Advice From A Fanboy: Mortal Kombat

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Advice From A Fanboy: Mortal Kombat

Bob gives some advice to the producers of the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie.

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I agree with the "go big or go home" attitude but the new direction is what got it noticed again in the first place! And for what I saw on youtube, it got way more likes than dislikes. As for keeping in the gaming world, does anyone remember Mortal Kombat II? I thought so.

How can you have realism and sub-zero in the same room, and he one of the more 'normal' guys.

Waiting for the trailer, it should be a laugh if nothing else.

Endhiran? WTF? I feel like my brain melted a little bit after watching that.

it's Mortal Kombat, it's not WORTH worrying over. It's the bottom rung of big name fighting games. If this were Street Fighter (AGAIN), Blazblue, The King of Fighters, or Soulcalibur then I would be angry, but it's only MK, so there's no reason to bitch.

Isn't it funny how Mortal Kombat, a game that got media backlash in the 80s, has more mainstream recognition and so is more likely to get a film than any game people actually hold dear now? That's some sad bullshit. For once, it's through no fault of our own that we can't have nice things.

Bollywood action films are absurd, but they're the best kind of absurd. They may not make any sense, and some of the action may fly in the face of all logic- but at the end of the day they're just so much more fun than any action movie I've seen in Hollywood recently.

They know the audience knows its a movie- so they choose to revel in their own absurdity. A giant multi-robot Indian snake man is no more absurd than Jason Bourne's pistol firing more rounds than a machine gun when you get right down to it, but the first is way more fun to watch.

I really liked the Rebirth short, and the Legacy miniseries that followed, especially it's take on Johnny Cage as an out of touch action star with some anger issues.

So I'm looking forward to it anyway. Wonder if it will set up the Legacy stuff as a prequel of sorts, or just blank slate the whole thing. Either way, should be fun.

You do realise they're going to reverse all those ideas and run with it, don't you?

Haydn Christiansen as Johnny Cage, Megan Fox as Kitana and Mileena...

Possibly the only link to the game will be the "FRIENDSHIP" moves.

You can film it gritty and still keep the over the top fighting and blood in it. Just because the games are not serious in tone doesnt mean you have to film the movie like a cartoon.

I liked the metaphors in that last paragraph.

And I thrill any time someone links me to a video from India, Hong Kong, or Thailand with words to the effect of "dude, you have got to see this." I could be wrong, but I suspect the whole idea of "gritty, grim, realistic action flick" is a completely alien concept to South/East Asian culture - much to everyone's benefit.

One week I love everything you say, the next week I'd rather read the comments for insightful opinions. Why do you love silly shit? I just don't understand it. I still haven't forgotten that article where you argued for Krypto the Superdog or whatever to be in the next Superman movie. Blugh.

Mortal Kombat is trash, but it isn't trash in the way you're implying. It isn't No More Heroes or Scott Pilgrim vs the World. It's always taken itself very seriously. No one has ever cared because it's a fighting game and no one gives a shit about the story. But, as we all know, movies aren't interactive. They depend on the story. And if MK sticks to its roots it will be just as bad MK: Annihilation.

Just because a game sells well doesn't mean the same concept applied to a movie will sell well. This line of thought is just as erroneous as your "gritty realism can't be applied to everything" motif that you hamper on.

Except that's wrong too. Gritty realism can be applied to Mortal Kombat. It was applied, in that trailer. Warner Brothers is a business. They want to sell this movie, and making silly nonsense about flying ninjas or whatever is not going to sell as well as a weird reptile serial killer. It just isn't.

The fact that you don't like gritty realism is fine. It's opinion, and I'm not any more right than you are. But this is bad advice. For once, the studio needs to move as far away from the source material as they can.

Then again, tons and tons of people eat that Metal Gear Solid shit up, and that's trash that takes itself seriously too, so maybe I'm wrong.

I agree with a lot of this, but I watched the fan-film trailer link up at the top of the article-- and liked it.

"Even among fighting games, if Street Fighter is the Mona Lisa, Mortal Kombat is a blacklight painting of a goblin sitting on a pile of skulls."

I love both series. But the major underlying difference between MK and SF is the blood.

On is more rooted in outlandish Asian combat from a Japanese perspective and the other one FEELS like outlandish Asian Combat from an American perspective.

Not sure who originally made MK but that was the jist I got.

Both are incredibly silly, one is slightly more gruesome than the other but that's what makes it fun.

Also I hurt my palms less playing MF than SF...but perhaps that's just a personal problem.

