Can the New ‘Mortal Kombat’ Movie Deliver the Killer Punch?
There have been more than 30 movies adapted from video games, and few of them have hit the mark. A few. But that hasn’t stopped movie producers from commissioning future efforts.
Of the live-action video games movies already made, four were based on classic fighting games: Mortal Kombat (1995), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), Street Fighter (1994), and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009).
Of those, Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were objectively the best, but neither lived up to expectations – although the first two performed well enough at the box office to justify their existence.
Time for a reboot
After a 12-year gap since the filming of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, film producers have decided the time is right for a reboot of the genre; beginning with the imaginatively titled Mortal Kombat, due in 2021.
The movie has been entrusted to debutant director Simon McQuoid who made his name directing commercials in Australia. Let’s hope he follows the same path as legendary director Ridley Scott, who also started making TV ads in the 1970s.
It should not be too difficult to make a Mortal Kombat film to please the masses. The premise of a group of martial arts experts gathering on a mysterious island to take part in the ultimate contest with global control at stake, is all you really need to focus on. Get that right, and apply enough ironic and retro charm, and they should have a hit on their hands.
Previous efforts have, however, showed they have a habit of trying to overcomplicate things. The original Mortal Kombat, released in 1995, was close to being a good film, and was definitely an improvement on the Street Fighter movie released a year earlier. But the 1997 sequel was a disaster. The Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series released in 2005 was a big improvement, but never made it past season two.
Getting the tone right
The 2014 TV series Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist showed how to get it right, and finally gave fans of the genre something to cheer about. It was well-crafted, captured the spirit of the original, and successfully brought the characters to life. That, along with the 2020 smash hit video slot game, Street Fighter II, which captures the tone perfectly, shows that there is plenty of mileage still left in these iconic titles.
The recent slot game also comes with bags of nostalgia, but also redefines what is possible with online casino titles, combining the elements of the game in a way rarely seen. Online casino Betsafe is the main source for high-quality slots in the UK, Canada, and beyond, and were quick to feature the game on their site to capture the minds and imaginations of retro gaming fans.
Reasons to be optimistic
All of this, plus a strong-looking cast and writing team, gives us hope for the new Mortal Kombat movie. Filming was completed in December 2019 and the movie should be polished up and ready for release on January 15. 2021.
The first trailer should appear in the fall and the film is set to feature a cast that reflects the diversity of nationalities in the original game. What’s more, the R-rating means we should get to see some killer finishing moves!
With the excitement already building, we hope that Mortal Kombat can improve on the 2020 release Sonic the Hedgehog, which was a charming but unremarkable addition to the genre.