Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot
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RE: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot
04/28/2021 12:40 PM EDT
04/29/2021 06:03 PM EDT

As with many here on this site, I am old enough to have played the original MK in arcades when I was a teenager. I, like many others, have been with MK during its ups and downs. Mortal Kombat 2021 is a disappointment. I am sad a franchise I love fumbled, again. I, too, kept thinking Annihilation throughout this underwhelming movie. Its as if whoever was in charge never played any game, looked at a few pictures/character bios, and went by a bullet point checklist of basic MK facts. Mortal Kombat 1995 is mildly flawed, sure, but its a competent, coherent, and enjoyable movie. Sure, CGI reptile is embarrassingly awful (it was bad even when it was originally released), and there are some plot hiccups, but the 1995 movie followed the basic plot of the first two games. Mortal Kombat 2021 is a random mishmash of fight scenes and characters that mostly have no purpose other than to perform a fatality, or be the victim of a fatality. Does anyone care about Cole? If so, what was compelling about his character? Goro was VERY well done in 1995, but he is little more than a four-armed, CGI Incredible Hulk that has a barn fight scene. Seriously. One more time, Goro, Prince of Outworld, champion of 9 prior tournaments, exists in this movie to have a barn fight, then be killed by generic main character. Yikes is all I can say to that. Reiko was embarrassing, with character design seemingly directly lifted from Annihilation. The dragon tattoo thing was dumb in Annihilation, and its dumb in 2021. They strongly hint at a sequel, but how? Goro is dead (we saw his guts fall out), Kano is dead, Reptile is dead, and so on. You would think an "R" rating with blood and gore would at least make the fatalities enticing to sit through this film, but I deem the fatalities more enjoyable in the games. Even the Nitara fatality scene (why is she in the film?!) was a bit meh, partly because she is not in the movie long enough for us to care. The only gore scene that I enjoyed was Jax losing his arms -- oofta, that looked painful.

I have little good to say about Mortal Kombat 2021. The opening scene is decent, and the best scene in the movie (we all agree on that), but I struggle to find much else good to say. One aspect I did enjoy was Bi Han being a frightful menace -- he was accurately portrayed as pure evil, and a deadly cryomancer. In contrast, I felt Sub-Zero was removed a bit too swiftly in the 1995 movie. The casting for Scorpion is superb, and its a missed opportunity he appears only briefly during the film. Kabal's design was surprisingly accurate, but the rest of the casting was filled by jobbers, i.e. actors who needed a paycheck that week. Can anyone who defends MK 2021 actually compare the 2021 actors of Liu Kang and Shang Tsung to their 1995 portrayals? Robin Shou and Kary Tagawa ARE Liu Kang and Shang Tsung. Even though it was a videogame movie, the 1995 actors did not treat their portrayals as a joke. I do not know the names of the 2021 Shang or Liu, and I honestly do not care to as they are mediocre portrayals of beloved characters. Kano being a combination of Kano + Johnny Cage did not work for me, nor his one eyeball laser, which he just has because, uh, reasons, I guess. The laser is not from a cybernetic implant, his eyeball magically shoots a laser. Yeah. A+ writing. I also have to note how appalling, and confounding, the comment about omitting Johnny Cage because he would have been a "white hero". I am perplexed why it is ok to say something so blatantly racist about a white character when that would not fly for any other race/ethnicity in 2021. Lastly, the gratuitous use of f-bombs for the sake of trying to be edgy, or hip with the foul-mouthed current generation, was a negative. Hearing MK characters call each other "mother f'ers" did not work for me. Cringe. Total cringe.

I would barely give Mortal Kombat 2021 a higher score than Annihilation, and that is almost entirely based on the opening scene with Hanzo's family. Otherwise, the remainder of the movie is barely any better than the embarrassment known as Mortal Kombat Annihilation. I will stick with the 1995 movie for my live-action MK fix. Sure, people will note its a #1 movie but its not like MK 2021 had much competition, and $15 million is far from a blockbuster. Even if it did garner more $, box office revenue does not = quality movie.

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RE: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot
04/29/2021 12:01 AM EDT

Like most people say, the review is fairly and well made. They did great what the others movies lacked, fights scenes and (mostly) special effects, but needed a good story. Too many unnecesary add-ons and changes. Too bad they didn't make a tournament like it should be, and even the movie doesn't make Goro justice, he has the worst death.