Aiddon:
it's Mortal Kombat, it's not WORTH worrying over. It's the bottom rung of big name fighting games. If this were Street Fighter (AGAIN), Blazblue, The King of Fighters, or Soulcalibur then I would be angry, but it's only MK, so there's no reason to bitch.

I realize this is like, just your opinion man, but I take it you've never played the latest MK?

Don't know why I'm asking since I won't look to see the response but this kinda smells like Halo Bashing but in the Fighting Game Genre.

My problem with the 'serious' take on Mortal Kombat is that it's fanfiction. That's not to say it's bad, because I've seen some pretty good fanfiction in my day, but it is what it is. Hell, it's right there in the origins, it started off as a 'fan'film. It's no different then those stories you see floating around on the internet where people took their favourite anime show but said 'what if they were all in high school together!?'. And yeah, it's nice to explore alternate realities, or see somebody else's take on a series, especially if it's well done, but it's still fanfiction. It shouldn't be getting elevated above the status of the real thing, and by letting the guy make a movie based on his fanfiction vision, that is exactly what they're doing.

And, from a personal standpoint, while I wouldn't say the fanfilm was bad, I certainly didn't like it on a personal level. They took my favourite characters (Reptile, Baraka, and Scorpion), took out all the things about them that I liked, and made them 100% unrecognizable to me.

Ultimately, the fans should never be the ones to be making anything, because fans can never actually agree on how something should be. Clearly, the director thinks Mortal Kombat should be gritty and realistic. Personally, I side a bit closer to Bob, in that I think it should be filled with magical ninjas and bicycle kicks (though maybe not QUITE as over the top as he's describing it).

Aiddon:
If this were Street Fighter (AGAIN), Blazblue, The King of Fighters, or Soulcalibur then I would be angry, but it's only MK, so there's no reason to bitch.

King of Fighters? Street Fighter? Are you ready to freak out now?

OT:
I'm so glad you addressed the movie more as a Straight to DVD Lionsgate Picture as an insult, just because I feel the same way about it.

I agree with all your points, but it would be impossible for me to try to write a Mortal Kombat movie, just because I would be so based on character development, not archetype development, and MK's cast of characters are really nothing more than Archetypes.

I just don't think Mortal Kombat is really set up for a motion picture, at least not a decent motion picture, so I guess the Camp factor would really help the movie on that part.

Bob, I think you left out an important step to make a proper Mortal Kombat movie.

Sit down, watch the Legend of Riki-Oh, and then work on your movie.

I'm assuming Bob knows this film (it's his kind of movie), but for the rest of you:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riki-Oh:_The_Story_of_Ricky

Aiddon:
it's Mortal Kombat, it's not WORTH worrying over. It's the bottom rung of big name fighting games. If this were Street Fighter (AGAIN), Blazblue, The King of Fighters, or Soulcalibur then I would be angry, but it's only MK, so there's no reason to bitch.

Have you played the latest game? Were you at the EVO tournament this year? MK is a contender now; I know, shocking, right? But it's true. The fighting game community, both casuals AND hardcores, loved it, and you even have Street Fighter vets like REO and Daigo going "it's good. Really. We like it. Give it a chance."

That said, Street Fighter has had two terrible movies (though one so terrible it was awesome), King of Fighters had a terrible, terrible movie, and Tekken has had two terrible movies (one live action and one by the Tekken creators themselves!). Soul Calibur and Blazblue?... eh, we'll see in the future.

But even the most recent Mortal Kombat had an extremely entertaining, high-quality, nearly 6-8 hour Story Mode with good character development, shocking plot twists, and impressive fight choreography.

Seventh Actuality:
Isn't it funny how Mortal Kombat, a game that got media backlash in the 80s, has more mainstream recognition and so is more likely to get a film than any game people actually hold dear now? That's some sad bullshit. For once, it's through no fault of our own that we can't have nice things.

Many people, including this fangirl, hold Mortal Kombat near and dear. I met my fiance in the arcades when I did a Kiss of Death on his Sub-Zero.

I looked at the youtube link and I'm surprised how many people like that trailer.

The trailer's awesome. Sometimes you have to let go of what worked, and try something different. I love the vision and would welcome a grittier, more realistic take on an otherwise cheesy game.

To everyone who disagrees: stop being a fanboy (or girl), and embrace creativity and storytelling!

I kind of take issue with the concept of Street Fighter being the Mona Lisa of fighter games, considering (AHEM: IN MY PERSONAL OPINION THAT IN NO WAY REFLECTS THAT OF THE MASSES) Street Fighter isn't very fun, Mortal Kombat is significantly more fun, and Soul Calibur III is easily in my top 10 games EVER, and top 3 for its console.

