Mortal Kombat: The third movie will please fans


Ryan Dorsey

Even though it has gory fight scenes, this is an entertaining movie.

by Ryan Dorsey, Reporter

Mortal Kombat is a franchise known for its 18 fighting video games dating back to 1992. The premise of the game is two players choose between a selection of unique characters with unique abilities and fight to the death in gruesome fashion. The game became a classic in arcades and is still popular today.

Mortal Kombat 11, the last game release, sold more than eight million copies within a 18 months of its release.

Mortal Kombat the movie was released in January in theaters and on popular streaming platform HBO Max. So far, Mortal Kombat has grossed a worldwide 74.4 million in the box office.

Mortal Kombat is the third movie of the franchise. Mortal Kombat (1995) was an average movie.  Critics said thatDespite an effective otherwordly atmosphere and appropriately cheesy visuals, Mortal Kombat suffers from its poorly constructed plot, laughable dialogue, and subpar acting.” 

Who watches Mortal Kombat for the plot?  Not me.  Not anyone I know, either.  We just want to see the fights.

On the other hand, the sequel  Mortal Kombat: Annihilation had even worse ratings. It’s hard to imagine a Tomatometer of 2%.  The critics bashed this even more and said, “It manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor.”

Why am I a fan of the third movie?

 I liked the third movie. As long as people can handle the heavy blood, gore, and dismemberment, they will like it too. Not a great film for watching after lunch, though.

The third film begins in 17th century Japan where a group of Lin Kuei assassins led by Bi-Han (later revealed to be popular character Sub-Zero) attack Hanzo Hasashi (later revealed to be popular character Scorpion)’s family, killing his wife and daughter using his unique ice powers.

Ice powers mean that he has ice where Spiderman has webs.

The set and the camera angles are very strong and keep the viewer entertained throughout. 

The film reveals that the Outworld has won nine straight Mortal Kombat tournaments, meaning one more win is certain doom for Earthrealm. The leader of the Outworld Shang Tsung starts cheating by sending his fighters to kill the fighters of Earthrealm before the tournament, causing a shortage of these fighters on Earth.

OK.  The plot isn’t very strong in the third movie, either.

The film introduces viewers to a new character, an MMA fighter named Cole Young, who has always been curious about his dragon birthmark. He  finds out that he has been chosen as an Earthrealm fighter, as Sub-Zero comes for him and his family.

I guess Young’s dragon birthmark is a little like Harry Potter’s lightening scar.  It’s a sign of his destiny

Another Earthrealm fighter, Jax, saves Cole from death, but gets his arms ripped off in the process. 

Cole finds Sonya Blade and Kano, and the band travels to the temple of the Thunder God and protector of Earthrealm, Raiden, for training. The epic fighting stops here, as the fighters have to train to learn their “arcana” or special ability.

There is some decent dialogue here, especially from Kano, who is filled with wise cracks. The problem with this is that it is about an hour into the movie and almost completely kills the momentum. 

The movie bounces back though, as the Outworld fighters invade Raiden’s temple.

Disappointingly, due to the cheating of Shang Tsung, Raiden elects to abandon the tournament and the heroes of the Earthrealm and Outworld fight in separate locations. These cinematic fights are fairly creative and unique. The most epic battle was definitely the one between the franchises two most recognizable characters, Sub-Zero and Scorpion.

The movie keeps the viewer relatively entertained throughout with the fun cinematic duels.

There are some flaws. The biggest being that film could definitely be hard to follow for those who are not familiar with the Mortal Kombat franchise. While it is what the series is known for, the average viewer could be turned away by what I like most–the blood and gore.

The story of the main character Cole on his “emotional” journey to protect his family is uninspired–I felt no emotion at all. Lastly, the movie feels kind of rushed, almost like it would be better as a series than a movie. 

Besides these flaws, the movie meets expectations, as most viewers do not expect it to be anything more with a fun fighting film filled with nostalgia and references to the classic franchise. I’d say that a whole new generation of Mortal Kombat fans have been born–so if there’s a Mortal Kombat 12, there will be a whole new set of video game consumers.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film is rated at 5.5/10. I think this is harsh, as it was fairly enjoyable throughout most of the film. It certainly isn’t a masterpiece, but it is just a fun film. For this reason, I would rate the film a 6.5/10.