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Mortal Kombat (2021) Movie Discussion Thread

Saboteur-6

Filthy Casual
It was fine, it was a lot like Godzilla vs Kong. Plot/ premise? Completely nonsensical. Dialogue? Cheesy. Characters? Mostly flat with a couple of exceptions.

Do I really care? No because that's not what I go to a Mortal Kombat movie for. Overall 6/10, I'm not going to pretend that it's a great movie or that it's for everyone. But the fights and effects were awesome and I understood all of the references. Scorpion, Sub Zero, and Kano were great.
Prett much my take as well.
 
Why is that specific thing such a bad writing?
Good point. This is probably more an issue with fans that have the background knowledge of the lore so things like this don't sit right. I don't recall what the actual lines were about Goro, did they even mention he was 9 time champion?

If on the other hand they did make out he was some superstar of a fighter, then yeah, it does come across as a bit janky.

This is why I keep on referring to this as a movie based on the MK universe. Just because something happened a particular way in the game doesn't mean it will be the same in the movie, and the movie shouldn't be put down because of it. Like with Reiko, he might have had a different story in the games and smart enough to usurp Kahn's throne, but was just a jobber in the movie. But if there's no plans to have him as a character in sequels, what's it matter if he was knocked out in this one? You still get the fan service and it's better than everyone fighting random zombie characters because they don't want to kill off any actual MK characters.

Even things like Jax's arms. Those that know the MK story might not like that it was Subzero that did that, but in the context of the movie story it makes sense, so does it really matter?
 

Immortal

Blind justice....
Why is that specific thing such a bad writing? "9 time tournament champion" wasn't brought up enough to make Goro look like a great threat. He was made a jobber, everyone in the movie could beat him and that's fine because it was clear that Sub was the main villain of the movie and that just made him look even stronger which was the whole point.

Even the Great Kung Lao argument, what else do we know about him other than he defeated Goro? What powers did he even have? Also that was centuries ago. That just means he was the greatest fighter of his era but it doesn't mean fighters of this era are any worse than him. If anything they can only get better like everything else gets with time. It also highly depends on their powers.

BTW, I'm not defending Cole, I think it was stupid to add a new character and make him the main good guy, he wasn't even interesting. I'm just replying to nitpicks with my own.
That was just one thing of many which just added to the dissapointment. The best example of bad and lazy writing is Cole character, like he literally is a definition of bad writing.

Just to point out few examples:

- he has no real backstory, we just know he is a washed up MMA fighter with nothing else really to go on (poor writing) and that would be fine if he was a well established MK game character (at least for the fans) but as character who should bring new people into the MK universe that's just bad writing.

- his family plot is like 1:1 copy paste of Scorpion backstory, they could've done 10 different things with this... but they went with the most obvious, generic thing ever. You want to get people invested into the character but nobody gave a shit about Cole, coz his story was already done (better) 1000000000000 times in the cinema history. That's just bad and lazy writing.

- he went from punching bag to a Goro killer in like 2 days and you can argue that Goro was a jobber in this movie but it didn't made sense for Cole to just kill him like that, quite easily too. BUT lets leave this alone and talk about why they did it? Again they used the most generic, easy and obvious route to move the plot forward - they made this fight just for Cole to unlock his arcana, coz the script needed that to happen. Again poor and lazy writing.

- someone may say that he unlocked the arcana and killed Goro coz his family was in danger (again the most obvious and generic way to do it) but... that brings another problem into the light: if thats the case then why he couldn't brake Sub Zero ice to save his family even after unlocking arcana? Oh right, coz he needed to pretty much kill Sub Zero... coz... the script needed it to happen.

There is so much wrong in this movie that you could write like 100 pages on that topic and what's worse it applies on both ends - doesn't matter if you judge it as a MK game fan or just like any other movie, it has major problems on both fronts.

and yes you can just turn off your brain and well... enjoy the show (nothing wrong with that) but it doesn't make (poor and lazy) writing of this movie any better.
 
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Law Hero

Reach Heaven through violence
That was just one thing of many which just added to the dissapointment. The best example of bad and lazy writing is Cole character, like he literally is a definition of bad writing.