Fck story I want to see fireballs and lighting being used if not and its a gritty realistic mess MK2 was at least better.

Hey, why don't we show Ken Tanchroen this column and maybe he'll buy into some of this.

shogunblade:

Aiddon:
If this were Street Fighter (AGAIN), Blazblue, The King of Fighters, or Soulcalibur then I would be angry, but it's only MK, so there's no reason to bitch.

King of Fighters? Street Fighter? Are you ready to freak out now?

OT:
I'm so glad you addressed the movie more as a Straight to DVD Lionsgate Picture as an insult, just because I feel the same way about it.

I agree with all your points, but it would be impossible for me to try to write a Mortal Kombat movie, just because I would be so based on character development, not archetype development, and MK's cast of characters are really nothing more than Archetypes.

I just don't think Mortal Kombat is really set up for a motion picture, at least not a decent motion picture, so I guess the Camp factor would really help the movie on that part.

Ah you beat me too it.

I do believe that Mortal Kombat is more suited to a motion picture than almost any other fighting game though basically because the characters arent as stylized so actors can get away with playing them but like you say decent motion picture no cant see that happening, it would have to go camp like the last mortal kombat film which wasnt great but it was a hell of a lot better than the street fighter film and all of street fighter anime films bar one.

Im waiting for the Blazblue and guilty gear anime and soulcalibur cgi film now oh and that pacman film is that still happening?

Reading this I can't help but wonder; you're just asking people to quote you aren't you? Cuz jeez! If I said any of two lines from this article to my B-movie buff friend, he would treat me like the messiah.

I think it's a bit early to jump to the conclusion that it's going to be a gritty, realistic movie. The webseries was faithful to the games, it had magic and undead ninjas and Outworld. It wasn't as violent as you're talking but as a webseries they might not have wanted it to be, and everything was fairly ridiculous.

In the end though I don't think it matters what fan wants. It's pretty well proven by now that appealing to videogame fans and Internet nerds doesn't make money. At least not enough to justify a big budget movie.

Yeah, go violent, almost cartoonishly violent.

Hell its not like anyone stays dead, they come back in the next game or even before one is over.

Check out some japanese gorey movies, they'll flip your lid.

Dead or Alive (no not that one) is a great film by Takashi Miike of yakuza, punks trying to be yakuza, and cops chasing both down. It has plenty of times of being serious yakuza killing people and cops sorting things through or losing family members. And then there's an ending like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnKS1vpTOSk

Movie that is definitely worth a watch, but be warned of gore, sex, nudity, drugs, and clowns.

I agree with the camp over grit in all ways but one - Rebirth, the gritty one had Lateef Crowder (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1956628/) as Baraka, where as Legacy had some lame an Uruk Hai reject.

I want to see Mr. Crowder playing capoeira in more movies. "Tournament" martial arts movies particularly need as much visual variety as they can get, and capoeira's beautiful.

If Warner Brother wants to please the fans then you're completely right. If Warner Brothers wants to expand the franchise then I don't think you are

1. Cheesy junky fighty movies are never remembered as a good thing by the populace. Even the Street Fighter with the brilliantly hilarious Bison is followed by comments of "oh gosh that movie was crud" (ish you know youtubers) despite the fact everyone found it amazingly funny. A silly film can be enjoyable and still give the franchise some negative press.

2. You're right that the lesson to take from the Dark Knight is not gritty, Captain America proved that, but it is, in some respects realism. Spiderman 2 is almost indisputably the best superhero movie of the last era of super movies. But it didn't quite make the cut the same way that the Dark Knight did, and I think that's because ordinary people didn't quite feel comfortable with the genre. Why's he wearing a suit? Why is there a bad guy? It all stopped it from quite becoming the same sensation (Although it still sold and reviewed fantastically well). The Dark Knight made people feel comfortable with the concepts and allowed them to relax and enjoy the film. Marvel went down a different route of starting with their most 'real' brand, Iron Man and building on that in cross continuity lulling people into a sense of comfort. Even then Thor didn't quit make it. It's good and fun but it didn't cut Captain America or even Iron Man territory and I think that's because in the back of peoples minds was "why are there these Gods, why is a face off with this guy inevitable.." and so on. Fans loved it because they already have the comfort but reviewers and the population did quite click with it. But than Captain America finished it off and showed that Marvel had finally broken the superhero movie wall.

