The first 15 minutes: A pretty great beginning. Sub-Zero and Scorpion fight each other even before they get their world-famous suits and names. Here ingeniously captured fight scenes meet feelings.
Then more fighters join in. Well-known names like Jax or Sonya Blade, but also the newcomer Cole Young, who may not quite fit into the overall picture, even if the succinct storyline urges exactly that.
This kind of prequel to supposedly upcoming sequels is a visually brilliant start. One is strongly oriented towards the video games of the current generation. Be it the brutality, the familiar fighting moves or a final “Fatality”.
Still: It doesn’t work that completely without an aftertaste. Again and again I felt reminded of the less good, but damn cult Mortal Kombat from 1995. Somehow, a touch more seriousness was missing for me. Various jokes in the film, for which above all Kano deserves a medal of shame, seem somehow inappropriate. I would have liked that one would have stayed on the very hard path without much fun. This way, however, one drives on two tracks, which doesn’t always work.
Despite the small but appropriate criticism, I really liked the film. There are numerous scenes worth remembering. I think they did a lot right here. A successor will certainly go one better.
My ★★★★ review of Mortal Kombat (2021) on @letterboxd: boxd.it/1RWdp5