I wasn’t really expecting much from the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie- seeing as the other attempts to bring the franchise to the big screen have been more than a little cringey- but the recently released trailer for the video game adaptation is surprisingly encouraging. Let’s take a look at some of the awesome moments to come from the trailer.
One of the trailers opening moments features Sonya Blade speaking about a mission to capture a wanted fugitive who decimated her unit. The fugitive turns out to be Sub-Zero- one of the main protagonists from the game series who wields ice powers- and there is an awesome shot of him freezing Jax’s shotgun just as a burst shot is fired, causing the bullet fragments to freeze in the air. Too awesome. Sub-Zero is being played by actor Joe Taslim this time around.
Earthrealm dweller Jax has had a few different origins for his infamous robotic arms but it looks like we get to see a new backstory for them first hand in the trailer. Sub-Zero freezes Jax’s arms and then shatters them in an explosion of ice and blood as Jax screams. It’s deeply unsettling but you can’t deny that it is a cool shot.
3. Hanzo Hasashi
Another major protagonist from the Mortal Kombat series is Scorpion, but before he was Scorpion he was Hanzo Hasashi. His family is murdered and he himself is killed before he is resurrected as a deadly warrior who goes by the name Scorpion. We see Hanzo before his rebirth as Scorpion in the trailer (played by Hiroyuki Sanada), fighting off what could be the enemy clan that killed his family in the lore. You can tell it’s him by that infamous grappling spear that he uses in the games. He gets some awesomely bloody kills with it here too.
4. Roll Call
We get a small line-up of the Earthrealm warriors and it is cool to see them all get a small moment to introduce themselves as well as a chance to get a good look at their new live action counterparts. Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), Kano (Josh Lawson), Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), Jax (Mehcad Brooks), Kung Lao (Max Huang) and Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) are the warriors who will fight for Earthrealm in this adaptation. Sorry Johnny Cage fans. Maybe in the sequel.
One of the most popular characters in the franchise is Mileena- an evil twin like character to contrast her sister Kitana- and she gets a very small moment in the trailer to show her brutal side as she gleefully licks blood from her sai. Her teeth don’t seem nearly as menacing as they do in the games though so hopefully there will be some kind of reveal in regards to that. She looks great otherwise though, played here by Sisi Stringer.
6. How To Train Your Dragon
I know some people have questioned the CGI of the fire dragon that Liu Kang summons here but I think he looks really cool! Fire dragon is love. Fire dragon is life.
7. Sub Zero Vs Scorpion
The two main players in the games franchise face off at the end of the trailer with an awesome look at some of their powers. Sub-Zero wins this round again due to an amazing move that he uses on Scorpion that looks like a proper fatality. He cuts off Scorpions hand and- when the blood spurts upwards- he creates a bloody icicle dagger using his powers and stabs Scorpion with it. Stabbing someone with a dagger made of their own blood is definitely adding insult to injury. He then forms a spiky ice wall and yeets Scorpion through it like a boss. I would say Sub-Zero certainly has the upper hand here.
8. That Theme Song
An epic, orchestral version of the renowned Mortal Kombat theme rounds off the trailer in awesome fashion. I love these orchestral versions of classic songs that we get in remake trailers, even if the remake itself isn’t particularly good. I like the gradual build up too, with the background music seeming like pretty generic action fare until it morphs itself into the Mortal Kombat theme.
9. Finish Him
Big bad of the Mortal Kombat franchise Shang Tsung- played in this film by Chin Han- gives us a bit of fan service as he speaks the classic “Finish Him” line followed by a montage of some bloody beatings with a few interesting moments. We see Reptile as Kano punches into his chest but it also looks like (POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNING) Sonya Blade kills Mileena by splitting her in two. But why would they spoil something like that in the trailer? Perhaps it isn’t as it seems. It is a trailer after all. It is usually best to take the editing with a pinch of salt.
10. Kano Wins
After that whole yanking Reptile’s heart out of his chest thing, Kano gets one last one liner as he mimics the announcer from the games by saying “Kano Wins”. I really like this take on Kano so far, with Australian actor Josh Lawson hamming it up just the right amount.
Bonus: Two Super Cringey Moments
Because there were two particularly painful cringe-worthy moments from this trailer that I just have to mention.
I am praying so hard that this line of dialogue is just edited into the trailer this way and not the actual piece of dialogue from the script because if someone really wrote this into a Hollywood movie script and no one thought to question it then I am devastated. New comer to the franchise Cole Young- played by Lewis Tan- has a birthmark shaped conveniently like the Mortal Kombat logo which means that he is destined to fight in the Mortal Kombat tournament. It’s a good job he is an MMA fighter and not a random guy without any fighting skills right? That’s not the problem here though. The problem is the line of dialogue discussing his birthmark. “It’s a birthmark”, one character says. “What do you mean?” Jax asks. “He was born was with it” they respond. Yeah. That is…that is what a birthmark is. No shit. I’m not expecting Shakespeare from the Mortal Kombat script but I am really hoping that the dialogue isn’t that badly written in the rest of the movie.
2. Get Over Here!
Scorpion says the thing at the end of the trailer and it’s just a little bit lack lustre. It’s not terrible by any means. In fact, the gravelly nature of his voice is probably a little more realistic and it’s kind of a cheesy line anyway so it doesn’t really matter. I just hope that they maybe use another version of the line in the actual movie.
All in all, I’m enthusiastic about this new Mortal Kombat adaptation. It does leave me with some questions, such as the new character Cole Young. Is he genuinely a new character or is he going to end up being an existing character who doesn’t know who he is yet? His name is very similar to the character of Kuai Liang from the games. Kuai Liang is the younger brother of the first version of Sub- Zero, whose real name is Bi-Han. Liang takes on the mantle of Sub-Zero in later versions of the game. Director of the new adaptation- Australian director Simon McQuoid- has confirmed that the Sub-Zero is a villain of sorts in this film and he also referred to him as Bi-Han. It could be that Cole is actually Kuai. The two names- Cole Young and Kuai Liang- do sound rather similar. I feel like this is more likely then him being a completely original character. I think this film has a lot of potential and I just hope that it can be an adaptation that can break the curse of the video game movie. One thing that is clear is that the director clearly knows and appreciates the franchise and is doing justice by it, so I really hope his vision translates well to the big screen. Check out the whole trailer for yourself below.