A festival of violence as Mortal Kombat latest movie adaptation at last rivals its game version
by Adekunle Oludele Apr 17, 2021 Views (208)

The widely awaited adaptation of the iconic video game, 'Mortal Kombat,' was released in the UAE on April 8, two weeks ahead of its release in the United States.

Since the release of its red band trailer, 'Mortal Kombat' has been a much-anticipated film, breaking viewing records in its first week, beating previous contenders Logan and Deadpool 2 within the first four days.

The plot follows a washed-up MMA fighter who is unaware of his secret ancestry and why he is being hunted down by a clan of assassins. It is directed by Simon McQuoid. Concerned about his family's survival, he seeks out a group of warriors chosen to protect Earthrealm in a high-stakes war against the powers of Outworld. Hiroyuki Sanada, Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, Max Huang, and others star.

The producers of the film, according to McQuoid, set out to hire people who could really sell the violence of Mortal Kombat's fight scenes. "The deaths are sickeningly violent, but we all knew we needed some very incredible talented people to make it feel genuine."

Based on the trailers, I could already tell that this Mortal Kombat adaptation would be a much more accurate portrayal of the games than previous films from the '90s – not only because of the expected action, but also because it appears to really lean into the series' fantasy aspects.

The film has been described as "a gleefully violent video game adaptation," with boxers with ninja blood and green berets with robot arms pummeling invisible lizards and bat-winged demon babes to a bloody pulp. The visuals, sound effects, blood, and action are all fans, including yours truly, have wanted since the original 1995 film, and more. The deaths are as heinous as you'd imagine... but it's the hand-to-hand fighting that stands head and shoulders above all else throughout this movie.

While the film is packed with action and violence, it falls short when it comes to character growth. Many video game movie scripts try to strike a balance between those who know and enjoy the game and those who are unfamiliar with it at all.

Playing a video game and watching a movie are two very different things. The first allows the participant to actively participate in the plot, making decisions, while the second is more passive. When filmmakers attempt to integrate key elements of a game into their film adaptations, problems occur because there is sometimes no (or just a very weak) plot justification for them to exist inside the film.

Mortal Kombat, as a film based on the iconic video game, effectively brings the game's universe to the big screen with great care and attention to detail. The beloved fighters' characterization and presentation are almost similar to their game counterparts, with costumes and combat styles that are almost identical to the game. It isn't just a fast win, with pacing problems, a lack of character growth, and weird editing. Nonetheless, despite the occasional hit, the film keeps going and eventually triumphs. Hey, how often have we watched a movie in which a character freezes another's blood and stabs him with it?

Some critics have said that Mortal Kombat would be less fun for those unfamiliar with the video games, but this could be seen as a welcome change from previous game adaptations. Video game movies have often been chastised for altering so much about the source material, resulting in films that are frustrating to fans and mostly uninteresting to newcomers. At the very least, Mortal Kombat seems to be thinking about its fans, which bodes well for future sequels.

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