Mortal Kombat: Review

Daycare kids are cruel. As a girl who wanted to play video games with the boys, they always made sure that they made it difficult for me to play. After begging to have a turn, I would finally get the remote but they wouldn’t tell me how to play–what buttons to press really. This why when I don’t know how to play something I just press buttons until I figure it out. The more you know about me.

Let’s all say this together. The fight choreography was phenomenal and it was more than I could ask for as a fan of the game. In my days of pressing random buttons, I recognize most of the moves and appreciated how they were able to make it go with the storyline. It didn’t seem like they were fighting just to show off these moves. With that being said, some of the taglines for the kills were misplaced. Kano saying, “Kano wins” was appropriately placed but the fatality line later with Liu Kang was a little forced, but I saw what they were trying to do. Plus, it was technically a tournament.

Which brings me to my next point. When did the tournament start? Does anyone know? I was waiting for rules and an official start, but since I never got it, I was unsure as to how Mortal Kombat was actually supposed to go. I also wanted the backstory on how Earthrealm lost so many times throughout the latter history of this tournament. Actually, I wanted a better backstory on all the characters. The only real, meaty backstory we got was from Hanzo Hasashi AKA Scorpion and Bi-Han AKA Sub-Zero and that wasn’t even given much focus after that initial scene until the end, which by that point, did we really care about the revenge. How did Scorpion even get to Hell? My gripe is if you’re going to give us these legendary characters and tease to a sequel with more of these characters I need to be invested in the characters and not the fight sequences. Fail!

Now, I did wonder how the dragon marks worked and I appreciated that they explained that, at least. However, personally, I feel like it would have been better as a tattoo instead of a birthmark. If Cole was the only person who had a birthmark and everyone else just had tattoo, for me, it would have indicated that he was special. Just my two cents but that’s minor. Sonya Blade’s journey was done well and helped with showing us–visually–what happens when a champion dies and how a new champion is created. I know Blade explained it when we were introduced to Kano but I liked seeing it and it was a full circle moment since he thwarted her previous efforts to corner a champion.

Don’t think I didn’t see Hulk fighting Cole. Admit it, you thought the same thing when he came out. He and the lizard thing were cool but do you want to know something? I would have given up seeing Jax and Kano–maybe–to get the story of Mileena. The actress that played her, Sisi Stringer, was so compelling to me that I was like, “Let’s talk about her licking this blade! Who is she, really?” Never got it.

You want to know what else? I was born this week because I forgot that they are planning for at least three more movies, so when I was looking for the tournament to start, it was to no avail. I should have known better, but what is the tournament going to look like? I’m excited to see but I WANT A BETTER STORYLINE. Yes, I want to see gore and blood but I also want story. I want to be invested in these characters. That’s why, as a child, we invested in those characters when we played.

Mortal Kombat–the first of four I guess I can say–is streaming now on HBO Max.

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