Oh God…. where do I begin? It was only a month ago where gamers were gifted two fan made Street Fighter films, that were surprisingly good, but I don’t know what to make of this.
Mortal Kombat is a game that is very dear to my heart. As a little girl I had a crush on Shang Tsung in MK II, and I used to go to the local arcade daily during the summer time to play it. When the old Mortal Kombat movies came out, I wanted to have a heart attack because they were disgustingly butchered. One would think that, with the technological advancements we’ve made, a proper Mortal Kombat movie should be easily achievable. Well, yes and no.
Yesterday a trailer was released for a movie called Mortal Kombat Rebirth. I have heard rumors of a MK reboot, and that the guy who originally played Sub-Zero would reprise his role, but what I watched was fucking wrong on so many levels. I thought Michael Jai White, best known as Spawn in the live-action movie, was a good pick for Jax, but it wasn’t the Jax we’ve all grown up with. He was in a police station setting, grilling some guy who was hidden behind shadows.
Jax starts listing off these killers, beginning with Reptile. Fans of Mortal Kombat should easily remember Reptile. He looked just like Scorpion and Sub-Zero, except the color accents on him were green. He also had a memorable fatality known as ‘head snack’. Canonically, Reptile was a part of a race known as Raptors, and were enslaved by Shao Kahn. He was promised the freedom of his people in exchange for his loyalty, so Reptile became Shao Kahn’s bodyguard. In Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Reptile is ordered to kill Kitana, but he fails and is exiled. Obviously he returns later on, but what I just listed is his origin. In this movie, Reptile is a man, whose name I’ve forgotten, with this genetic defect that causes his skin to be covered with these diamond shaped patches, as well as the change to his eyes. He is 30, kills people, takes their heads and stores them in his fridge, and when he gets hungry, he eats the heads.
Jax then goes in to Baraka. Baraka was a regular guy who was a plastic surgeon. I can’t remember why, but dude decided to go ape shit, file his teeth to a point and implant those trademark blades into his arm. I’m fucking sorry but Baraka is Tarkatan, an actual race in the Mortal Kombat universe, not some guy who decides to flip his lid and surgically alter his appearance.
Then we get Johnny Cage. Jax talks about him, and we are shown a fight scene where Baraka attacks Johnny. Now, Johnny Cage is a badass. In Rebirth, I saw no badass. There were no sunglasses, no shadow kick, no splits and a punch to the balls, and JOHNNY CAGE DOESN’T FUCKING DIE! Of course, the writers decided to make the massive mistake of having Baraka decap Johnny, but at this point, it’s all pretty much downhill from here.
We are given a picture of Shang Tsung, who is more like a Chinese mob boss and secretly Steven Seagal’s twin, and then Sonya Blade walks in. Played by Jeri Ryan, Sonya is nothing like she should be. This Sonya isn’t nearly as cool as canon Sonya, and to be honest, I don’t see Jeri being able to do the fight choreography. Jax and Sonya tell our little mystery man about Sub-Zero, and it becomes a little obvious who the guy is. Being shown the iconic Scorpion spear, I then became disappointed because there was no ‘GET OVER HERE!’ when the spear was in ‘Sub-Zero’s’ throat.
I won’t go into a play by play for the rest of the trailer, but I will say this. Where in the fuck is Raiden? How about Kano? Kitana? Kung Lao? Oh… and Liu Kang! WHERE IS LIU KANG?! Doesn’t the entire Mortal Kombat story revolve around Liu Kang? Yeah, I believe it does. With Mortal Kombat Rebirth they are trying too hard to make it dark, edgy, and it just isn’t right. I know some of you might say that Mortal Kombat is dark, but when you really think about it, it’s not. Sure it’s violent, but what’s dark about a man who goes into a tournament, and saves Earth Realm from evil? Sounds pretty ordinary and hopeful to me. Mortal Kombat isn’t The Dark Knight, and it almost feels like that.
I appreciate the nods they gave like how on the door to Jax’s office, the name JACKSON has the O and N missing so it says JACKS. When showing Reptile reaching into one of the heads to eat it, Jax mentioned fatality, and in a way it’s similar to ‘head snack’… but it’s not. I just didn’t like it. I really didn’t, and I am so sickened to see another video game movie turn to shit all because they want to appeal to the masses. All I want is for somebody to do an accurate portrayal, sticking to canon and the true story. Is that too much to ask for?
Here it is, if you care to watch it, but you’ve been warned….