Video Game adaptations have always been a touchy subject when it comes to film with most missing the mark entirely and being forgotten rather quickly.
From Aussie director Simon McQuoid, this year’s Mortal Kombat reboot thankfully doesn’t succumb to most of the pitfalls of other video game adaptations. The key here is that the Mortal Kombat games have become synonymous with one thing, brutal fights featuring gory, over the top violence.
Opting to introduce a new, non-game character to the series has caused some controversy, but it kind of works here as a way for the audience to learn as he does about the ridiculous world of the games they enter. “He” being Cole Young, a washed up fighter with a certain birth mark indicating he was chosen for *queue title card* MORTAL KOMBAT.
Thankfully the film doesn’t spend too much time on its admittedly thin plot and instead is chock full of intense, brutal and bloody fatalities. In addition there is the absolute gem of a performance in Josh Lawson’s Kano, who’s apparently only notes from the director was clearly to turn the Aussie up to 11, which really resonated with my screening’s audience which was erupting with laughter throughout.
The fights on show are decent here with some really energetic bone-snapping choreography thankfully combined with a good amount of wide shots, showing them in their entirety.
Score wise Benjamin Wallfisch delivers a modern synth heavy score with hints of the infamous Techno Syndrome of the 90s film which works pretty well overall, although I do wish it lent even more into the synth than it does.
Overall Mortal Kombat manages to be a film that is very enjoyable with a great audience that is somewhat familiar with the games, with my screening getting extremely energetic cheers for every fatality and flawless victory on screen.
It will be certainly interesting to see how this film performs at the box office and if it will be enough for it to be a franchise starter.
Thanks to Warner Brothers Australia & Universal Pictures Australia for the invite!
DISCLAIMER: I worked on this film in Visual Effects so I have not commented in that area.