It’s hard to believe that we are in fact getting a brand new “Mortal Kombat” movie in just a few months. Somehow flying under the radar in a world where every single set photo and film set pictures pop up online in a constant stream of information, one of the most anticipated video game adaptions has managed to play things pretty close to the chest. Now for anyone that knows film, there’s a lot of red flags that go up when you think about it. The constant change of release dates, the very little promotion, and a trailer drop only two months before its initial release. These are all signs of a bad movie trying to get as little attention as possible.
Lucky for us, the trailer for “Mortal Kombat” seems to put most if not all of that at ease. My god, does this thing look freaking awesome! Visually solid, violent, and gritty, “Mortal Kombat” trailer displays a hefty dose of what fans have wanted for a while. Director Simon McQuid has been adamant about doing right by the action in “Mortal Kombat,” stating that there will blood, gore, and fatalities. From what we can see in the new trailer, it turns out he meant it. It certainly helps that the cast is jam packed with actual martial artists with acting prowess, and their talents are on full display here.
The trailer not only shows some pretty terrific combat recreations reminiscent of the game’s fighting style, but it also unveils some hidden gems and characters we, up until now did not know would be in the film. This is promising for a few reasons: first, it shows that “Mortal Kombat” playing itself close to the chest allows for some surprises still, and 2, it opens up the door to speculate on who Cole Young may actually be. A new character added specifically to “Mortal Kombat,” fans have been wondering just why we would need a new character as an entry point for getting us into outworld. Though played by Lewis Tan (“Wu Assassins” and “Into the Badlands“), there’s still a lot of apprehension when a new character gets introduced to an already established lore for the sake of the film.
The trailer gives fans a bit more insight into the possibility that he may not be a new character after all, and has the potential to be someone we already know in disguise. This is all purely speculation, of course, but the “Mortal Kombat” trailer introducing new elements even for the briefest of seconds gives us some cause to at least start trying to put the puzzle together.
What puts my mind the most at ease from this trailer is the treatment of both fan favorites Sub-Zero and Scorpion. For the first time ever on screen, we get to see the full, brutal extent of their powers and skills on display. The trailer shows some truly badass combat from both characters, with Sub-Zero pulling out some visually impressive ice moves directly ripped from the in game combat itself. Scorpion too is show dispatching a few henchmen is beautiful fiery fashion. McQuid was cautious to not dive into NC-17 territory, but from what we can see in the trailer, “Mortal Kombat” is earning its R-rating in the exact fashion fans have wanted for a while now.
Story wise, the “Mortal Kombat” trailer gives us a little bit more as to what the film will actually be about and how the characters will interact with each other. The trailer seems to put the rivalry between Scorpion vs Subzero front and center, with Cole Young, Sonya Blade Jax, and Kano being our band heroes interacting with other well known game characters. The trailer seems to harken back to the origins of both characters, setting up the Scorpion vs Subzero rivalry as being tied to their beginnings as tribe leaders on different sides of the power struggle in Outworld.
While it certainly gives us a quick glimpse at Cole Young to kick things off, the trailer in turn seems to focus on more well known characters from the game, allowing the named characters to provide the framework of the narrative. This could very well just be trailer trickery, but it looks like there’s plenty of epic and brutal action we will be privy to from classic characters we love.
My final verdict? I’m completely sold now. I was so nervous that this was going to be an abysmal train wreck, and while the story may still very well be that, we at least get to watch Kano rip out the heart of a victim, hold it over his head and proclaim, “Kano Wins.” We get to watch Liu Kang light the floor on fire and produce the fire dragon we’ve been wanting for damn near 20 years. We get to see Subzero freeze squirting blood into an icicle then stab his opponent with it, THEN toss Scorpion into an ice wall. We get to see Jax’ arms get ripped from his body, only to come back with metal arms and bash someone’s head in with them.
And yes, we get to see Scorpion launch his dagger and shout, “Get over here!”
The “Mortal Kombat” trailer gives us a LOT without revealing too much, allowing fans to be hopeful for a brutal, solid video game adaption we frankly all deserve. April can’t come fast enough.
“Mortal Kombat” releases in theaters and on HBO Max April 16. You can watch the trailer below: