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5 Ways the Mortal Kombat Movie Lives Up to the Games

Not sure if the new Mortal Kombat movie reboot is worth watching? Here are five ways it's like the original games.


When it comes to making video game movies, it always seems like there's something lost in translation. For some reason, it always feels like these blockbusters can never measure up to the titles they're adapting. The latest video game adaptation, Mortal Kombat, seemed as though it might face the same issues -- until it didn't.

Surprisingly, it looks like the new Mortal Kombat film entry ends up ticking many of the important boxes when it comes to pleasing fans. In fact, it's managed to capture a lot of what makes the games unique. How so, exactly? If you're curious and want to see the movie yourself, you should absolutely check it out. Otherwise, check out our thoughts on the five best ways the new Mortal Kombat movie lives up to the games.

The Gang’s All Together

Liu Kang and Kung Lao are ready to rumble. Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Some video game movies decide they want to take special, frustrating liberties with the characters they feature. The new Mortal Kombat movie doesn't try to waste our time like that. Sure, there's a new protagonist in the form of Cole Young (Lewis Tan), but he's just another fighter who'd likely fit in with the regular Mortal Kombat roster.

Otherwise, we've got most of the familiar pack of combatants in the movie. All the fighters you love and care about are here, altered very little from their original form: Shang Tsung, Sub-Zero, Mileena, Goro, Kung Lao, Sonya Blade, you name it. It's great to see the classics here, even if this is an original story.

No Shortage of Gore

Mileena is seen licking her blades.Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

This might be the thing that makes most people uncomfortable about Mortal Kombat. It's certainly one of the reasons the game was maligned when it first hit the scene. But luckily the new movie reboot doesn't shy away from showing the violence and gore associated with the games.

Heads do roll, literally, limbs get cut off here and there, and there's a steady supply of entrails, if you're concerned the franchise may have been sanitized too much for the movie to work. It's just as you might have envisioned a Mortal Kombat movie, and while it's true that might be concerning for some, it also means that series die-hards have little to be concerned with in terms of accuracy.

It’s Still Schlocky

Sub-Zero is just as menacing together in movie form.Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

No one ever accused the Mortal Kombat series of taking itself too seriously, even if there is a fairly satisfying story. Luckily, the movie doesn't try to go the ultra-serious action film route. It's content to stay in its lane and remain as silly as you'd expect. There might be a few real-world, grounded moments, but otherwise it's a lot of dudes punching dudes, slicing them in half, and revealing superpowers.

This is a popcorn movie, through and through, full of spectacle, and it should be treated the same way you'd approach the games -- looking at it with your jaw to the floor, wondering what they'll come up with next. And it's like that for a reason: it's fun!

The Lore is Still There

Jax is about to let somebody know.Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Some gaming movies like to pretend they know what they're talking about by making up some odd amalgam of movie and game worlds and combining them. That isn't the case with the new Mortal Kombat reboot. This movie does a surprisingly good job of sticking to the somewhat confusing lore that takes place across a series of titles, and even injects some of its own. All that, and it still manages to be fun and exciting. That's pretty impressive.

Shang Tsung is Still Playing Dirty

Shang Tsung contemplates how he can be more of a thorn in everyone's side.Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Honestly, this is one of the more important aspects of the new movie. If Shang Tsung suddenly turned into some goody two-shoes, we'd be disappointed. But of course, he decides he's going to rig the game (Mortal Kombat as a tournament, of course) before all the combatants can gather by killing off anyone who might be able to clean his clock. As you can imagine, this doesn't work out for him. But we appreciate the creators knowing he'd still try it.


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