Just to point out few examples:

- he has no real backstory, we just know he is a washed up MMA fighter with nothing else really to go on (poor writing) and that would be fine if he was a well established MK game character (at least for the fans) but as character who should bring new people into the MK universe that's just bad writing.

- his family plot is like 1:1 copy paste of Scorpion backstory, they could've done 10 different things with this... but they went with the most obvious, generic thing ever. You want to get people invested into the character but nobody gave a shit about Cole, coz his story was already done (better) 1000000000000 times in the cinema history. That's just bad and lazy writing.

- he went from punching bag to a Goro killer in like 2 days and you can argue that Goro was a jobber in this movie but it didn't made sense for Cole to just kill him like that, quite easily too. BUT lets leave this alone and talk about why they did it? Again they used the most generic, easy and obvious route to move the plot forward - they made this fight just for Cole to unlock his arcana, coz the script needed that to happen. Again poor and lazy writing.

- someone may say that he unlocked the arcana and killed Goro coz his family was in danger (again the most obvious and generic way to do it) but... that brings another problem into the light: if thats the case then why he couldn't brake Sub Zero ice to save his family even after unlocking arcana? Oh right, coz he needed to pretty much kill Sub Zero... coz... the script needed it to happen.

There is so much wrong in this movie that you could write like 100 pages on that topic and what's worse it applies on both ends - doesn't matter if you judge it as a MK game fan or just like any other movie, it has major problems on both fronts.

and yes you can just turn off your brain and well... enjoy the show (nothing wrong in that) but it doesn't make (poor and lazy) writing of this movie any better.
I would like to add to this that Cole's character is also very redundant in the story.

Cole's character "arc" is that he wants to fight alongside the defenders, but he is unable to unlock his arcana powers so he is removed from the group of chosen fighters. He then fights a difficult enemy where he is able to unlock his powers and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the team.

Now, it's redundant because it's pretty much Sonya's arc as well. She wants to fight alongside the defenders, but because she has no mark she is unable to get arcana powers and is removed from the group. At the end of the film, she overcomes a difficult enemy, gets her mark and power, and is then able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the team.

Cole is not only a pointless character, but actively detracts from the film. I think the movie would actually benefit from a mostly Cole-less cut of the film.
 

DixieFlatline78

Everyone Has A Path
I would like to add to this that Cole's character is also very redundant in the story.

Cole's character "arc" is that he wants to fight alongside the defenders, but he is unable to unlock his arcana powers so he is removed from the group of chosen fighters. He then fights a difficult enemy where he is able to unlock his powers and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the team.

Now, it's redundant because it's pretty much Sonya's arc as well. She wants to fight alongside the defenders, but because she has no mark she is unable to get arcana powers and is removed from the group. At the end of the film, she overcomes a difficult enemy, gets her mark and power, and is then able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the team.

Cole is not only a pointless character, but actively detracts from the film. I think the movie would actually benefit from a mostly Cole-less cut of the film.
Honestly, if the movie just followed Sonya and Jax it'd be way better.
 

Immortal

Blind justice....
Honestly, if the movie just followed Sonya and Jax it'd be way better.
That would be much better, instead of Cole they could've done Special Forces backstory, like 7-10 minutes cut after Scorpion/ Sub Zero intro with Jax and Sonya on how they got to the point on which we see when Cole finds Sonya and go from there with the rest of the movie it would make much more sense.

Another option was the most obvious - instead of Cole put Cage, than Sonya and Jax could've feed their lines from each other which would deliver some fun banter between these characters and develop them more.

but nope, we got a wooden pole called Cole Young with the most generic everything to please... nobody.
 

Swindle

Philanthropist & Asshole
Its an understandable strategy, but its completely pointless when you consider how many protagonists MK has had over the years. Liu, Johnny, Sonya, Jax, Scorpion. Any one of them could have replaced Cole. I've had so many people ask me who Cole is in the games and I have to tell them he's brand new.

You don't make an Avengers movie and have it star Piranha Commando
James Gunn would.
And it would probably be pretty great.
 

