Mortal Kombat Early Reviews Promise a Big Blast of Bloody, Violent Video Game Fun

The first reviews for director Simon McQuoid’s Mortal Kombat reboot are in, and it sounds like fans can confidently begin the celebrations. While Mortal Kombat does not release in the United States until April 23, it has already premiered internationally in several territories, with the general consensus being that the movie is not only a worthy adaptation of the video game, but also a gleefully violent thrill-ride.

Kervyn Cloete, Critical Hit left the theater wanting more, finding Mortal Kombat a solid foundation for a long-running live action franchise.

RELATED: Mortal Kombat Reboot Didn’t Change Any Franchise Lore for the Sake of New Audiences

“For every step backward it takes, Mortal Kombat then promptly flying-bicycle kicks its way forward again to the point where I walked out of the cinema not just thoroughly entertained, but actually all-in on the next chapter teased in its closing moments. With just a $50 million reported price tag, the film won’t need to do much to break even and guarantee a sequel, so let’s just hope that 2021 doesn’t pull a fatality on this franchise.”

Mufaddal Fakhruddin from IGN Middle East did wonder whether those unfamiliar with the source material would find the same enjoyment as the die-hard fans, though did go on to describe Mortal Kombat as a “decent action movie for everyone else.”

“If you’re a Mortal Kombat fan, you’ll have a blast since you’ll fill in the gaps with your pre-existing knowledge of the series and just revel in the violence. But for the average viewer, there will be little reason to care for the stakes here. Ultimately that’s what 2021’s Mortal Kombat comes down to – a solid video game adaptation full of fan service for the gamers (stay for the sequel tease) and a decent action movie for everyone else.”

For those who are familiar with the video game though, A’bidah Zaid of Geek Culture found that Mortal Kombat effectively brings the lore to the big screen, proclaiming that the reboot is exactly what fans have been crying out for ever since the first live action outing in 1995.

“As a movie based on the popular video game, Mortal Kombat effectively brings the game’s world onto the silver screen with a lot of care and attention to detail. The characterisation and portrayal of the beloved fighters are close enough to their game counterparts, with outfits and fighting styles being almost identical to the game. The visuals, sound effects, gore, and action are exactly what fans have been looking for since the original 1995 film and more.”

James Marsh from the South China Morning Post echoed a lot of these same sentiments, declaring that Mortal Kombat will mostly please those with at least a passing knowledge of the video game franchise.

“Nuanced character drama this most certainly isn’t; instead, this is boxers with ninja blood and green berets with robot arms pummelling invisible lizards and bat-winged demon babes to a bloody pulp. When they’re not fighting, characters bicker and spout pseudo-spiritual idioms until it’s time to square off again. Mortal Kombat is not for the discerning palate, but for those in the know – get over here!”

According to Bryan Tan, Yahoo! News Singapore, the new Mortal Kombat leaves the likes of 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation in the dust (thank goodness for that) and is peppered with familiar catchphrases and moves that are sure to be major crowd-pleasers.

“Fans will be pleased to know that the movie is a very significant upgrade from the 1997 Mortal Kombat Annihilation movie, which supposedly employed Word Art from Microsoft Word in its graphics, said my astute and learned movie companion. Fans can also expect trademark catch-phrases and signature moves from the characters in the movie which are true to the video game franchise.”

It sounds like Mortal Kombat does not shy away from the fantastical craziness of the game, with Husain Rizvi of Khaleej Times revealing that it doesn’t shy away from the notorious violence either; and that’s a very good thing.

“Now, if you are still wondering if Mortal Kombat would be a good watch, let the ‘fatalities‘ take away that thought. Although the main plot dims over the course of the movie, the fatalities, Lawson’s performance, and an otherwise promising start to a new storyline in the Mortal Kombat franchise make the movie worthwhile.”

Of course, the movie is not without its flaws, but Sergio Pereira of Fortress was happy to let these pass him by thanks to the over-the-top fight sequences and sheer commitment to adapting even the most ludicrously brutal elements of Mortal Kombat.

“Mortal Kombat (2021) doesn’t come without its knocks. From pacing issues to lack of character development and strange editing, it isn’t just a quick win. Yet, despite the occasional blow, the film still keeps kicking and comes out victorious in the end. Sometimes, you just need to watch a movie where a character freezes another one’s blood and stabs him with it.”

Directed by Simon McQuoid in his feature directorial debut, and from a screenplay by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham, it sounds like Mortal Kombat may finally be a video game adaptation worthy of the material.

Starring Mehcad Brooks as Jax, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Tadanobu Asano as Raiden, Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion, Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, and Lewis Tan as new character Cole Young, Mortal Kombat follows a washed-up MMA fighter 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 him and his family, he seeks out a team of fighters who were chosen to defend the Earthrealm in a high-stakes battle against the forces of the Outworld. With the promise of blood, gore, and the famous fatalities, Mortal Kombat is a must-see event for fans.

Mortal Kombat was theatrically released internationally on April 8, 2021 and is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States on April 23, 2021, in traditional and IMAX theaters. The movie will also be simultaneously released on HBO Max for a limited time. Mortal Kombat is being released courtesy of Warner Bros.