You might have heard that there's a new Mortal Kombat movie, and there's been more than twenty years between this one and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, which was a disaster at the box office. So, there's a lot riding on this reboot for the franchise, and recent reviews aren't that hot on the movie.
First things first, the cast for this movie is stacked. Joe Taslim is Sub-Zero and Hiroyuki Sanada is Scorpion, and the two were chosen for their exceptional skill in martial arts. Deadpool 2's Lewis Tan is Cole Young, a new character introduced to the world of Mortal Kombat and he has a strange connection with Scorpion. Jessica McNamee and Josh Lawson play Sonya Blade and Kano respectively, and weirdly enough, they were both in the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Little bit of trivia for you there. You're welcome. Mehcad Brooks is Jax, Tadanobu Asano is Raiden, and Chin Han is Shang Tsung. Utterly stacked, as aforementioned, and fans were excited to see these characters once again on the silver screen.
The movie hits HBO Max on April 23rd, and the critical reviews for Mortal Kombat are... lukewarm at the time of writing. James Marsh for South China Morning Post called it a "gleefully violent... adaptation" but warned that the drama of the story falls flat on a hammy script. "The fight choreography achieves an impressive synergy between elaborate martial arts and super-powered effects work, which is aided significantly by the natural abilities of the film's adept and athletic cast," said Marsh. Director Simon McQuoid wanted to do the iconic yet ludicrous violence of the original games justice in his directorial debut, and producer Todd Garner said the team drew from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Raid, John Wick and Kill Bill for inspiration for those brutal battles.
Peter Gray for The AU Review also enjoyed the movie on the whole, giving it three and a half stars out of five and stating that it "should satisfy enough purists, gore-hounds, and casual movie goers across the board." That's... everyone, then. "A video game adaptation that has no right managing the majesty it is able to create throughout, this 2021 edition proves victorious in its intent to wipe the slate of previous incarnations clean and set a precedent for what is possible within the genre," concluded Gray. Movie critic Jim Schembri praised Josh Lawson's performance as Kano, saying he was a "scene-stealer" and his comedic efforts prop up a lot of the outlandish exposition.
On the other hand, Jonathan Roberts for The New Paper said that the Liverpool v Aston Villa match that had finished during the midnight showing of the movie would have been a better watch. "It is angling for a sequel, but it may be better suited for a do-over - again," said Roberts, awarding the movie one and a half stars out of five. Eesh. Casey Chong of Casey's Movie Mania found that Chin Han's turn as Shang Tsung paled in comparison to the performance of Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa in the 1995 movie. "The movie takes itself too seriously for its own good," they concluded. Well, we'll be free to make our own minds up about the reboot when it becomes available on HBO Max in a few day's time.
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