Mortal Kombat returns to our cinemas in a freshly rebooted violent adaptation and here’s your first look.
Mortal Kombat, a one on one fighting game, arrived in video arcades around the world in 1989 and will be remembered for several reasons but primarily for its look and its violence.
Whereas previous games used hand drawn sprites for their graphics, Mortal Kombat had filmed real martial artists and actors and digitized them into the game. This gave Mortal Kombat a much more realistic look by 1989 standards.
The game went on to become a huge success and spawned more even more games, comics, music albums, cartoons, live action television series and films. It became a huge franchise for its creators which still continues to this day.
If we stick to strictly theatrical films, there have been two so far. The original Mortal Kombat was released in 1995 and directed by P. W. Anderson (Event Horizon, Resident Evil). I’m personally quite fond of this adaption despite the fact it is almost a remake of the Bruce Lee film, Enter The Dragon.
The success at the box office meant that a sequel was ordered and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was released two years later. It was not a success, so much so that the creators of Mortal Kombat, Ed Boon and John Tobias, have both said that MK: Annihilation as their personal worst moment in the history of their work on the franchise.
In 2010, director Kevin Tancharoen released an eight-minute, very violent, short film entitled Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. Whilst it turned out to be unofficial, it was a proof of concept for a new line of violent live action films. Unfortunately this project never came to pass.
Fast-forward to 2021 and first time director Simon McQuoid brings us a new, violent reboot to the live action Mortal Kombat franchise. The synopsis reads,
A washed-up mixed martial arts fighter named Cole Young is unaware of his hidden lineage or why he is being hunted down by Sub-Zero of the Lin-Kuei clan of assassins. Concerned for the safety of his family, he seeks out a clique of fighters that were chosen to defend Earthrealm in a high-stakes battle against the forces of Outworld.
Mortal Kombat will open in the US and UK on the 16th April. In the US it will also be available on the HBO Max streaming service for one month.