Reviews for the new Mortal Kombat movie are in, and critics are saying that the film is far from a “flawless victory”. Consensus is that reboot is more faithful than the 1995 adaptation of the game, but that the action comes at the expense of character and story.
The Hollywood Reporter calls it: “A B-movie that would benefit immensely from some wit in the script and charisma in the cast” adding that “while gaming die-hards may enjoy this riff on familiar characters and kills, Kombat looks pretty rinky-dink when compared to the thrill rides Marvel cranks out on a regular basis.”
IndieWire also references the Marvel Cinematic Universe, calling the new Mortal Kombat: “A movie full of the characters fans know and love — and replete with winking references that only they will understand — but also one so busy straining to upconvert its ’90s soul for the modern blockbuster economy that it soon feels less like a bootleg Avengers that a crack team of modders have re-skinned to resemble a classic fighting game franchise.”
Slate believes the adaptation is too overstuffed with fighters, stating: “This reboot’s major issue is that with so many characters to keep track of, the action is constantly being interrupted by endless backstory dumps.” The reviewer adds: “For all of the time that this reboot devotes to establishing its universe, the only thing that it can promise for prospective future installments is the introduction of more characters familiar to fans.”
Collider reckons the action doesn’t work, claiming: “At no point does Mortal Kombat, with the benefit of how technology and the videogames themselves, have progressed, ever capture the fluidity and brutality of a terrific combo or bone-breaking hit. Instead, most of the fights feel like going through the motions until they land on a fatality.”
While IGN writes one of the few positive reviews, saying the film “finds its footing in the second half and delivers a gleefully cheesy and entertaining take on one of gaming’s most historic franchises and a solid starting point for future films.”
Mortal Kombat is currently playing in U.S. theaters and streaming on HBO Max.
Feature image courtesy of Warner Bros.