A Head Smashing Good Time
Mortal Kombat marks the return of the legendary video game franchise to the big screen for the first time in 24 years. Considering its wild success on consoles, the gap is hard to fathom.
Certainly Annihilation sort of poisoned the well, but the 1995 original remains popular, as does its techno theme song. The one thing most would agree on, though, is that 95’s lack of an R-rating kept it from truly being a Mortal Kombat film.
That is no longer an issue. 2021’s film boats buckets of blood, and gruesome fatalities that are as true to the game as is probably acceptable for theaters. This is the adaptation die hard fans of Mortal Kombat have been waiting for.
But it is not a flawless victory. As I noted in my review, Mortal Kombat suffers from silly plot contrivances, an expedited pace, and an uncharismatic lead. Those issues, however, do not prevent it from rising to the top of the video game film ranks. There is just too much fun to be had.
General audiences seem to agree. In its opening domestic weekend, it grossed $22.5 million—the second largest premiere of the pandemic, behind only Godzilla vs Kong. Worldwide, it’s already generated over $50 million, nearing its $55 million budget.
With a decent critical reaction (56% on Rotten Tomatoes with 211 reviews), box office success, and a built-in sequel tease, it appears a follow up is definitely in the cards. That’s good because there are elements here that are noticeably absent. Bring on round two!
Now, sit back, uppercut a can of “Stone Cold” Steven Austin’s Broken Skull IPA from El Segundo Brewing Co. into your mouth, and attempt to channel your Arcana! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, Chumpzilla, Mayor McCheese, and a special guest are helping Jax pump up his tiny robot arms!
This Week’s Segments:
- Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Heaps of hemoglobin and gnarly fatalities? Count us in! (00:00)
- Lingering Questions – We tag in The Double Turn Podcast, and then we tackle the serious questions: Best fight? Best fatality? Most improved character from the 1995 version? And More! (1:04:11)
- The “Get Over Here” Trivia Challenge – I challenge the field to a series of trivia questions about the movie, as well as the video game series. (1:35:12)
- Recommendations – After a word from our pals at Hop Nation USA, we offer our picks for the week, and next up: It’s the second of our “Hops and Favorite Flops” series, The Chronicles of Riddick! (1:48:50)