Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat ★★★

Your soul is mine!

The techno theme song is played like four times throughout the film, including being literally the first thing you hear over the opening credits. That's exactly how it should be. Mortal Kombat is what I would call a "three star classic." It's not a "good" movie, too many flaws to look at it in that conventional sense. Shoddy acting, even shoddier effects, the fight scenes mostly aren't anything to write home about, and of course, there is something just off with having a Mortal Kombat film be relatively bloodless. Those sound like integral things needed in order for the movie to work, but believe it or not, a lot of other aspects about it pick up the slack. Most of the acting I enjoyed "good" or "bad", in terms of characters and corny acting, Shang Tsung, Johnny Cage, and Raiden are the MVPs of that. The middle guy there, Cage, was who I expected to be the most annoyed by, but he's enjoyable, and also responsible for the best fight in the movie going against Scorpion, as well as the best individual moment in the film. (Combining Cage's nut punch and the hilarious laughing and body language of Lambert as Raiden was a brilliant move.) The aesthetics are on-point, and for this being what I could also call a "schlockbuster", it's well-shot, the set designs are cool, and there is individuality that comes with the various set-pieces at least in concept. For as much as Reptile's CGI form looks rancid, and Goro's mouth does not remotely match whatever words he says (Why even have Goro talk?), Goro looks rad otherwise, and the costumes for Scorpion and Sub-Zero look dare I say perfect when it comes to translating from the original game. Of the few Paul W.S. Anderson films that I have seen, he does seem to be the video game director guy for a reason. He doesn't often get the best writing behind his stuff, yet what is it that you come to Mortal Kombat for in the first place? It's the characters and the compellingly unstable tone, as goofy as it is edgy. "Flawless"? No. A "victory"? Yes. Very excited for what's koming on Friday.


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