6 Things I Hated the Most in the New Mortal Kombat Movie
So here’s the deal: I had a couple of ideas for a Mortal Kombat movie themed List of Six. I could have done one of my usual review lists, like I did for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier last week. I also thought about doing a list of what I’d like to see in a sequel. But after watching the movie twice, once in theaters and once at home, my only real take away from the new Mortal Kombat movie is how much of it sucks.
Movie Rating: 4/10 – Pretty Bad.
Overall, I’d rate the movie as less than average. Parts of it are really cool. They do the fighting well enough, they do the gore very well, a lot of the characters are quality adaptations, and overall I’d rate the movie as a watchable action flick. But man oh man, do they make a lot of stupid character and plot decisions. So much so that those are the only real takeaways I have from Mortal Kombat. What boneheads made these choices?
Join me after the jump for the dumbest things in the Mortal Kombat movie that really stick in my craw. Expect FULL SPOILERS for the movie.
6. Sub-Zero didn’t really wear blue
I realize they want the villain to look as badass as possible, and they want to give him a costume that’s equally dark and evil…but they couldn’t add a touch of blue? I think parts of it were blue, but considering he mostly only appeared in dark scenes, he looked to be wearing black metal from head-to-toe. The video games have given us some awesome, modern, very badass and very blue Sub-Zero costumes for years. Why not go with any of those? Why not a nice prominent blue to at least mark him as Sub-Zero?
For that matter, why not some magenta on Mileena’s costume? Same complaint.
5. Cole Young
There is so much wrong with Cole Young that I’m not sure where to start. So I think I’m just gonna power through a rambling list of reasons why he sucks. There didn’t need to be an original character when Mortal Kombat has dozens that could be retrofitted into an audience surrogate. He’s a studio mandate character. They didn’t explain his family until later in the movie. I thought it was his girlfriend and kid sister for the first half of the film. He’s dull. He has zero personality beyond generic good guy. He gives up halfway through his training and goes home to his family despite knowing the bad guys are still coming after him. His golden armor is ugly. He’s set up to be a modern day version of Scorpion but that doesn’t happen. Why didn’t his daughter also have the mark, considering she is also part of Scorpion’s blood line?
Is that enough? I think that’s enough. Cole Young sucks and will hopefully get the Johnny Cage treatment at the start of the sequel. And I am, of course, talking about the character. The actor is great.
4. No Mortal Kombat tournament
This was just a dumb decision, apparently at the script-writing level. Mortal Kombat the franchise has a very easy plot: a bunch of colorful characters fight each other in a fighting tournament. So why not make the damn movie about the damn fighting tournament? It’s that simple! And there’s no real reason not to have the fighting tournament in the movie. Shang Tsung’s big plan is to kill all of his opponents ahead of the tournament for an easy win…but at every point in the movie, he’s pretty damn confident that his warriors are going to win no matter what. So why not just wait for the tournament and win with all your confidence?
I get that throwing an entire Mortal Kombat tournament would be a big production…so make the movie a big production! They obviously have plans for this to be a franchise starter, so why skimp out on the bigness? Go all out in your first movie and make it a huge success!
It also bugs me that we didn’t learn anything about the tournament. We were told that Outworld had won the last nine…well how often are they fought? Apparently the previous tournament was so long ago that none of the warriors of Earth had been involved. Were Scorpion and Sub-Zero involved back in their olden days? Is that where their rivalry comes from? And then Shang Tsung says the Elder Gods are too lazy to enforce the rules of the tournament…so why even have a tournament or rules?
3. The prophecy
I hate prophecies in storytelling. They add nothing and accomplish even less. They’re crutches. They make your story easier, but also dumber. And Mortal Kombat did not need a prophecy added to the story. There isn’t one in the games, there isn’t one in anybody’s lore. And this movie gained nothing from having Cole Young be the culmination of a prophecy. Why not have Cole Young’s success be built off his own hard work and the hard work of those around him? Why do you need to throw a prophecy into the mix?
Why even hold Mortal Kombat tournaments if random prophecies — and we never learned the origin of the prophecy — can determine the outcome?
2. The Arcana and Mark bullshit
Once again, Hollywood feels the need to explain shit that doesn’t need to be explained. We don’t need an explanation for why certain people are going to complete in the Mortal Kombat tournament, and we don’t need to know why they have super-powers! The details do not need to be explained! For the first one, Raiden just gathers the best fighters on the planet. Simple as that. For the latter, it just is. We don’t need to know why Liu Kang can shoot fireballs. We don’t need an explanation for Sonya Blade’s weird shooty thing. Or Kung Lao’s mastery of his hat weapon. It’s just dumb. Keep it simple, stupid!
It’s like the live action Super Mario movie and it’s detailed and ridiculous explanation for why the dinosaur-filled Mushroom Kingdom exists. These things don’t need to be explained! And they definitely don’t need to be explained with some dumb lore-changing magical maguffin explanation!
1. They killed Kano, the only character with any real personality
How about next time you hire the insanely personable and funny actor to be your main character instead of one of the antagonists? How about next time you realize that Kano is carrying this movie with ease and don’t have him switch sides and get killed off? This was the worst decision in the film. We all know that Kano is a bad guy in the video games. And it makes sense that he might start on the side of Earthrealm and then betray them later. That’s fine. But holy shit, the film then went and gave actor Josh Lawson the best jokes, the best character development, the best everything!
He should have been the star of the film over that wet rag Cole Young. He’s got the better storyline. Super criminal and all around jerk finds out he’s one of the chosen ones selected to save the world…so he gets his act together and does it! That’s a better story than the goody two-shoes nobody Cole Young simply learning to fight better. And maybe you save Kano’s heel turn for the sequel you so desperately want. Or maybe he never turns heel?
I don’t know. It’s just that Kano was the only character in the whole damn film who was actually fun and entertaining. Then he turns evil just because Kabal suggests Shang Tsung can pay him a lot of money…even though Kabal has no guarantee, and why would Kano believe this evil, otherworldly sorcerer even has access to money? When he switches sides, Kano doesn’t get to appear as much anymore, and then he’s killed. All that entertainment value gone.
Once the filmmakers discovered what a joy this dude was on screen there should have been some damn script rewrites!