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Review Mortal Kombat (2021): MMM...It's OK I guess!

genre: action, adventure, fantasy, martial arts

At this point you got to wonder. Why is it so hard for Hollywood to make a good live action film of Mortal Kombat. By now you have so much source material to snoop from. Surely some good writers can think of an appealing story for both fans and newcomers? 

Apparently this is impossible. Now I am aware that while Mortal Kombat is hugely popular among gamers there are some elements to it that may not appeal to the casual viewer. I mean the blood and gore is an obvious one. Second, the martial arts. Believe it or not martial arts for most casual viewers is boring. Even when forms of variations of it has been implemented in films like John Wick or Nobody the stylistic hand to hand combat is not for everyone. But let me ask you this? Why does this have to appeal to the casual viewer? I think the fans and gamers are a large audience (2,7 billion) enough to make a substantial profit. There is no need to change up the story or the elements that made the franchise so loved in the first place. And yet Hollywood keeps doing this and never learning from their mistakes. Sure this is the first of the live action films to feature blood and gore. However where were the other characters? Where was the tournament? I mean the Mortal Kombat franchise has grown so exponentially that there is a character roster of around 97 characters overall. In this film there are around 14 with one who is invented for this film. It just boggles the mind. Now I get that it's their intention to make more films and follow up this film with more parts. But honestly they needn't bother if they are not going to step up their game.

Mind you the one thing that is excellent is the combat. Especially the opening fight between Bi-Han (Sub-Zero) and Hanzo Hasashi (Scorpion) is a good example of what the whole film should have been like. Joe Taslim and Hyroyuki Sanada are both excellent martial artists and it shows. Actually most of the actors looked like they could fight for real. However there needed to be more to the fights that what we have been given. I don't know, everything felt so underwhelming. It felt so small and insignificant. If an alien world is threatening to destroy Earth and only winning a tournament could prevent that from happening it didn't feel like the people involved were aware that a lot was at stake. And what about the rivalry between Sub-Zero and Scorpion. Apart from one plot element we hardly get to know why it exists. I mean I have a good idea because of the games. But had I been a casual viewer I would be wondering what the hell was going on. Even as someone who is familiar I wanted more character development. The animated film Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge did a lot more in less minutes. Why couldn't they have done a live action film of this? Or something similar?

Overall this latest adaptation is a disappointment. I just didn't have as much fun as I had with the previous films. Yes, including Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. But more on that later. I am intending to do a comparison between this and the those films soon enough. 

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