If there’s any franchise of any form that knows what a good reboot is, it’s Mortal Kombat.
Sorry, let me start over.
If there’s any franchise in this universe that knows how good it feels to constantly reboot its universe without losing its fanbase, it’s Mortal Kombat.
Therefore, there’s no surprise that the movie has been rebooted – the only surprise is that it took this long.
Fans of the game will know that retcon is not just a way of life, it is life itself. It doesn’t matter who lives or dies, the gang will all be back somehow through some convoluted plot device filled with a truckload of plotholes. But nobody cares because it’s all in good fun.
There’s also the violence – this is not violence for violence’s sake, it’s a bit more nuanced than that – it’s the creation of a hive mind of incredibly bored game designers trying to outdo each other with the most ludicrous way of destroying a corpse. It’s a parody of itself – without question the highest form of the art.
When first translated for the movie screen, the original Mortal Kombat movie didn’t set the world alight in Cannes but it was certainly lit enough with its absurd brand of camp and memorable EDM soundtrack.
So ironically, my only fear is that the movie is trying to be taken (more) seriously. (Seriously?) The fact that they’re introducing a non-canon character in Cole Young (Lewis Tan) to set the story in motion? Uh-oh. Meanwhile, the cinematography looks far more polished than before as well if the trailer is anything to go by. Double uh-oh. The upside (or downside, depending on your perspective) is that unlike the originals, the special effects seem up to scratch, and Sub Zero and Scorpion look like proper headline acts for a fighting game franchise.
So will this be the first respectable proper Mortal Kombat movie when it drops April 15 on HBO Max? I’m not holding my breath, but I’ll happily take both ‘really good’ and ‘really bad’.
Red band trailer here.