“Mortal Kombat,” a video game adaptation, has many failures. Above all is the failure for viewers to figure out and understand what course the adaptation is truly taking. As a film, “Mortal Kombat” has some great fight scenes. At other times, however, the fight scenes leave you wondering whether there’s a need to cut to another angle every half a second. Saved by ultra-violent fights and clean visual effects, “Mortal Kombat” isn’t a waste of time, but whether or not it is worth your time is more of a personal choice.
The film as a whole is riddled with clichés. While I won’t be going into great detail about any of them in order to not spoil the film, they do at times make the film pretty bland, and you’re left waiting for the fight scenes because there isn’t going to be much else that holds your attention.
The film does an excellent job of explaining what is going on, with the protagonist Cole Young asking questions and raising concerns the audience may have about the fighting. My main problem with the film, though, is that though they try to tell a story, they do a poor job of doing it; they also decide to ignore certain plot points they set up in earlier scenes and just shove some fight scenes in at random moments. If you attempt to create a film with a coherent plot, moving past important points and not explaining the motivations or reasoning behind the characters’ actions takes away from the experience and leaves the viewer disappointed.
The fight scenes, for the most part, are fairly good. My biggest problem was with the second fight scene; it just kept cutting to different views, which were uninteresting and looked lazy and immediately lowered my expectations and initial opinion on the film. However, later fights make up for this one, and the first fight scene was a pleasure to watch. I do think that all of the fights that involved weapons turned out better than those that didn’t, as they flowed much more naturally.
The film has very engaging visual effects that add to the film. Most of these effects are powers each character has, and they look unique and smooth. The effects serve their purpose and do not make the film weaker than it already is.
Besides being full of clichés, “Mortal Kombat” has a very general way of setting up its characters. With unexplained powerups like Sonya Blade’s unlocking of her arcana, the plot feels rushed and unsatisfying. The film’s conclusion is interesting and fun to watch with the final fight scene, but that’s probably because it was a fight scene and not just another part where they laid out exposition that would either end up being ignored or just didn’t matter in the first place.
The problems in “Mortal Kombat” are ignored as the film leans towards more violence and fight scenes. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it would have been better if they went all-in on that instead of trying to generate a plot that doesn’t pay off and doesn’t make sense. If you want to see a violent but fun movie and don’t care about the plot or many problems of the film, “Mortal Kombat” is a good choice.