But I can't lie, I wasn't expecting a good story, so i was surprisingly entertained. Some actors were really good and deserve to keep their character on.

Anyway, nobody mentions it, but I really found strange how Bi-han attacked the Hasashi residence unmasked, I mean he's an assassin, his routine should be going undetected and unrecognizable. I guess it's because is personal.

whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there.

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RE: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot
04/29/2021 07:21 AM EDT
04/29/2021 07:44 AM EDT

The movie was terrible. I'm sorry to hurt the people that liked it. But it was worse than Annihilation. The makers of Annihilation were definitely a fan of the mk franchises, but had no clue about filmography, which has its pros and cons. This movie however, they had more time to produce this. So for the people out there comparing it, need to reflect.

**Sonya has kano locked up in a trailer* After they fight reptile, they all conversate like their besties n shit. Kano walks off like nothing happened. Lmaoo..what!?

*liu kang* How did he find sonya, kano and cole in the desert?

Raiden: You guys are trash. You dont have vip access (sonya). You guys are weak, but im going to leave my powerful spear that's barricading the temple in the open.

*Mileena takes down Sonya* Mileena: Your not chosen, so im not going to kill you, even though you tried to kill me *teleports away*

Reiko *The evil twisted version of batman thats 2 steps ahead of everyone makes his appearance* AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!..................... Tevron: And Ladies and gentleman, that's Reiko

Jax: Monks gave him bionic arms. Better technology than the special forces hes in. Wakes up, casually walking in the diner room without questioning his state like an officer would.. Yep Major Jackson briggs, just chillin. Its cool, im just gonna hang with these cats. Later on lifts a boulder *disneyland powers starts kicking in* ...christ man

Last one cuz I could go on all day with this friday morning wheeled out trash. Instead of the actor playing Cole. why not play kenshi instead!!!? It would make complete god dam sense

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RE: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot
04/29/2021 09:00 AM EDT
@tevronwizdom

The movie was terrible. I'm sorry to hurt the people that liked it. But it was worse than Annihilation. The makers of Annihilation were definitely a fan of the mk franchises, but had no clue about filmography, which has its pros and cons. This movie however, they had more time to produce this. So for the people out there comparing it, need to reflect.

**Sonya has kano locked up in a trailer* After they fight reptile, they all conversate like their besties n shit. Kano walks off like nothing happened. Lmaoo..what!?

*liu kang* How did he find sonya, kano and cole in the desert?

Raiden: You guys are trash. You dont have vip access (sonya). You guys are weak, but im going to leave my powerful spear that's barricading the temple in the open.

*Mileena takes down Sonya* Mileena: Your not chosen, so im not going to kill you, even though you tried to kill me *teleports away*

Reiko *The evil twisted version of batman thats 2 steps ahead of everyone makes his appearance* AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!..................... Tevron: And Ladies and gentleman, that's Reiko

Jax: Monks gave him bionic arms. Better technology than the special forces hes in. Wakes up, casually walking in the diner room without questioning his state like an officer would.. Yep Major Jackson briggs, just chillin. Its cool, im just gonna hang with these cats. Later on lifts a boulder *disneyland powers starts kicking in* ...christ man

Last one cuz I could go on all day with this friday morning wheeled out trash. Instead of the actor playing Cole. why not play kenshi instead!!!? It would make complete god dam sense

Ha ha ha. You're right, but I disagree in MK Anihilation being better. The only good thing I could think of MKA is Sandra Hess as Sonya Blade.

You know, this movie reminds me of The Force Awakens, promising start, then falls off while it progresses.

whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there.

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RE: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot
04/29/2021 05:50 PM EDT
04/29/2021 05:51 PM EDT

"Last one cuz I could go on all day with this friday morning wheeled out trash. Instead of the actor playing Cole. why not play kenshi instead!!!? It would make complete god dam sense"

spot on about the Kenshi notation, not that him being in this movie would save it from mediocrity, but it would make more sense than Cole, The Generic Jobber

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RE: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot
04/29/2021 07:04 PM EDT
05/13/2021 10:15 AM EDT

I'm still thinking about how we we're fooled on so many things, I thought on Kano having an eyelaser implant, just to know it was an "arcana". Scorpion everywhere in the trailer and poster just to see him like 2 minutes in the overall film, Jax having cool cyborg arms that magically appeared and also were implanted by shaolins. One thing I wasn't surprised was Raiden dissapearing and appearing right after the villains showed and beated the earth warriors.

whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there.

