NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Mortal Kombat review

Mortal Kombat has been a treasured game for almost 30 years. It’s use of extreme violence, gore, and intricate fighting techniques has led it to accumulate 11 main installments of the game, with its most recent being Mortal Kombat 11 in 2019. On April 16, 2021, Mortal Kombat the movie was released.

It follows Cole Young, played by Lewis Tan, an aspiring MMA fighter, who works to seek out Earth’s greatest champions to fight against the enemies of Outworld, in a tournament known as Mortal Kombat and to save Earth.

Directed by Simon McQuid, the film attempts to appeal to the games fans with easter eggs and extreme violence, however its story and plot fall short. Starting off strong, with a solid backstory and tearful loss, the plot becomes hollow and crumbles away by the third act. It is filled with plodding, lackluster world-building. The film spends too much time on searching for characters, without showcasing any of their powers or giving them credible backstory.

Much of the information is a fraction of what it could have been. It then focuses on what can only be described as a training sequence for a good portion of the film, where the characters are working on learning their powers.

The other problem is that the entirety of the movie focuses on this great tournament, called Mortal Kombat, that will result in the liberation or demise of Earth, yet the battle never arrives.

The whole plot is focused on something, that in the end, falls short. The movie was barely saved by an occasional laugh and the CGI. The fights were definitely engaging, including memorable finishing moves from the game. But for anyone who is not a fan of the game franchise, it offers very little.

The script feels loose and off-center, and the pacing of the film is way off. Too much time is spent on training, and the battles during the climax are quickly thrown on and back off the screen.

It was disappointing to be introduced to so many potential characters and backstories, only to be left with hollow and forgettable characters.

The film is saved only by its over-the-top and wildly entertaining fights, and its cheesy yet occasional comedic relief.