Mortal Kombat is now out in theaters and streaming on HBO Max, and it's no spoiler at all to say that this new reboot is just the first installment of a planned series of new Mortal Kombat movies. Cast members have revealed they've already signed on for up to four films in the Mortal Kombat franchise, while scriptwriter Greg Russo made it clear to Comicbook.com that he indeed has a vision for the Mortal Kombat sequels: "I wouldn't be doing my job as a writer if I'm not always thinking, where can I go? Right? Where can I build this out?" Russo said. "So in my mind, yeah, I know where I would go in subsequent films."
Of course, while the Mortal Kombat reboot is an exciting new vision of the franchise, it isn't perfect. Here's what we want to see in a Mortal Kombat sequel film, to make it even more exciting for both longtime fans of the games, and those coming to the franchise through this new film. Warning: Mortal Kombat SPOILERS Follow!
The Actual Tournament
First and foremost: fans deserve to see a full-fledged Mortal Kombat tournament in the sequel film. This Mortal Kombat reboot film kind of cheats its way out of depicting the traditional Outworld tournament from the games, by having Shang Tsung (Chin Han) break the rules by attacking Earth's defenders during their training.
Granted, Cole Young (Lewis Tan) comes up with a plan that basically pits Earth's champions against Shang Tsung's Outworld fighters, pretty in the same vein as the tournament battle from the games. Next time, however, we want the full Enter The Dragon experience, with Earth's champions traveling to Outworld to throw in an official tournament, with all the pomp and circumstance that goes with it.prevnext
Following along closely with our desire to see the full, grand, Outworld Tournament in a Mortal Kombat sequel is our desire to see more of Outworld explored in the next film. Now, to be fair, getting deeper into Outworld's culture and supernatural mysticism was exactly where the original sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation went terribly wrong. That means it's also an opportunity for the new Mortal Kombat's sequel to redeem that original sequel sin. The same logic extends to Netherrealm and its story.prevnext
Sub-Zero/Bi-Han (Joe Taslim) was a standout as the Jason-style monster killer that stalked the heroes of this new Mortal Kombat movie - but Scorpion/Hanzo Hasahi (Hiroyuki Sanda) was not nearly as strong. Granted, the nature of Mortal Kombat's story made Scorpion a major payoff character that appeared in for the climatic battle of the film, but for a lot of fans, it wasn't enough. Scorpion and Sub-Zero's rivalry never really dies in Mortal Kombat, so we know that there's room for Scorpion to have a bigger role in the sequel - especially if its set on Outworld.prevnext
The Mortal Kombat reboot was not at all lacking in hard-hitting action, so this is not at all a criticism: we just want more. The battles, special moves, and (oh yes!) those gruesome Fatalities were all a great start, but in Mortal Kombat II we would love to see more fighters with strange abilities, tag-team battles, and more signatures from the game like bone-crushing super attacks, environmental deaths, and even some of the crazier finishers like Friendships or Babaliities. Go nuts with it.prevnext
Okay, so this one is a criticism. Mortal Kombat (2021) was great so long as the fists were flying and the blood was spilling - it was far less effective when trying to find ways to inject compelling emotion and drama into the film. We get that fans come to these films for the action and gore - but it wouldn't kill the next Mortal Kombat movie to make us feel something a little deeper and more profound, to make the fights feel like compelling duels rather than gimmicks.prevnext
The last few Mortal Kombat video games (Mortal Kombat 9, X, 11) saw things get truly weird with time travel and altered histories, with villains like Shinnok and his mother Kronika taking center stage. We get that Mortal Kombat 2 would most likely benefit by focusing on a villain like Quan Chi - but if a second film is going to lead to a third, then throwing in the climactic twist of getting all timey-wimey in a way that can bring back a whole host of dead character (Kano) for the third film.prevnext
Shang Tsung didn't do much to impress in this Mortal Kombat reboot - but then again, he's kind of a worn-out character in the franchise anyway. The next Mortal Kombat movie can deliver a villain (or villains) that fans don't know from the previous movie franchise: Quan Chi and Shinnok being two of the most obvious picks for who Shang Tsung would ally himself with next.
Mortal Kombat is now streaming on HBO Max and is in theaters.prev