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RE: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot
04/30/2021 01:51 AM EDT

Raiden's still a dick

Shang got their champion offed

Cole's powers are that of a power ranger

and Kid thunder can teleport but sent Liu for Jax? DICK.

Also, they found Jax's arms from other realms but why? Just have the military do it.

PS. Annihilation had the better Mileena vs Sonya fight.

Kintaro better kick ass in part 2.

God of War is Back!
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RE: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot
05/02/2021 03:28 PM EDT

https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2021/05/01/box-office-mortal-kombat-and-demon-slayer-both-suffer-huge-friday-drops/?sh=6e024fb44987

Compared to this abomination, MK Annihilation was a masterpiece. Sh*t, even Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1993) had way better story and much more serious dialogues.
Dragon mark, "arkana"? WTF?
Scorpion's bloodline is the bloodline of the chosen one while Liu Kang is a former bum? Really???

They screwed up everything, even the fight scenes. MK Conquest fight scenes were godlike compared to this lameness.

Oh and let's not even mention the characters... And of top of that, Cole... :\
I mean... WTF were they thinking?

This movie will be a bigger flop than Ghostbusters (2016)

I am mortal - I am a thief and assassin - I am a Lin Kuei warrior - I am SUB-ZERO

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RE: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot
05/04/2021 11:00 AM EDT

The mortal kombat franchise has turned into dog shit since punkass WB inquired it l. I really hope some other company buys the MK IP, klearly WB doesn't know dam thing about the lore, and it is milking it for the name only, Otherwise dick farts like cole young and guest characters ruining my favorite franchise. The trilogy geeks and kasuals will kontinue to hype up this subpar piece of krap.

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RE: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot
05/12/2021 12:12 PM EDT

My critique of the Mortal Kombat films from 1995 and 2021 accounts for people who are gamers (i.e., followed the approximate 30-year history of the franchise) and are casual movie watchers (i.e., had limited to no knowledge of the franchise).

ROUND 1: FAITHFULNESS TO SOURCE

Overall, the 1995 film was more faithful to and well-developed from the source material. The 1995 film did not explain the backstories of Scorpion and Sub-Zero other than Shang Tsung stating that they were “deadliest of rivals” and had Reptile as Kitana’s (instead of Shang Tsung’s) protector. However, the other main characters from the video games had their statuses and/or incentives for entering the tournament explained: Liu Kang and Sonya entered to avenge the respective murders of his brother and her partner, while Johnny Cage wanted to prove his authenticity as a martial artist. Raiden (who wore his coolie hat during his first scene) was an elemental lightning/thunder god, who served as a mentor and could not participate in the tournament due to his status. The bios of Kano, Kitana, Prince Goro, and Shang Tsung, as well as the history of the tournament, were explained through dialogue (e.g., between Kano and Shang Tsung at the night club or Kano, Goro, and Shang Tsung at Shang Tsung’s Palace). Prince Goro was referenced as the reigning champion of Mortal Kombat and demonstrated it by defeating 21 Earthrealm warriors, including Art Lean (a movie-introduced character). Shang Tsung in the 1995 film was more menacing, charismatic, and developed than in the 2021 film. Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Raiden’s ethnicities were miscast in the old film, but Christopher Lambert’s portrayal of Raiden eclipsed Tadanobu Asano’s version.

The faithfulness of the 2021 film came from the fleshed-out rivalry of Hanzo and Bi-Han. Although their fight was set in feudal Japan (the 1600s), the film used the canon set by the original and current video games’ timelines: Sub-Zero/Bi-Han killed Hanzo Hasashi. However, this film had Bi-Han murder Hanzo’s Shirai Ryu clan, wife, and son instead of Quan Chi. Also straying from canon involved the inclusion of Hanzo’s daughter, whose descendant was Cole Young. In addition, the video games showed that Cryomancers still age (e.g., Kuai Liang’s Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and Mortal Kombat X), yet there was no explanation as to how Bi-Han appeared unaged for centuries. If the video games used the same history as the 1995 film and the television series, Mortal Kombat Conquest, only the tournament’s champion did not age; Goro would be the ageless victor.

