Review: Mortal Kombat

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Title: Mortal Kombat
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Simon McQuoid
Starring: Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson
Runtime: 1 hr 50 mins

What It Is: Cole Young (Tan) is pretty much a lay down for hire. You pay him he fights and most of the time he loses. He’s always had this odd birthmark. Turns out it’s a signal meaning he has been selected to represent Earthrealm in a tournament known as “Mortal Kombat”. He’s been selected alongside special forces member Jax (Mehcad Brooks), scumbag Kano (Lawson), and the Shaolin monks Kung Lao (Max Huang) and Lui Kang (Ludi Lin). Can they defeat Outworld and its leader Shang Tsung (Chin Han) who brings to the fight his champion former leader of the Lin Kuei Bi-Han aka Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim)?

What We Think: Oh man. I had had such hopes for this project. The original 1995 film is not what you’d call a masterpiece. Comparatively however this is a step back from even this. Structurally this film is an utter mess saved only by Josh Lawson being “bloody brilliant” as Black Dragon leader Kano. As a side note, as a Kano main in MK11 (come get hands if you want them) I appreciate the maximum efforts put in by Josh Lawson here. It’s a technically devoid mess of bad scripting and even worse acting. Worst still is that though they nailed the authenticity of the character’s origins the acting BY those actors (looking at you Raiden) wasn’t good. There are some lines in here that led to visible eye rolls from me. When considering this film you have to wonder how in the world they looked at the ’95 and said: “that bar is too high”.

Our Grade: D-, A dreadful experience that without one particular scene would not be even a passable experience. I’m sad that a character as good as Josh Lawson’s Kano is caught in a film like this. I think the last time I heard dialogue as terrible as this is a major release was probably a Fast and Furious film. This film is also far too long and far too boring to match the deep lore featured in the source material.

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