anything its not and should be a winner for any fans with their expectations in check.
Final Say –
Not a film to convert any new Mortal Kombat fans, this fast, violent and empty offering is not high-class stuff but its one of the more enjoyable examples of recent video game adaptations and should be a solid stepping stone for future installments should the fans demand it.
3 garden gnomes out of 5