One of the worst character depictions in the new film included Goro. The nine-time champion (of at least 450 years) was reduced to a dishonorable lackey who did not show any superpowers and apparently never faced an opponent with weapons. The one who dispatched Goro, Cole Young, required help to defeat all three of his opponents (i.e., Cole’s wife axed Goro, Sonya’s Ring Toss killed Mileena, and Scorpion intervened and killed Sub-Zero). Other characters who did not receive development included Reptile/Syzoth, General Reiko, Mileena, and Nitara. Sent by Shang Tsung, Reptile was there for Kano to show humor, be freed, and use his “Heart Rip” fatality. The backstories for Reiko (a Brothers of the Shadow member with a fetish for Shao Kahn’s costume and power), Mileena (the half-Tarkatan clone of Kitana, who was absent from the film and only passively referenced by her steel fan at Raiden’s Temple), and Nitara (an Outworld vampire) were ignored. Kabal had minimal development: He stated he was a Black Dragon member like Kano, who was the one who put him in the respirator. Jax and Sonya were explained as Special Forces partners, while Kung Lao and Liu Kang were explained as cousins, descendants of the Great Kung Lao, and gatherers of Earthrealm’s warriors. Raiden served as a mentor and selective guardian. Shang Tsung was a stereotypical antagonist, who could have been mistaken as Outworld’s emperor since Shao Kahn was not explicitly mentioned (but only passively shown from an image and statue). Johnny Cage was briefly teased on a poster at the end of the film.

More elements of the 2021 film contradicted its own and the video games’ canon. First, fighters were not chosen due to a certain tattoo (from birth or bequeathed by a dead opponent) nor did their superpowers come from an awakened “arcana” in the games. If Johnny Cage appears in the next film, he should be born with the mark since his superpowers in the games followed his lineage. Second, Raiden stated that he could not interfere with the events of the actual tournament, but sparingly acted in events prior to the tournament: Raiden abducted Hanzo’s daughter, temporarily created a forcefield in the temple, teleported the Earthrealm fighters into the void and to fight the Outworld warriors, and attacked Shang Tsung after Bi-Han died (instead of stopping Shang from devouring Kung Lao’s soul). In the 1995 film, Raiden intervened twice before the tournament: He incapacitated Scorpion and Sub-Zero on the boat and stopped Shang Tsung’s minions from further attacking Liu Kang, Sonya, and Johnny Cage in the palace. Third, Bi-Han somehow did not age for centuries; Kuai Liang would have to be introduced as the ageless younger brother or a descendant of Bi-Han. Perhaps Kuai could fight Noob Saibot in the next film. Fourth, the inception of Jax’s cybernetic arms varied between the video games and the films. In the original timeline and in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, the cybernetic arms were fitted over Jax’s real ones; his alternate costume in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance showed that his regular arms still existed. However, Jax’s bionic arms became a necessary replacement following varied events since the ninth game: Ermac telekinetically severed them in Mortal Kombat (2011 game), shrapnel severely injured them in the first season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Goro tore them in Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, and Sub-Zero shattered them in the 2021 film. Lastly, Sonya and Jax knew about the Mortal Kombat history and started the Outerworld Investigation Agency prior to Sonya competing in the tournament in the new film; they founded the agency after Sonya’s rescue between the events of the second and third games.

Some redemption could arise from the 2021 film’s manipulation of the franchise. While Shang Tsung insinuated that the deceased fighters might make a return, a film that would focus on rematches during the tournament would cheapen this film’s events. Some characters could return but should not necessarily participate in the tournament. Since Shao Kahn revived Mileena and healed a mortally wounded Goro in the original games’ timeline, both characters could be featured again. If Goro returns to fight in the tournament, hopefully the character is done justice (e.g., Cole’s opponent in this film was a clone of Goro and the real one kills him). Otherwise, Kintaro could take Goro’s place instead. Quan Chi could resurrect Bi-Han and Kung Lao as the wraith Noob Saibot and a revenant, respectively. Liu Kang’s incentive to defeat Shang Tsung in the tournament could involve re-ensouling his fallen cousin. Unlike Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, Liu must fight and defeat Shang (like he did in the original and current video games’ timelines, as well as in the 1995 film) instead of winning by concession (i.e., Scorpion taking Shang’s place and forfeiting). Since Reiko and Nitara were lesser-developed game characters, their resurrections would not be necessary. Kano could receive cybernetic implants and become Shao Kahn’s weapons general if he does return.

