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Mortal Kombat 2021: The Kotaku Movie Review

As I said last month following a preview of the film’s first 12 minutes, the new Mortal Kombat movie starts off strong. The opening battle between the men who would become Sub-Zero and Scorpion is one of my favorite cinema moments of the year. The remaining 98 minutes? Not so much. The fights are outstanding, the acting is okay, and the story is complete garbage.

First off, if you’re looking for a brutal spectacle, Mortal Kombat delivers. If you’re in this to see mostly familiar characters get hit so hard that your teeth rattle, you’re good. If you want to see modern fatalities, the gruesome gory ones, depicted in a somewhat passable facsimile of real life, that’s in there too.

Director Simon McQuoid did an excellent job making attractive people look like they are killing each other, and the attractive people are very good at being attractive. Many of them aren’t too shabby at acting either. Josh Lawson is a treat as cutthroat mercenary Kano, delivering some truly laugh-out-loud moments. Joe Taslim as Bi-Han / Sub-Zero and Hiroyuki Sanada as Hanzo Hasashi / Scorpion are so good in the opening moments they had me fooled into thinking the movie might be much better than I hoped.

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