Dankster Morgan

she don’t call me daddy she call me Grandmaster
I rewatched it and it was a little better the second time, mostly cause I could brace myself for dumb shit like Cole's story, Raiden being terrible, and Kung Lao's death. Sonya actress didn't seem as bad second time around either.

I also liked that when Bi Han and Hanzo fought at the beginning, he didn't really even use his ice on Hanzo, they just fought each other as regular guys. Bi Han later says that he is no longer Bi Han and is only Sub-Zero. Hanzo says "I am Scorpion now" or something at the end. Like Bi Han killed Hanzo, but Scorpion killed Sub-Zero. But I'm either reading too far into this dumb movie or am too easily impressed by surface level stuff like that. Thought it was cool enough though.
 

Jynks

some heroes are born, some made, some wondrous
Robin #1 (2021) is a total rip off of Mortal Kombat....

Robin #1 (2021) : After learning of the deadly League of Lazarus tournament, Damian Wayne has a new mission: winning the tournament and prove he is the greatest fighter in the DC Universe! But first he must find the secret island where it’s all going down! This brand-new solo Robin series will force Damian Wayne to find his own path away from both sides of his family! New mysteries! New supporting cast! First appearances of new characters! And lots of fights!
didn't know where to post this lol
 

Marinjuana

Up rock incoming, ETA 5 minutes
I'm not sure why people are acting like former Special Forces and "the guy who slits throats" are thought provoking backstories.

I would have almost no issue with Cole if he didn't make Goro a jobber and let Scorpion have his 1v1 vs Sub. He was easier to like then I expected and I'll take any excuse to add another grappler to MK
 

JGillette

My thirst for knowledge cannot be quenched
I do not wish to mean any disrespect to the cast but, after watching the movie it is confirmed to me that the role of Shang Tsung ONLY belongs to Mr. Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa. If only there was a way to cast him as Shang Tsung, but I suppose there wasn't as he is old. (Hopefully he comes back though hehe)
Other than that, I really expected the scenario to move on with logic, but it was really underwhelming in that aspect. I didn't really like the idea of Cole Young, but I think the actor has really done a great job. Another thing which has really bothered me is that Goro was the biggest jobber in the movie, I really expected an intense fight in that scene. The visuals and effects are really beautiful, I definitely enjoyed watching the movie. I think it will have enough success to have sequels.
 

Kiss the Missile

Red Messiah
Yeah new Shang isn't bad by any stretch, but he isn't even close to Cary. The problem is he has no charisma. The games, Conquest (huge shoutout to Bruce Locke), the OG movie, all of those Shangs had a presence. The BIGGEST thing about Shang's personality is his smile. He has such a vile, poisonous smile. I don't think 21 Shang smiled once
 

JGillette

My thirst for knowledge cannot be quenched
Yeah new Shang isn't bad by any stretch, but he isn't even close to Cary. The problem is he has no charisma. The games, Conquest (huge shoutout to Bruce Locke), the OG movie, all of those Shangs had a presence. The BIGGEST thing about Shang's personality is his smile. He has such a vile, poisonous smile. I don't think 21 Shang smiled once
that was literally what i meant. thank you very much for making it clearer to people. as i said before, i cant disrespect the current actor but man mr tagawa was born to be shang tsung so he is unmatched, there is that.
 

Immortal

Blind justice....
Since Shang role is pretty much whatever they want it to be at any time - young or old i see how Cary could be casted again in the future. Shang can be aged in the sequel with explanation - punishment by Shao Kahn for failing the task.

Anyway we all pretty much agree that Cary IS Shang Tsung.
 

DeftMonk

Noob
Since Shang role is pretty much whatever they want it to be at any time - young or old i see how Cary could be casted again in the future. Shang can be aged in the sequel with explanation - punishment by Shao Kahn for failing the task.

Anyway we all pretty much agree that Cary IS Shang Tsung.
That new guy did a pretty good job tho ngl. When he was talking to raiden in that one scene it was so painful to watch for me. All shang tsung lines were presented as they should be then this Raiden actor everyline was like he had never done any acting in his life.
 

