Movie review: Mortal Kombat
For me, the best moment watching Mortal Kombat came during the credits.
While the other moviegoers who came for that midnight screening filtered out, I checked my phone and saw that Liverpool had beaten Aston Villa.
A surprise since just before the film began, they were a goal down and had a goal disallowed because of the villainous VAR.
If only Mortal Kombat came close to that level of tension.
This strange, poorly assembled martial arts fantasy – a reboot of the 90s film series based on the classic video game franchise – seems to be making a play to be featured in bad movie podcasts.
There is far more wrong with it than the space here allows, but for one, the pacing is so uneven that at one point, the film suddenly realises it has dawdled through training and lurches into the final showdowns.
Mortal Kombat has grasped for a rating worthy of its extreme-gore video game origins with both viscera-caked hands.
While the inept swearing and occasional splatter make this for over-18s, everything else is kids level – like a delinquent version of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but far less fun than that suggests.
The character in charge of swearing is Kano (Josh Lawson), who falls into the TJ Miller zone of supposed comic relief you wish would fall off the planet.
Protagonist Cole Young (Lewis Tan) is a classic disbelieving hero, but is given little more to do than look pretty.
Why did they not make Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) the lead? She is the closest to the film having an actual character.
To say this film has plot holes suggests anything connects enough to create a hole's perimeter.
Chin Han plays main villain Shang Tsung with such camp, a better name would be Drag Race.
He wants to take over the Earthrealm and is relishing breaking the rules to do that, but he waits until the heroes have finished training.
And you'd hope that with this being Mortal Kombat, the fights would stand out. But the frenetic score is too fast for the choreography and editing doesn't match the beats.
The need to throw in the finishing lines and catchphrases from the game is so laughably clunky each time, they may as well shout "I want a banana" – it would at least be more entertaining.
This is one of the few times you would wish there was more exposition.
So much is unclear, from who some characters are at first, to if we are seeing the actual Mortal Kombat tournament or just some fighting.
It is angling for a sequel, but it may be better suited for a do-over – again.
FILM: Mortal Kombat
STARRING: Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Joe Taslim, Chin Han, Mehcad Brooks
DIRECTOR: Simon McQuoid
THE SKINNY: Former MMA champ Cole Young (Tan) is recruited to fight on behalf of Earth in a contest with enemies from Outworld, led by Shang Tsung (Chin Han).