Mortal Kombat 2021 Review

Mortal Kombat Review
Mortal Kombat 2021 Review Darryl Linington
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In the latest Mortal Kombat film to hit the big screen, MMA fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan) is accustomed to taking a beating for a quick buck; however, he is also severely unaware of his heritage – or why Outworld’s Emperor Shang Tsung (Chin Han) has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim), an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt him down.

Fearing for his family’s safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) at the direction of Jax (Mehcad Brooks), a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, Cole finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano), an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), Kung Lao (Max Huang) and rogue mercenary Kano (Josh Lawson), as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana – the immense power from within his soul – in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all? Well, I’ll stop there to avoid any spoilers.

Let’s face it, those familiar with the source material of Mortal Kombat may think of the latest film to be somewhat different to what they expected. Most folks thought this was going to be a remake of the original film, which amped up the visual effects and stuck to the original story. Well, this is not the case. The film actually focuses more on Hanzo Hasashi (Scorpion) and his bitter cold rivalry with Bi-Han (Sub-Zero). Though unaware, Cole is a decedent of Hanzo, and is hunted down by Bi-Han – along with the rest of Earthrealm’s heroes – in order to prevent the upcoming Mortal Kombat tournament.

Essentially, the film is pre-tournament, which reveals that it will likely have follow-up sequels that lead to the actual tournament and the Outworld invasion. While the film does have a stellar cast, I found the plot to be slightly rush and at times, all over the place. While we are accustomed to Liu Kang being the hero of the story, Cole tends to take the reins here. This is not a bad thing, as this allows the film to take a different path that is most welcomed.

The acting is also pretty decent; however, Kano essentially outshines each and every character with his superb performance, charismatic style, and absolute brutality. Also outshining the rest was Kung Lao, who undermined each fighter with his quick and quirky comebacks and absolute authority.

With acting out of the way, the CGI is excellent and really brought a feel of realism to the film. To add to this, the fight choreography was absolutely breathtaking. There were a lot of scenes where I was just like “shit they really just did that?” In addition to this, the sheer violence was exactly what I expected from this film. Mortal Kombat should remain R-Rated as pushing it down to PG-13 status would just be a fatal blow to any upcoming sequels. While I was expecting to see a few X-ray moves and proper fatalities (much like the ones seen in Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge), I still left the cinema feeling satisfied with what I had watched.

Mortal Kombat 2021 rehashes the story to make way for a new hero. While this is not a bad thing, some die hard fans may think of this as a step in the wrong direction. However, this fresh approach allows for more creativity and expanded storylines and character arcs. I feel that I would have been disappointed if the story stuck to the whole Liu Kang is the savior bit… as we all know how that turns out and there would be no point in watching the film.

In conclusion, go into the cinema with an open mind and embrace what director Simon McQuoid has created… as it’s far better than what we have experienced in the past.

By: Darryl Linington
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Follow @DarrylLinington on Twitter

Editor of Tech IT Out. Former radio host of Former Editor of IT News Africa and ITF Gaming. All round techie, gamer and entrepreneur. For Editorial Enquiries Contact: or via +27788021400.