And I think Mortal Kombat needs to do that to go more mainstream. A underground street fighting tournament with police investigating and criminals fighting hits it just about right. I think people can connect with that, as the leaked clip showed. Whereas a lot of complaints about the mini series was about the radically changing tone episode to episode. It doesn't quite gell having quite such a diverse series of backgrounds and stories for the newcomer.

Now the film will piss you and the fans off a little bit, but other people might well latch onto it. And when the next game is released it can be billed as another return to MKs true roots, like Arkhum Asylum, it'll pull in the old people and make them more satisfied _because_ a lot hasn't changed and it'll bring in the new people who won't really have heard the buzz about the game in the same way or want to try it out now they think they know what MKs about and maybe they;ll like what they see.

If nothing else, if the film can get critically acclaimed in some circles, with some mainstream viewers it'll get the franchise some pride it's been sorely lacking even if the fans don't enjoy the actual movie so much

A few things:

I'm no fan of fighting games, but I like kung fu/martial art movies... kinda. I like the ones with some actual plot and decent fighting, or I like the ones where the plot is irrelevant but the action is AMAZING (like Legend of Drunken Master). The first two Mortal Kombat movies... well, neither of them had that (and the second one was an abject abomination of filmmaking).

But I liked the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series. Sorry, but it actually showed someone cared about story, and the action was decent. I don't think a Mortal Kombat movie done the way Bob wants it to be would work. So I'm willing to take a chance on this new direction. I think this movie might work.

Want to take a bet, Bob, and see which of us is right in the end?

...you cited Punisher: Warzone as an example of a "good" schlocky action flick?

What? That movie was terrible in every way imaginable! Bob, I'm seriously beginning to question the value of your opinions.

I can't wait to see what the WB comes out with when MK is put back into theaters! Not just because of the movie but also because of the game they're planning to release with the movie. As morbid as this is going to sound, I'm hoping history will repeat itself.

Mortal Kombat: The Movie the Game.

Of course what are the odds of that being as bad as the Street Fighter one?

Mortal Kombat movies........they still making those? The source materials are horrible at best, why would anyone wanna waste money on them?

Jesus, reading this thread you would never know that Mortal Kombat is one of the most successful fighting game franchises of all time, with only really Street Fighter rivalling it (obviously being a bit bigger) in terms of popularity. One guy even brought up Blazblue. BLAZBLUE? Are you fucking kidding me?

You might like some of these games more (Even Blazblue, lmao) than you like MK - shit, you might even hate MK - but it's idiocy to deny that MK and SF are on a level of their own in terms of popularity and influence on the genre.

MovieBob:
Mortal Kombat is junk. Sincere junk. Often well-made junk. Enduring junk. But still junk. Silly, goofy, schlocky, cheesy, id-of-a-hyperractive-12-year-old junk. Even among fighting games, if Street Fighter is the Mona Lisa, Mortal Kombat is a blacklight painting of a goblin sitting on a pile of skulls. Don't run from it - embrace it. Make it a goal. Make something people will remember, even if it's with a semi-ironic eyeroll.

Absolutely loved this paragraph, Bob. Even if calling SF the Mona Lisa of fighting games is a bit of a stretch, I got your meaning.

Vivicide:
but it's idiocy to deny that MK and SF are on a level of their own in terms of popularity and influence on the genre.

I don't think his comment had anything to do with popularity and everything to do with quality, despite the fact there are people playing the newest one at a tournament level it's still got a reputation as dreck. For that matter, the series has not been consistently popular and as much as I don't enjoy the defensive nature of street fighter it's more than a bit bigger. As for influence on the genre... eh. I'm not opposed to the idea, but I'd love to know what you mean. What did Mortal Kombat give us? A run button... nobody uses that. Finishing moves? Virtually unseen since that wave of late 90's "me too's!" that faded out. (Maybe deadliest warrior did it too, but that game is trash on an unprecedented scale. If MK is a black-light painting of a goblin sitting on skulls then Deadliest Warrior is a crudely drawn picture of a penis in the margins of a history text book.)

It's not like anyone digitally captures actors anymore, even the MK series abandoned that. The series seems to borrow more than it contributes throughout it's various iterations. Supers, EX moves, taunts, 8 way movement, placement of defensive and offensive special tactics on one gauge, combat damaged characters and multi-tiered stages were all done first in other fighters. Even the expansive story modes seen in the last couple offerings could be chalked up to Arc System Work's success at narrative focus and in game characterization. It doesn't even know what it wants to be. It's been a 2d fighter, a 3d fighter and a 3d fighter played on a 2d plane. None of which it did first. I have trouble seeing what it's contributed.

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