When we talk about video game adaptations to movies, we enter a complicated field. The big screen has provided us with many troubles like House of the Dead, along with the infamous memory of Uwe Boll. Likewise, we find films that generate mixed feelings between nostalgia and badly aged technology, and also other very worthy adaptations.
This last case is that of Mortal Kombat full movie, the work of Simon McQuoid, produced by Todd Garner and James Wun, who gave us details in a recent interview. At MeriStation we have been invited to the preview and today we are talking about how this film is not only an enjoyable action story, but a whole love letter to the video game saga created by Ed Boon and John Tobias.
If we return to the round table of McQuoid, Garner and James Wun, we see that one of their purposes when making this film was to get a good action movie. The intention is evident from the first minute and is maintained throughout the almost two hours of the projection. The story, simple and without fanfare, takes Cole Young as the protagonist: a professional mixed martial arts fighter who is chosen to participate in the Mortal Kombat tournament. Mortal Kombat Emperor Shang Tsung sends Sub-Zero to hunt him down. The fighter, fearful for his life and that of his family, searches for Sonya Blade following Jax’s directions. Soon after, the god of lightning ends up gathering the warriors who have received the dragon’s mark and that makes them worthy for the tournament. Cole will train alongside his new teammates to defeat his Outworld rivals.
Every Mortal Kombat fan will expect to see his favorite character, although we must be aware that it is impossible to collect the entire cast in a single movie. There are absences, but understandable, and the initial cast is fair enough to give us an introduction to the Mortal Kombat universe that Simon McQuoid aspires to create with the Atomic Monster team.
On the other hand, it is worth exploring the character of Cole Young (Lewis Tan) and the fears that the announcement of him aroused among the public, since it was feared that he was a sad copy of Johnny Cage. During the panel discussion, the creators of the Mortal Kombat movie assured us that Cole’s purpose is to be the guiding element that brings the characters together and gives cohesion to the story. That’s right, the fighter becomes one more and acquires his own identity, and at no time is he perceived as an insipid substitute. As for the rest of the cast, each actor manages to convey the personality of his character and has his own brilliance on stage, both in the action sequences and in the rest of the moments. Perhaps we have missed more frivolity in the character of Kung Lao, although we understand that comedy has no greater place in the work beyond its specific moments and almost all focused on the character of Kano. In terms of characterization, a good balance is maintained between fidelity to the game and the sober code of the film.
A fair and mature savagery
There is no Mortal Kombat without Fatalities and the film respects this hallmark. Just like we were promised, there are final executions that honor memorable video game finishers, and their purpose serves both story development and character development. Visually they are spectacular, without going into torture porn, and without falling into a prissy extreme. Wild, forceful and satisfying, we will see how each Fatality puts a full stop (or a full stop, depending on how you look at it) to the characters who have the misfortune of losing their combat.