Mortal Kombat


Melanie Wang

Starting April 23rd, Warner Bros. Production’s Mortal Kombat became available to watch on HBO and in theatres. The original Mortal Kombat game came out in August 1992 — nearly 30 years ago — yet, over the years, Mortal Kombat has spawned many sequels and movies in a surprisingly enduring legacy.

Warner Bros. previously announced all theatrical movie releases this year will be released on HBO Max. Viewers have 31 days from the premiere of April 23rd to watch the latest installment in the Mortal Kombat continuum. The 2021 movie stars Lewis Tan, Chin Han, Jessica McNamee, Mehcad Brooks, and Tadanobu Asano, and acts as a new reboot of the franchise based on the original Mortal Kombat characters. The movie features many of the popular characters from the videogame including Sub-Zero, Liu Kang, Raiden, Scorpion, and Sonya Blade. The actors and actresses had to follow strict motions in fighting scenes. Jessica McNamee who played Sonya Blade said of her preparations:

“I had had a really good practice at that and I was pedantic about my audition. I self taped for it three different times. I was shooting another film in Australia at the time and I was dragging cast members in weekly to re-tape, because I was like, ‘Nope! That won’t do!’ I’d be calling my agents, ‘Don’t send that one! I’ve got a better one in me!’ So I practiced that for what feels like an eternity. So by the time I got on set, I knew it pretty well.”

With Tom Herrmann’s release of the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie, he says “There will probably be a lot of yelling on the screen and cheering when Sub-Zero finally freezes someone or Scorpion says, Get over here”.

For nearly 30 years, the 1-on-1 fighting game, arcade style, side scrolling Mortal Kombat game has been one of the most controversial fighting game franchises. Premiering in North American arcades in the 90s, Mortal Kombat was an ultra-violent 1v1, side-scroller, with each battle ending in a striking and brutal win known as a “fatality”. Mortal Kombat has been the most fun and controversial fighting game franchise around. Over the decades, the franchise has continued to expand the fighting and story while still keeping the original characters.

Mortal Kombat was originally created by Ed Boon and John Tobias and was first developed by Midway Games. It was released as an arcade fighting game, but now the game is available on nearly every home console produced in the nearly three decades since its inception. The host of the Mortal Kombat podcast said:

“Before Mortal Kombat was released on home consoles, you had to go to a physical arcade and pay to play a round or two…I didn’t have a lot of money as a kid, so instead of playing, I would kind of just stand there reading the character profiles that would come up with the attract mode. I quickly became very obsessed with the lore. Most of the attention on Mortal Kombat at the beginning was just on the violence and cartooniness (sic) of it, but what made the franchise last and what makes it ripe for a movie is the almost Star Wars-level amount of lore, a lot of it just implied.”

I really enjoyed the Mortal Kombat movie from the nice story line, humor, and glorious fatalities. The movie was more graphic than, say, the average Marvel movie or comparable action flick, but those are the minor details in the video games which make sense to add into the movie. Overall, the movie was a thrilling adventure and I would recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed playing the games.