After an agonizing wait, the Mortal Kombat live-action reboot is set to release in just a few short hours. This take on the franchise from Warner Bros. Pictures centers on a new protagonist named Cole Young, as well as a number of veterans from the fighting games, such as Liu Kang, Sub-Zero, and Scorpion. Now that the movie is nearly here, its embargo has been lifted, and reviews have started to come in. While outlets seem to be mixed on Mortal Kombat, it seems that fans of the video game franchise will find a lot to love, and that's the most important thing.
The Mortal Kombat franchise has never gotten a live-action film that faithfully recreates the violence that the series is known for, but it certainly seems like that's what fans will be getting this time around! The gore and fatalities that appear in the film seem to have gotten the highest amount of praise, particularly from outlets that are more familiar with the source material. In our review, ComicBook.com gave the film 3.5 stars out of 5. Rollin Bishop had high praise for the movie's violence:
"If the goal was authenticity, as so much of the cast and crew said prior to release, it certainly is authentic to the blood and guts of the video games. The fights are fun, fast-paced, and it’s clear when the martial artists have the floor that they know what they’re doing. The characters largely feel like they should, despite the lack of individual screen time to flesh them out, and it’s hard not to both cheer and wince with body parts getting severed or exploded or severed and then exploded every couple of minutes."
Of course, there are a lot of opinions online, and readers looking to find additional thoughts can check out what other outlets had to say below. Everyone else can judge for themselves when Mortal Kombat releases April 23rd, in theaters and on HBO Max.
Do you plan on checking out the Mortal Kombat reboot? What are you most excited to see from the film? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!
"This new take on Mortal Kombat is one of the most successful video game adaptations yet--by a long shot. While not perfect, it wonderfully captures the essence of the Mortal Kombat video game franchise. These are vicious fights with huge world-ending stakes, but at no point do you stop having fun watching them unfold, thanks to the colorful characters, the impressive bouts, the borderline ridiculous special moves, an abundance of nods to the various catchphrases in the games, and the world-building that is clearly setting us all up to demand a sequel. This is as close to a flawless victory as we're going to get for a Mortal Kombat movie." -GameSpotprevnext
"Those who go into Mortal Kombat wanting a fun exploration of the loose lore surrounding the first game will not be disappointed. The fight scenes are terrific, the characters a well-represented throughout, and newcomer Cole Young is a solid addition to the cast of recognizable characters. While some of the writing is a little on-the-nose and the plot feels rushed at times, I'm excited to see how the teases sprinkled throughout the end of the movie come to fruition in subsequent installments." -Game Informerprevnext
"In a spectacular display of blood, guts, and effects-heavy martial arts battles, this new take on the over-the-top story of the Mortal Kombat fighting games perhaps bites off a little more than it can chew by attempting what is essentially an origin story and an Avengers-esque superhero team-up all in one. As a result, the first half stalls out a bit as it backs up a dump truck of exposition, and even then some characters that really deserve more time in the spotlight end up being shallow and forgettable. Still, it finds its footing in the second half and delivers a gleefully cheesy and entertaining take on one of gaming’s most historic franchises and a solid starting point for future films." -IGNprevnext
"The less said about the actors the better (each impressive technically but otherwise allowed to do little more than cosplay) and while McQuoid’s slick trash aesthetic works in bursts, at other times it feels only a very small rung above a cheapo DTV film of the past. Mortal Kombat would have benefitted from a number of things – a sharper sense of humour, a more coherent script, some tighter editing, less techno music – but its sheer manic energy might just about be enough for some. For the rest, more alcohol should help." -The Guardianprevnext
"Portion your time and attention accordingly, should you watch the whole thing, or roll the dice on your own fast-forwarding experiment. Definitely don't watch it at a theater, lest you suffer an usher's wrath for pulling out your smartphone during the copious slow-and-underwhelming parts." -Ars Technicaprevnext
"There is one area in which the new Mortal Kombat definitely delivers, though, and that is in fatalities. This movie has plenty of brutal, bloody kills. If you're vaccinated and watching this movie in a theater, there will be plenty of opportunities for hooting and hollering. The Mortal Kombat games' bloody death blows spurred the creation of the ESRB video-game rating system in the first place, and anyone who comes looking for that level of violence should be delighted by the sight of Kung Lao driving an opponent into his spinning razor-sharp hat, allowing the viewer to watch their entire body get cleaved in half from the top down." -Entertainment Weeklyprevnext
"Perhaps given the dearth of R-rated action films in the past year people will still enjoy Mortal Kombat’s thin gruel of “dumb fun” and mindless violence. People should certainly take joy where they can find it. But it’s hard to come by in a film that takes itself so seriously despite its silly origins and silly premise. Mortal Kombat seems kind of embarrassed to be Mortal Kombat, so it has siphoned off the most popular stuff and then tried to stuff in respectable franchise clothing. But a series that gave us “Babalities” and “Friendships” as finishing moves doesn’t need to be respectable. It needed to be fun." -Colliderprevnext
"The fights are artful, though, and exhilarating — particularly those of Huang and Lin. Huang is a member of Jackie Chan’s stunt team, and Lin played the Black Ranger in the Power Rangers film. Out of everybody, the duo balances high stakes and humor the best.3comments
The rest of the acting, well, we won’t be seeing these guys at the Oscars next year. We probably won’t even see them in a Marvel movie. Tan, Lawson and McNamee give what amount to toned-down video-game performances, which is what they were assigned to do. And, frankly, good for them. Every time one of these silly old properties gets remade, the audience sits in fear that it’ll be turned into an allegory, or a statement on US politics, or the realization of some aging geek’s dark vision.
Mortal Kombat is none of those things. It’s just plain, unrepentant fun." -NY Postprev