RoboCop

The future of law enforcement.
Administrator
Premium Supporter
Article without paywall: https://outline.com/Y4hTry
Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema’s Mortal Kombat took a brutally large tumble last night. The R-rated video game adaptation grossed $1.85 million (-79%) on its second Friday, which is a Friday-to-Friday drop on par (-81%) with Batman v Superman five years ago. We’re likely looking at a $5.9 million (-74%) second-weekend gross and a $33.5 million ten-day cume. That’s a second-weekend plunge closer to Warcraft (-70% from a $24 million debut in 2016) than Tomb Raider (-59% after a $23.6 million debut in 2018). As such, barring a revival next weekend (or the mere fact that it stays in theaters for a while), we’re probably looking at a cume closer to Resident Evil: Retribution ($42 million in 2012) than Resident Evil: Afterlife ($60 million in 2012).

It’s probably a situation akin to Wonder Woman 1984. Simply put, it’s a fan-driven property that didn’t get exceptionally-great buzz or overly superlative reviews. The folks who wanted to check it out in theaters did so on opening weekend, with the rest either outright passing or sampling the gory goods on HBO Max. Does that mean the HBO Max hindered the film’s domestic box office trajectory? Not really. Absent the streaming option, even a 60% drop would have given it a $9 million second-weekend gross, which (at $9.37 per ticket) is only around 378,000 “lost” ticket purchases. That’s not exact science, but what happened with Wonder Woman 1984 (-67% after a $16.4 million debut last Christmas) did not happen with Tom & Jerry or Godzilla Vs. Kong.

However, Wonder Woman 1984 legged out to $46.4 million domestic, or a “conventional” 2.83x weekend-to-final multiplier. Meanwhile, Tom & Jerry has earned $44.163 million from a $14.4 million debut, or a 3x multiplier. Even The Little Things pulled a 3.2x ($15.3 million from a $4.7 million debut), while Godzilla Vs. Kong is passing $90 million after a $31 million Fri-Sun/$50 million Wed-Mon debut. Is it possible that Mortal Kombat will stick around and still earn closer to $60 million than $45 million? Maybe, but A) that drop implies that it would have plunged hard even in conventional circumstances and B) with summer season about to begin (Wrath of Man, Spiral, Cruella, etc.), the big WB release of the moment will no longer be the only game in town.

Demon Slayer: The Movie suffered an almost identical drop in its second weekend, grossing $1.818 million on Friday. That’s -81% from its $9.5 million opening day (counting Thursday previews) and positions the film for a $5.76 million (-73%) second-weekend gross. Look, this is still a Japanese anime export, a domestic run for a deeply fan-driven R-rated action fantasy which has already grossed $29.5 million in eight days. Yes, it stood to reason that the fans who wanted to show up did so last weekend, but the weekday grosses ($6.3 million over Mon-Thurs after a $21.4 million debut) were generally better than Dragon Ball Super: Brolly from early 2019. That film nabbed a $9.8 million Fri-Sun and $22.369 million Wed-Mon MLK weekend debut before tapping out at $30.712 million.

Considering the solid weekday grosses, I expected a slightly better hold for Demon Slayer, but c’est la vie. The film will have $33.6 million domestic by tomorrow night, which is more than “fine” for a release of this nature. It’ll already be the seventh-biggest foreign-language grosser ever (sans inflation), between Amélie ($33.225 million in 2001) and Pan’s Labyrinth ($37.634 million in 2006). If it at least legs out to $44.5 million, it’ll pass Instructions Not Included ($44.467 million in 2013) to crack the top five, behind Parasite ($53.4 million in 2019), Hero ($53.71 million in 2004), Life is Beautiful ($57.2 million in 1999) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ($128 million in 2000). Nonetheless, it’s still arguably playing exactly as it would have had it opened in conventional times.

Warner Bros.’ Godzilla Vs. Kong earned another $700,000 (-40%) on its fifth Friday, leading to a likely $2.55 million (-41%) weekend and $90.15 million domestic cume. Whether it makes it to $100 million domestic is arguably about whether WB keeps it in theaters long enough for that to happen. The film will nab $185 million in China by the time it’s done, a mammoth win for the MonsterVerse and for the hope that Chinese moviegoers still give a darn about Hollywood franchises. It’s already past $400 million worldwide, with very early talks about an Adam Wingard-directed MonsterVerse continuation already in progress (my nine-year-old has pitches), so it’s already a solid hit for Warner Bros. whether it stalls out at $95 million or makes it to $100 million.