The Easter Eggs from the 2021 film minimally count toward the faithfulness to the source material because they had little bearing on the movie and were not properly referenced; someone who watched the movie and was unfamiliar with the franchise would be lost. There were no mentions of who were depicted in the images; only gamers would know the images were the Great Kung Lao defeating Shang Tsung, Goro tearing the Great Kung Lao in half, Shao Kahn with his War Hammer, and Delia and Argus with Taven. A drawing of the Native American shaman, Nightwolf, and a photo of Kotal Kahn’s bronze statue were not explained and premature to the video game timeline; Nightwolf appeared as an Earthrealm warrior during Shao Kahn’s invasion (i.e., Mortal Kombat 3), while Kotal K’etz/Kotal Kahn appeared to rule over Outworld after Shao Kahn’s demise in the current video game timeline (unless if stated differently in the next film, Shao Kahn should still be the incumbent Outworld ruler). Another unmentioned artifact, which was dubiously available for pilfering by Kano (although he was caught), was Shinnok’s Amulet; the important artifact enabled a fallen Elder God to wage war on the realms and kill the other Elder Gods, as well as a former Outworld ruler and a necromancer to reanimate the dead under their biddings.

ROUND 2: SPECIAL EFFECTS AND PRODUCTION VALUE

The 1995 film’s special effects were low quality (e.g., Reptile’s lizard form), but more sets were featured that conveyed the feel and lore of the franchise. Some major sets included Liu Kang’s ancestral homeland, multiple parts of Shang Tsung’s island (e.g., the halls, rooms, roads, and arenas), the Netherrealm, and Outworld (e.g., the roads, statues, and Shao Kahn’s castle). The notable major set pieces in the 2021 film included the Shirai Ryu village, the MMA center (especially during Cole and Scorpion’s fight with Sub-Zero), Sonya’s home, and Raiden’s Temple. The first Pit stage from the games served as a place for Jax and Reiko to fight, but the spiked bottom was not used for a stage fatality. Outworld was the least developed area of the 2021 film; it was a vast wasteland with some statues, walkways that led to ethereal voices of the speakers, and a small open section that served as Shang Tsung’s throne. Some well-developed costumes or CGI characters from the 2021 film included Kung Lao, Liu Kang, Kano (who lacked the bionic eye but wore clothes like the Mortal Kombat: Special Forces version), Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Goro. Reiko’s (somewhat) eye markings and hammer, Mileena’s sais and facial features, and Nitara’s wings vaguely distinguished them. However, Shang Tsung never wore armor in any of his video game iterations. The costumes in the 1995 film conveyed the characters (including the three palette-swapped ninjas at that time of the franchise’s history) closer to the games. Kitana’s costumes may have been the most changed, but they conveyed her princess status more than a ninja-style leotard, headband, and face mask would have. Also, Kitana’s movie appearance was modeled for the later games (e.g., Mortal Kombat 4/Gold). While the 2021 film had the special effects, the 1995 film featured set pieces and costumes that conveyed the mood and atmosphere reminiscent of the video games.

ROUND 3: QUOTABILITY

Other than Kano’s comical rants that may reference pop culture (e.g., calling Liu Kang “M.C. Hammer” and “Magic Mike,” as well as mocking Kung Lao’s hat), the 2021 film had few quotability compared to the 1995 film. In the 1995 film, each of the main characters had memorable dialogue that was either serious or witty/comical. Most of those quotable dialogue came from Johnny Cage and the characters’ interactions with him. The dramatic quotes came from the superior tone and charisma that Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa gave as Shang Tsung in the old film, which Chin Han’s performance could not match in the new film.

The oddest choice for dialogue came from Hanzo Hasashi/Scorpion. While Hanzo/Scorpion remained in the Netherrealm for over 400 years, he only learned how to say, “Get over here!” in English; he should have instead said the phrase in Japanese like Hanzo did in the first season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. The rest of Hanzo’s speech was in Japanese, but there was no indication that Cole was fluent in his ancestor’s native language. Bi-Han/Sub-Zero proved he understood Hanzo’s words; Bi-Han demonstrated that he knew Chinese, Japanese, and English from his interactions with the Lin Kuei, Hanzo’s family, and Shang Tsung.

