Mortal Kombat: Review – A video game movie that pushes all the right buttons

AFTER last year's Sonic The Hedgehog movie, here's another video game adaptation that plays by the rules of the original.

With Sonic's big screen hit, the pleasures were all about watching a cute critter collecting coins and zipping through the levels of a breezy family fantasy.

Mortal Kombat is of course, a very different proposition. With this one, I knew director Simon McQuoid had worked out his audience when a foul-mouthed, half drunk Aussie ripped the spine out of a giant lizard and yelled "Kano Wins!"

If that means nothing to you, probably best sticking with Christopher Lambert's bloodless 1995 version.

But hardcore fans of the gory fighting franchise should love the way McQuoid sticks to his guns, knives, fireballs and weaponized hats.

Apart from one new character, a cage fighter called Cole Young (Lewis Tan), there are no big departures from the 1992 game.

Cole is a thinly-drawn cage fighter with a loving wife, cute daughter and a birth-mark that looks suspiciously like a video game logo. And that's more than enough to make him our sympathetic guide as he's selected for Team Earth in an annual, inter-dimensional scrapping tournament.

Weirdly, we never actually get to the competition. This Mortal Kombat is stuck in the training levels as Cole is tutored by lighting rod Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) and meets his new team-mates – military hard nut Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), metal-armed Jax (Mehcad Brooks) and foul-mouthed Aussie mercenary Kano (Josh Lawson).

When the rival fighters from "Outworld" gatecrash bootcamp, director Simon McQuoid skilfully integrates the signature moves from the game into modern, movie martial arts sequences. But the like the game, it doesn't take itself remotely seriously.

The pace definitely flags under the weight of its in-jokes but whenever it looks like it's getting a bit too geeky for its own good, Lawson pops up with a disgracefully funny, and perfectly timed, put-down.

The sexist, racist, potty-mouthed Kano won't go down well with Australian tourist board, but he makes sure this fun but forgettable action-fantasy has the appropriate mix of gore and laughs.

Source: Read Full Article