Meanwhile, Universal re-released Scott Pilgrim vs. the World into 152 Dolby Cinema theaters in America. The Edgar Wright action comedy fantasy was a cult favorite among the nerd set in summer 2010, but also a prime example of how online fandom doesn’t translate into general audience interest. The “Twilight for boys” flick (that’s not a criticism) earned $31.5 million domestic and $47.7 million worldwide on a $60 million budget, even as essentially everyone in the supporting cast (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, etc.) went on to fortune and glory elsewhere. As for its Dolby reissue, it earned $340,000 on Friday for a likely $700,000 “opening weekend” for a new $32.374 million cume. It’ll have the biggest per-theater-average, $4,605 per-theater, in the top 23.
 

Marinjuana

Up rock incoming, ETA 5 minutes
How Extreme Violence And Gore Helped Make ‘Mortal Kombat’ A Box Office Hit by Scott Mendelson

 

ChaosTheory

A fat woman came into the shoe store today...
Biggest takeaway is that you probably can't do MK justice at this point unless it's a series. After almost 30 years of lore, there's too much to develop and you'll end up feeling cheated or at least unsatisfied. It'd be like Game of Thrones cramming a few seasons into a sub-2hr movie.

Original MK only had two games and 20 characters to work from. Even then, half the current MK characters were either henchman, vaguely mentioned, or altogether omitted.


  • Tone of first 20 mins was good, R-rating helps. It went away.
  • Bookend fights were best, but there are no fights on the level of Scorp-Cage or Reptile-Liu from '95.
  • Cole Young angle is unnecessary and easily avoidable.
  • Goro was a waste. Victim of a short run-time, but was done dirty by the writers regardless.
  • I'm all for a twist on a returning character... but who green-lit that Reiko design? Would anybody know that was him without being told?
 
Hugo Martin, the game director for the DOOM franchise, has been doing a live stream weekly playing through all of DOOM Eternal and explaining some of the design decisions and elements as he goes. It's been very interesting to watch.

The first 45 minutes or so of the stream though, he and the ID community manager nerd out and take about really cool stuff. Last week, they talked about Mortal Kombat.

Hugo loved the film, thought it was a fantastic B film with excellent CG. He loved the Scorpion and Sub-Zero fights. His critiques were the overall fight choreography could have been tighter, Cole was not so great, and he really wanted more "impact" sounds for hits.

You can watch the stream here. He starts talking about the movie at 25:25.
 

Law Hero

Reach Heaven through violence
Article without paywall: https://outline.com/Y4hTry
Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema’s Mortal Kombat took a brutally large tumble last night. The R-rated video game adaptation grossed $1.85 million (-79%) on its second Friday, which is a Friday-to-Friday drop on par (-81%) with Batman v Superman five years ago. We’re likely looking at a $5.9 million (-74%) second-weekend gross and a $33.5 million ten-day cume. That’s a second-weekend plunge closer to Warcraft (-70% from a $24 million debut in 2016) than Tomb Raider (-59% after a $23.6 million debut in 2018). As such, barring a revival next weekend (or the mere fact that it stays in theaters for a while), we’re probably looking at a cume closer to Resident Evil: Retribution ($42 million in 2012) than Resident Evil: Afterlife ($60 million in 2012).

It’s probably a situation akin to Wonder Woman 1984. Simply put, it’s a fan-driven property that didn’t get exceptionally-great buzz or overly superlative reviews. The folks who wanted to check it out in theaters did so on opening weekend, with the rest either outright passing or sampling the gory goods on HBO Max. Does that mean the HBO Max hindered the film’s domestic box office trajectory? Not really. Absent the streaming option, even a 60% drop would have given it a $9 million second-weekend gross, which (at $9.37 per ticket) is only around 378,000 “lost” ticket purchases. That’s not exact science, but what happened with Wonder Woman 1984 (-67% after a $16.4 million debut last Christmas) did not happen with Tom & Jerry or Godzilla Vs. Kong.

