‘Mortal Kombat’: Battered and bloody

(Photo: Warner Bros)
The appeal of the video game “Mortal Kombat” (and its Coke-Pepsi rival “Street Fighter”) was combining the characters in different smackdowns. But trying to construct a plot that links them is a fatal trap. The cheesy “Mortal Kombat” (1995), from the future “Resident Evil” director Paul W.S. Anderson, proved as much, and now there is “Mortal Kombat” (2021), directed by Simon McQuoid — a snazzier, marginally more coherent movie that features a less catchy version of the techno theme song. اضافة اعلان

The 21st-century “Mortal Kombat” begins in 17th-century Japan, where a great warrior, Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada), is vanquished and his wife and son killed. Less comes of this than you might expect. Flash forward to the present and Cole Young (Lewis Tan), a cage fighter whose telltale birthmark destines him to compete in a tournament called Mortal Kombat. (“They spelled it wrong,” he observes.) Before representing “Earthrealm” against Outworld, “the most brutal and murderous of all the realms,” he and hias comrades must uncover their superpowers.

But with so many characters, the movie spends too much time on discovery and not enough on showing those powers in action. The rules, extending even to whether death is permanent, are so arbitrary that nothing matters. Test ... your patience.

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