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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review: Reboot does not achieve flawless victory

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Jax, played by Mehcad Brooks, approaches Sub-Zero, played by Joe Taslim, and shoots him point-blank with a shotgun. Sub-Zero freezes the bullets, stopping them midair.

Jose romero
senior editor

“Mortal Kombat” is a franchise best described as a techno-heavy gorefest in which ninjas meet the U.S. military. The new film reboot does a pretty decent job at conveying just that. 

The plot revolves around a new character made for the film called Cole Young, played by Lewis Tan. He was born with a dragon symbol on his chest, which means he has been chosen to fight in a multi-world contest called “Mortal Kombat.” His objective is to help others with the symbol defeat the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung, played by Ng Chin Han, before he conquers Earthrealm. 

Cole Young, played by Lewis Tan, trains in a hidden temple for “Mortal Kombat,” a
tournament between Earthrealm and Outworld.

Cole is an uninteresting character with nothing special about him. His character arc is generic and predictable in almost every way. He isn’t written well enough to be the central focus of the movie. 

Most of the other characters weren’t any better.

All of the main characters felt as if they were in layers of plot armor, negating any kind of tension a scene could have.

It didn’t help that the pacing and editing were inconsistent. Scenes would end abruptly, and characters needing more time for development were left in the dark. 

The only character that managed to stand out was Josh Lawson’s Kano. 

He offered some decent comedic relief in scenes that would have been dull without it, but there are multiple instances where he just goes on and on, not stopping to let the plot explain itself, which it heavily needed to do. 

“Mortal Kombat’s” story goes back to 1992, so there are times where the film gets stuck in its complexity. Having to explain what Outworld and the Netherealm mean while also explaining why people can control elements is a juggling act the movie can’t do. 

But who’s really here for the plot? “Mortal Kombat” is about sweet, bloody action scenes between superpowered individuals.

The opening scene shows Scorpion, played by Hiroyuki Sanada, as he fights for his life against Sub-Zero, played by Joe Taslim. Sub-Zero and his goons invade Scorpion’s home and kill his family. The scene is scored by a badass synth-heavy riff as Scorpion decimates his foes in a gory, well-choreographed battle.

Each fight scene has a nice weight and visual flair to it and takes heavy inspiration from the games, as most of the movie does. Costumes, one-liners and even stances are faithful to their origin.

Except for Scorpion’s iconic “Get Over Here” line. Should’ve used Ed Boon. 

Fatalities look almost exactly as one would imagine they would in live-action. They’re gory displays of mangled flesh as the character who inflicted the damage says something super corny. It’s pretty dope. 

The fight scenes would leave a longer impact if the special effects accompanying them weren’t so lackluster.

Rushed effects jobs are noticeable nowadays as the standard for computer-generated graphics has increased. “Mortal Kombat” is filled with moments that take the audience out of the film because of how unpolished a scene looks. That’s what happens when artists aren’t given enough time by a studio to clean things up.

Overall, it’s nothing special. It will satisfy fans of the games and audiences wanting an action movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The film has a messy plot and a generic main character anchoring it, but it’s hard not to get hyped when a dude rips the heart out of a giant humanoid lizard. 

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