Movie Thoughts: Mortal Kombat

Adrien Carver
2 min readApr 25, 2021

I was familiar with this game but never played it. Primal Rage was my fighting game of choice in the 90s, and that’s a movie I’m hoping someone makes soon. But yeah I went in totally cold to this, saw the trailer where Sub Zero uses the frozen blood knife and that was good enough reason for me. No nostaliga trip.

What a ridiculously stupid and fun movie this is. It’s like 60 percent stupid, 40 percent fun. The stupid is prevalent the whole time, the fun saves the movie from being unwatchable. If these were characters that didn’t have any cultural legacy or familiarity, the movie would be downright awful. The dialogue is terribly written and cheesily acted, the plot is paper thin. I didn’t recognize a single actor.

But that’s not why anyone will see this.

It delivers on what it needs to deliver on — graphic fighting and characters saying “fuck”. You get plenty of head-crushing, intenstine-dangling gore. All the major characters make appearances. There’s fan-service references to the video game that are so obvious even I could pick them out (my favorite was when a character who speaks Japanese says “GET OVER HERE” in perfect English). There’s plenty of unnecessary swearing; every character talks like a middle school boy at his first sleepover. Even the wife/mom character says things like, “Fuck another four armed guy showing up…” Finishers and character catchphrases are all present. The movie doesn’t try to be smart, it doesn’t try to be serious, it just shows us competent modern representations of beloved characters and has them beat, tear, smash and rip the shit out of each other.

It’s a B movie. Worth the 5 dollar matinee fee. If you’re a fan of the games, you’ll probably enjoy it more. I will never see it again.