However, Wonder Woman 1984 legged out to $46.4 million domestic, or a “conventional” 2.83x weekend-to-final multiplier. Meanwhile, Tom & Jerry has earned $44.163 million from a $14.4 million debut, or a 3x multiplier. Even The Little Things pulled a 3.2x ($15.3 million from a $4.7 million debut), while Godzilla Vs. Kong is passing $90 million after a $31 million Fri-Sun/$50 million Wed-Mon debut. Is it possible that Mortal Kombat will stick around and still earn closer to $60 million than $45 million? Maybe, but A) that drop implies that it would have plunged hard even in conventional circumstances and B) with summer season about to begin (Wrath of Man, Spiral, Cruella, etc.), the big WB release of the moment will no longer be the only game in town.

Demon Slayer: The Movie suffered an almost identical drop in its second weekend, grossing $1.818 million on Friday. That’s -81% from its $9.5 million opening day (counting Thursday previews) and positions the film for a $5.76 million (-73%) second-weekend gross. Look, this is still a Japanese anime export, a domestic run for a deeply fan-driven R-rated action fantasy which has already grossed $29.5 million in eight days. Yes, it stood to reason that the fans who wanted to show up did so last weekend, but the weekday grosses ($6.3 million over Mon-Thurs after a $21.4 million debut) were generally better than Dragon Ball Super: Brolly from early 2019. That film nabbed a $9.8 million Fri-Sun and $22.369 million Wed-Mon MLK weekend debut before tapping out at $30.712 million.

Considering the solid weekday grosses, I expected a slightly better hold for Demon Slayer, but c’est la vie. The film will have $33.6 million domestic by tomorrow night, which is more than “fine” for a release of this nature. It’ll already be the seventh-biggest foreign-language grosser ever (sans inflation), between Amélie ($33.225 million in 2001) and Pan’s Labyrinth ($37.634 million in 2006). If it at least legs out to $44.5 million, it’ll pass Instructions Not Included ($44.467 million in 2013) to crack the top five, behind Parasite ($53.4 million in 2019), Hero ($53.71 million in 2004), Life is Beautiful ($57.2 million in 1999) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ($128 million in 2000). Nonetheless, it’s still arguably playing exactly as it would have had it opened in conventional times.

Warner Bros.’ Godzilla Vs. Kong earned another $700,000 (-40%) on its fifth Friday, leading to a likely $2.55 million (-41%) weekend and $90.15 million domestic cume. Whether it makes it to $100 million domestic is arguably about whether WB keeps it in theaters long enough for that to happen. The film will nab $185 million in China by the time it’s done, a mammoth win for the MonsterVerse and for the hope that Chinese moviegoers still give a darn about Hollywood franchises. It’s already past $400 million worldwide, with very early talks about an Adam Wingard-directed MonsterVerse continuation already in progress (my nine-year-old has pitches), so it’s already a solid hit for Warner Bros. whether it stalls out at $95 million or makes it to $100 million.

Meanwhile, Universal re-released Scott Pilgrim vs. the World into 152 Dolby Cinema theaters in America. The Edgar Wright action comedy fantasy was a cult favorite among the nerd set in summer 2010, but also a prime example of how online fandom doesn’t translate into general audience interest. The “Twilight for boys” flick (that’s not a criticism) earned $31.5 million domestic and $47.7 million worldwide on a $60 million budget, even as essentially everyone in the supporting cast (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, etc.) went on to fortune and glory elsewhere. As for its Dolby reissue, it earned $340,000 on Friday for a likely $700,000 “opening weekend” for a new $32.374 million cume. It’ll have the biggest per-theater-average, $4,605 per-theater, in the top 23.
I find it funny that they compare it's financial trajectory to that of WW84 considering they both have the same screenwriter (one of them). It's almost as if there's some kind of pattern here where hiring talentless people and nobodies you can easily control results in bad movies that see a huge week 2 drop due to negative word of mouth.

At this point, I think the only way we're ever getting a great MK adaptation is through some sort of fan project by some talented and passionate people free of studio meddling.