February 2, 2023

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Mortal Kombat movie producer’s “dream” is to do a Marvel with the famous fighting game franchise

As the new Mortal Kombat movie approaches (it’s due out in the US at cinemas and on HBO Max on April 16th, and is “coming soon” to the UK), thoughts are turning to what’s next. Is this promising-looking martial arts fantasy film a one-off? Or is it the start of something more?

Based on the recently-released trailer, Mortal Kombat looks right up fans’ street. This is an R-rated movie – it’s the first Mortal Kombat movie to get such a rating – and so there’s plenty of gore. And there are even fatalities (Kano rips someone’s heart out, as he does in the games). This is in keeping with the source material, of course. But it’s a world (or should that be realm?) away from the cult classic 1995 Mortal Kombat movie – a film I love even now, over 25 years after it came out. That film was silly, stupid fun but its fight scenes had a cool factor kids who were way too young to be playing Mortal Kombat at the time – like me – lapped up.

Times have changed, and this new Mortal Kombat is certainly more grounded than the first, and, yes, the acting is a lot better. I’ve seen the first 13 minutes of the film, and there are some harrowing and tense moments in there alongside some cool fighting. The movie begins with an attack at the Hanzo Hasashi Compound, circa 1617 Japan, that sets up the bitter feud between Hanzo Hasashi himself, who later becomes Scorpion, and Bi-Han, who later becomes Sub-Zero. We see Hasashi in an impressive – and brutal – fight against Bi-Han’s Lin Kuei clan goons. We even get to see how Scorpion got his signature spear weapon (during the fight, Hasashi grabs a kunai that was being used as a gardening tool and attaches it to a rope). Eventually Bi-Han, who is very much the menacing villain, turns up and does horrible menacing villain things to Hasashi and his family. There’s a lightning quick appearance from Raiden, and a crying baby teleported to safety. I’m guessing all this sets up the meat of the story that takes place in the present day and revolves around the Mortal Kombat tournament the heroes find themselves in.

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