Put on your hat for a dramatic face reveal and yell SUCKERS as you *checks notes* escape into a portal. Choose your fighter as we enter the Outworld with the Mortal Kombat films. 

Stats

Based on Video Games created by Ed Boon and John Tobias

Mortal Kombat (1995)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writers: Ed Boon, John Tobias

Cast: Christopher Lambert, Robin Shou, Linden Ashby

Released: August 1995

Budget: $18,000,000

Worldwide Gross: $122,195,920

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

Director: John R. Leonetti

Writers: Brent V. Friedman, Bryce Zabel & more

Cast: Robin Shou, Talisa Soto, James Remar

Released: November 1997

Budget: $30,000,000

Worldwide Gross: $51,376,861

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge (2020)

Director: Ethan Spaulding

Writers: Jeremy Adams

Cast: Jennifer Carpenter, Joel McHale, Ike Amadi

Released: April 2020

Mortal Kombat (2021)

Director: Simon McQuoid

Writers: Greg Russo, Dave Callaham

Cast: Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson

Released: April 2021

Budget: $95 million

Worldwide Gross: $19.4 million

Breakdown and Analysis

1995

  • Oti had the nostalgic feeling where he could escape into the film and relive the moments of the game.
  • Characters are literal characters and have different personalities. The beauty of Mortal Kombat and other video games is getting to fight with distinct personalities along with their signature moves.
  • KT enjoyed the campiness because it reflects the gratuitous vulgar gore and goofy ridiculousness that we all know and love.
  • Bad CG in older films does not bother KT in the same way good CG in recent films doesn't impress her. Oti didn't think the CG was terrible. It brought back memories and helped a lot of fanservice.
  • Every film channels one character being the comic relief but because there is a lack of dimension it equals incessant one liners. This was Johnny Cage in the film.
  • Shang Tsung was defeated too easily. Oti felt he brought more to the table than to be portrayed as a dwindling idiot. He expected more from him. The Liu Kang triumph came too easily. We're told Shang Tsung is badass but he was only able to produce 5 not 1,000 souls.
  • We talk about female lead stories and for KT it can become tedious as the strong independent woman trope. Sonya delivered in this film. She didn't have the most compelling backstory but she was great and held her own.
  • Kitana was a carbon copy of Raiden mysteriously walking around and whispering nonsense.
  • Kano is like Creed from the Office, you don't need him in every scene.
  • This film was made for the fans and lived up to Oti's expectations.
  • Johnny Cage looks less like an action star and more a man with a mortgage that eats brussel sprout sandwiches.
  • Fighting scenes felt like they were playing patty cake, no sense of danger.

1997

  • Execution was not great but Oti enjoyed elements introduced in this film. Animality, in particular.
  • We know there was a smaller budget but Baraka's shirt was very distracting.
  • Jax is the most purely executed character throughout all films. He takes on the role Johnny Cage had in 1995. Auxiliary one liner machine.
  • Jax-del test: a character on screen that can't not say something everytime they appear.
  • KT did not believe Scorpion would yell suckers as he takes Katana and runs away in a portal.
  • The women were more sexualised in this film.

2000

  • Tonally the best out of all the films. Striking a balance between the gore and humour.
  • The focus on Scorpion and Sub Zero is where the strength of the film came from.
  • Oti appreciated the inclusion of Quan Chi, references to Shinnok and the overall style.
  • Once we enter the realm of animation there is more possibility on how to convey themes and how far you can go.
  • We got to care about the characters like Scorpion including his motivations. John Wick level emotional resonance. We wanted to see him avenge his family.

2021

  • Oti feels like this film clearly outlined how useless Raiden. How he appeared immediately after Scorpion's family died. KT offers perhaps it was a part of a prophecy.
  • KT doesn't feel like this film will have lasting power beyond the buzz of it.
  • Why did we need a new character that takes out Goro, one of the classic characters to Mortal Kombat lore? There was so much we could have explored but we are given the same premise with a new character we didn't care for. For all the bad things about Annihilation we at least got to see Shao Khan in action.
  • Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Sonya and Jax needed to fight together but Cole was able to take down Goro?
  • The opening scene was compelling but the film fell apart. Cole is not aware so is not taking on the revenge which makes his character feel like it's in the way of the great parts of this film.
  • 1995 doesn't fully deliver in what everyone would want but it was still self contained. The film felt like getting to a season finale and knowing nothing will happen only set up.
  • A part of KT felt like the government said Kano needs a prominent role and talk all the time. He passed the Jax-del test.
  • Why use the storypoint of Earth realm losing 9 and not have a tournament? Shang Tsung should have just waited instead of trying to take everyone out.
  • When everything looks so slick it makes the blemishes stand out more. It's great to see more prominent Asian actors but everyone felt one dimensional. There was a lot of filler as the canon are Scorpion and Sub Zero.
  • Liu Kang was the stronger out of the group but it is taken away from the fact they all needed to fight together and Cole did it all on his own.
  • Scorpion was Raiden level in screen presence.
  • Setting the tone of the film is important. Unfortunately all the vulgar language was inserted into Kano only. Fight scenes were distributed throughout but the tone felt like Invincible. Everyone is a sensible person with honour integrity and have a bum fucker from nowhere saying fuck fuck fuck.
  • What was the point of Kano betraying the team because there was no tension to it?
  • The power of friendship gave Jax strength.

Unrelated but vital points

  • KT takes 2 shots at the animated series, Invincible.
  • Naruto reference.
  • Anytime there are Gods fucking up, KT wants to see Orlando Jones.
  • KT will be updating our Linkedin.


For Your Reference

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