ROUND 4: FUN FACTOR & NOSTALGIA

The character and story developments, quotes, sets, music, and action made the 1995 film far superior to the 2021 film. As stated in the previous sections, the character’s roles and incentives were explained more in the 1995 film, while the music (both score and vocal tracks) made it more memorable. The remixed “Techno Syndrome” track from the 2021 film lacked the intensity of the 1995 original; the new version could be reserved for dancing than fighting. While the old film might not have used much of the characters’ special moves or fatalities, their inclusions were more organic and memorable. Many of the events from the 1995 film were worked into the future video games (e.g., Kano being Australian; Kitana being modeled after Talisa Soto in Mortal Kombat 4/Gold; Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Linden Ashby, and Christopher Lambert providing their characters' voice and likeness in Mortal Kombat 11; Johnny Cage defeating Goro in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks; the characters’ dialogues; and the coupling of Johnny Cage and Sonya, as well as Liu Kang and Kitana).

The 2021 film passed the special moves off as a tattoo’s unearthing and a means to end certain characters (most of the offed characters were too underdeveloped in the film and/or games to even care about or want to see again). While Shang Tsung’s “Soul Taker” may have had greater special effects in the 2021 film (e.g., Kung Lao’s mummification), the twice-done dramatic usages from the 1995 film were better. Also, Scorpion’s full animatronic skull head and copious flame regurgitation from the 1995 film were closer to the video games (and would have caused a flaming skeleton) than Scorpion’s partial CGI flaming skull mouth and barely incendiary impression on Bi-Han in the new film. In addition, the old film had Johnny Cage insert his Friendship portrait at the end of his fight with Scorpion. Although Sub-Zero used his ice powers more in the new film (and more like his brother’s powers from the newer games), his Mortal Kombat II “Snowball Grenade” or “Ice Shatter” fatality on Shang Tsung’s minion and “Polar Blast” near Liu Kang in the old film were more iconic and potentially led to their usages in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. The other fatalities in the 2021 film were well-done copies of the current games (except for Sonya’s Ring Toss being more of a Brutality). Potential nostalgic factors from the 2021 film could include Kano’s dialogue or Cole Young as a video game character. Overall, the 1995 film had more fun and nostalgia that casual moviegoers also could appreciate; the 2021 film inserted quick fan services that were lost on people without Mortal Kombat knowledge (akin to the brief and unintroduced character appearances in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation).

ROUND 5: FIGHTS

Some fights were well-choreographed in the 1995 film: Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade versus Shang Tsung’s minions; Liu Kang versus the Outworld fighter; Johnny Cage versus Scorpion (in the Netherrealm); Liu Kang versus Reptile; and Liu Kang’s flurry of punches at the end of his fight with Shang Tsung. The notable fight scenes in the 2021 film involved Hanzo Hasashi (i.e., Hanzo versus Bi-Han with the Lin Kuei and Hanzo with Cole versus Bi-Han). Sonya and Kano’s desert fight in the new film was like Liu Kang and Kitana’s sparring match in the old film. The rest of the fights from the old film were slow, incredible, or forgettable (e.g., Sub-Zero’s gymnastic fight with Liu Kang and Liu Kang’s opening elbow fight with Shang Tsung). However, the new film mostly relied on quick scene cuts for fights or unmemorable build-ups to fatalities.

FINAL VERDICT:

After watching both films, the 1995 film was the better one due to more developed characters, settings, costumes, fights, quotability, entertainment value, and usage of or integration into the franchise’s history. Although flawed, the 2021 film left desire for the introduction of more video game characters and stories to be translated into future films. Kitana and Johnny Cage should be featured in the next film because Mileena was introduced (rather than the sister from who she was partially cloned), and Johnny had competed in the first tournament. Quan Chi’s involvement with resurrecting characters like Hanzo and Bi-Han makes him a highly possible candidate for the next film. If Shao Kahn is featured, he must be menacing like the versions from the video games and in Mortal Kombat Conquest rather than a giddy or delusional father’s boy like in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. More areas of the realms, such as Shao Kahn’s castle, could occur as well. The 1995 film may have been more faithful to the games, but the 2021 film showed more promise for the film franchise than Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

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