I will never forget the summer of 1995. My school friend Björn was the first to get a driver license, of the guys in our class. Björn loved Jean-Claude Van Damme, and he did train a lot to try and make the same kicks as Van Damme did. I especially remember one time in his parents garage, where he showed off some kicks. I was impressed, and another friend of ours André was a bit jelaous. Why? Because Björn could make the kicks look almost like Van Damme, but he trained really hard also to be able to do this. During the summer of 1995, we all knew that a film based on the video game Mortal Kombat was coming out. Basically all of my friends back then have played the video game, and Björn was especially pumped up for the Mortal Kombat film. We went to see the film in cinema in October that year, and i still remember how happy Björn was after the cinema visit, he would be doing special kicks on the streets downtown. But it did not stop there, because he would drive his parents Toyota car everywhere, playing the Mortal Kombat movie soundtrack, everyday and everywhere, that the whole neighborhood complained to his parents. There was not one single day where you would not hear him play that CD, at least not every day i met him picking me up. I will agree with him that the soundtrack was pretty cool, at least for that time period of the 90´s. I personally loved the film Mortal Kombat when the film came out, it had so many fun fighting scenes, so many fun characters and it also managed to capture the feeling of the video game. Maybe not very brutal, but still a really fun film adaptation of the classic game. Director Paul W.S. Anderson ( yes the same guy who directed most of the Resident Evil film ) gave us the best film based on a video game of the 90´s, because no other film at that time managed to be as good as Mortal Kombat. In 1997, we got a sequel called Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Now, if you enjoyed the first film, i can tell you right now that this sequel is really bad. It has no great fighting scenes, lots of bad CGI effects, and the acting is beyond bad. My advice, skip this sequel at all cost. I have been playing several video games of Mortal Kombat since the 90´s, and the Mortal Kombat universe have grown incredible big. I have heard about a new Mortal Kombat film for a long time, and here we are in 2021, as we finally get a new film in cinemas, on HBO Max and VOD. Is this the best video game adaptation in a film in a very long time, or is Mortal Kombat a complete disaster?
In 17th-century Japan, Lin Kuei assassins led by Bi-Han ( Joe Taslim ) kill the warriors of the rival Shirai Ryu ninja clan led by Hanzo Hashashi ( Hiroyki Sanada ), including Hanzo´s wife and son. Hanzo kills the attackers befoe being killed by Bi-Han, resulting in his soul being condemned to Netherrealm. Lord Raiden ( Tadanobu Asano ), god of thunder, arrives and takes Hanzo´s surviving infant daughter to safety. In the present, the realm of Outworld have defeated Earthrealm in nine of ten tournaments known as "Mortal Kombat". If Earthrealm loose the tenth tournament, the rule state it will be conquered by Outworld. However, an ancient prophecy states that the "blood of Hanzo Hashashi" will unite a new generation of Earthrealm´s champions to prevent Outworld´s victory.
If you are a fan of the video games of Mortal Kombat, and you enjoyed the first original film based on the video game, i do have some good news for you. Mortal Kombat manage to capture some of the atmosphere of the game, especially through certain characters. Now, i want to make one thing perfectly clear. This is not a film for those who are looking for an intelligent story, or fantastic acting. This is a film, especially made for fans of martial arts, and fans of Mortal Kombat. And to be honest, in a film like this you don´t really need a strong plot, since it is all about the fighting and action scenes. And this is why we need a film like this to be in cinemas and on digital, so a new generation of people can discover the importance of martial arts films. Everything is not perfect with this film, there are some problems. But let´s get into the positive for a moment. And let us begin talking about some of the characters. Two of the coolest characters in this film, is without a doubt Sub-Zero ( played by actor Joe Taslim ) and Scorpion ( played by actor Hiroyki Sanada ). The fight scene between these characters is just pure nostalgia. And they actually manage to do their fighting scenes good enough, to feel like a Mortal Kombat battle. Lord Raiden ( played by actor Tadanobu Asano ) honestly feels more like Lord Raiden than what Christopher Lambert did in the 1995 film version. Actress Sisi Stringer who plays the character Mileena, i am suprised over how well she managed to play this character, because she is not easy to portrait. There are a couple of fun characters more i could mention, but i have to mention what character does not work. Lead character Cole Young ( played by actor Lewis Tan ) is not the great lead character you would expect in a film like this. He´s ok, but he should have worked harder on his character. I have to mention that the brutal kills in this film, is definetely worth waiting for, especially one scene where Jax smash a head into pieces. Some of the brutal fights does feel like coming home, to the old school martial art scene that we don´t get to see often in these days. Mortal Kombat shows that there is still hope for martial art in today´s cinema. There may be details that could have been fixed, but i had fun with this film. Director Simon McQuoid deliver a Mortal Kombat film that will be enjoyed by both old school fans, and younger ones as well. Definetely worth seeing in cinema ( if you can ) or at digital at home, for a fun nostalgia trip to the 90´s. Anyone want to join me in the ring? I promise i won´t use my razor blade gloves ( i only use them to trim the grass, trust me ).