Mortal Kombat now kommands your attention in multiple mediums. Thanks to the property’s new owners at WB, the tournament kombatants are throwing down on the big screen for the first time since New Line’s efforts from the 90s.
WB’s Mortal Kombat stars Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion, Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, Tadanobu Asano as Raiden, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Mehcad Brooks as Jax Briggs, Josh Lawson as Kano, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Max Huang as Kung Lao, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, Elissa Cadwell as Nitara, Daniel Nelson as Kabal, and Lewis Tan as Cole Young. Wait, who’s Cole Young? He’s a character the movie made up, which is always a risk with things like this.
Young’s a former MMA fighter who just can’t understand where his dragon-shaped tattoo came from. Little does he know it marks him as a future participant in the Mortal Kombat tournament for the fate of the world. He’s about to find out a bit early, as the evil Shang Tsung gets the idea to assassinate Earth’s Kombatants where they live, before they get a chance to defend the planet. To survive and stand a chance, Cole and the others have to find each other and join forces.
What do the critics think? Reactions are mixed. Peter Debruge of Variety seemed to think it was fine at what it sets out to do, commenting that “the goal is clearly to elevate what people love about Mortal Kombat in the first place — the cult characters, the gonzo death blows, the satisfaction of a flawless fatality — without watering it down too much with pomp.” Raxanna Hardidi of Polygon was pleased with the picture and it’s full embrace of the original’s over-the-top attitude, calling it “Giddily satisfying self-awareness.” The AV Club hated it, but The AV Club hates everything.
Mortal Kombat is now playing in theaters and can be viewed on HBO Max for the next month.