Advice From A Fanboy: Mortal Kombat

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I get the impression from this article that moviebob didn't even watch the series. It's almost more campy than the games - and it failed miserably at the whole damn thing.

The trailer was great because it was over the top with its grittiness as opposed to simply being over the top.

Everything Bob recommended is well stated and succinctly put... and that's why none of it will happen.

If nothing else, 'make it more like Endhiran' is golden advice.

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

There could be a number of factors why people like it. A sense of Tarantino-esque kitsch, a respect for the legacy it produced or a just plain old sense of humor.

You liked Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, didn't you, Bob?

With all due respect to everyone, Mortal Kombat: Rebirth should stay right where it is. A loose-fitting collection of several related, but not intertwined, stories that work far better separated than pureed together. Keep it as a video series. Keep shifting tone for every video, so as to keep the stories distinct and clear. Cross them over only when absolutely necessary, and only for a single fight/episode.

I like it better this way.

You were going so well until you said "leave to the asian to do a martial arts film".

It is like you'd suddenly chose to forget what Mortal Kombat is. Mortal Kombat is NOT a kung-fu movie franchise. It is an AMERICAN franchise mimicking kung-fu franchises (and I say that as a non-american). One of the things that make Mortal Kombat unique is its western sensibilities towards violence (in the land where a head being cut in half is A-OK but a nipple-slip is "THINK OF THE CHILDREN"!), but borrowing heavily from eastern tropes... and borrowing wrong.

I just can't see a Mortal Kombat movie working under Asian eyes. It needs to be an american (or at least western-oriented director) who knows how to use violence well. Good Gods, you yourself mentioned Machete and Planet Terror! Rodriguez (and possibly Tarantino as well) are the obvious choice here, not any japanese or chinese director you'd chose to mention just to look internationally cultured.

Outside of that, I don't think the legacy shorts were horrible. Heck, Meleena/Kitana's story is high fantasy, Raiden's story is high concept godly stuff and Subzero/Scorpion are pure eastern mysticism. Just because Jax/Striker/Sonya/Cage side of the equation is down-to-earth doesn't mean the whole series he is making is all a boring gritfest.

Bob I don't know the moderation to which you huff glue because sometimes you are dead-on-balls accurate with your reviews and musing and sometimes your options are so misguided it's laughable.

for the first time you actually managed to do both of those things in one review.

I have also been a mortal kombat fanboy since i first picked up my sega genesis controller at the age of 6 and even i, someone who has loved the series from first to last, was stunned and shocked at how the MK: Rebirth was able to suck me in like a 30 dollar whore.

what you and every other person who badmouths MK: Rebirth fail to realize is that this is the first installment into the MK franchise that is actually an honest-to-God breath of fresh air. Actually by comparison, both films and all of the games look cheerful by comparison.

I think what you failed to realize (only due to your love and protection of the series and not due to any lack of critical skills) is that every game has been the same thing over and over again. the storyline may be enthralling and cool but once "Round 1... FIGHT!" flashes onto the screen it doesn't matter who you're playing as or why. It's still two people trying to kill each other, and the violence is gory but it is by no means compelling.

I personally felt more sympathy and sorrow for the death of Johnny Cage (a character whom I wholeheartedly despise in the series) in the MK: Rebirth than I ever did playing the games. Baraka and Reptile sent genuine shivers down my spine rather than giggles of boyish excitement when i played them as characters.

for a series which is about brutally murdering people in the most horrific and disgusting ways possible, it's nice to see that for once the gore isn't treated like a novelty that you WANT to see, but something you don't want to see. It makes the violence more potent and gripping. You actually want the right person to lose because since it's being presented in such a disturbing way.

Mortal Kombat has always tried to revamp what they did, adding multiple levels, weapons, dimensions to the fighting, but it's still two people slugging it out to the death. Within each fight the story means nothing. Rebirth actually made me care about each fight scene and character even for it's 6 minute time length. It's exactly what this worn-out, repetitive, formulaic series needs. The newest game actually took a step BACK and redid the first game with a new coat of paint.

So yes, the next movie needs gallons and gallons of blood. It's needs a hard R rating. It needs to be brutal and violent and compelling. But it can't be compelling if the violence is treated as a novelty. Because any good fight sequence in and movie is a story in and of itself. That is NOT what the games are.

the only way to have the fight sequences have any weight is if people you care about are in the fight and you understand why they're fighting...

people still get this, right?

I know I'm not the only guy who actually thought the first Mortal Kombat movie was good. It sure feels like it sometimes though. Honestly, I know it wasn't gory but it had well done fight choreography, good special effects for the time, all of the more recognizable characters, and a story that actually ATTEMPTED to follow the game somewhat. WHAT MORE DO YOU PEOPLE WANT!?

Spot on, Bobbo!

If there's ever a good Mortal Kombat movie, it will look like "Tokyo Gore Police," not "Inception."
Know your material!


Seriously, if you have not seen this movie by now, you are out of excuses.

WB should hand the title over to the Wachowski bros. They've proven they can do some crazy kung-fu in their first major outing and then not long after with Ninja Assassin. The latter even had magical powers and liberal use of cartoon-grade blood splatter that would be the hallmarks of a good Mortal Kombat flick. They could have Rain thrown in the mix as one of the various clan representatives at the tournament, perhaps the younger Sub Zero.

What? No love for the original Mortal Kombat movie? I is sad now.

There's no reason why you can't try to turn junk into something with a little substance. Simply accepting something for what it appears to be shouldn't be the status-quo.

I mean look at something like Robocop!

Ever seen someone get a paper cut in a movie? It's cringe-inducing. Tiny little cut, tiny little bit of blood, yegh!

Does anyone else actually feel this way? I really don't find anything disturbing about paper cuts whatsoever.

Except perhaps if someone were given a deliberately slow paper cut across their open eyeball.

Didn't they MAKE Mortal Kombat movies that were pretty much that?

And didn't they suck?

I think the real problem, is they still see gamers as a small subset of the moviegoing public, therefore they're just not going to make movies for gamers, they'll offer little nods to us during the movie, but they've got to make the movies for a regular audience.

Such is the demands of focus groups and the like.

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.

I enjoyed it too. Then again, I'm not really a Mortal Kombat fanboy. I've played and enjoyed a couple games, but I'm not too attached to them to accept a different interpretation of them.


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.

I enjoyed it too. Then again, I'm not really a Mortal Kombat fanboy. I've played and enjoyed a couple games, but I'm not too attached to them to accept a different interpretation of them.

Maybe that's it, because i've never played the games much either. Maybe it only looks good to the casual observer.

Granted, it has probably been over a decade since I watched the original Mortal Kombat movie... but I recall enjoying it.

I kind of what to know what this mini web series did to Scorpion... but I don't want to be sad either.

I have to disagree. I'll admit i'm not a huge fan of Mortal Kombat and this likely colors my opion but i like where this director is going. I think the gritty real world thing works alot better than the craptastic outworld story. I like that the characters are freaks and not magical. I do agree this should be a bloody as hell slug fest but i don't think you have to go the way of magic ninjas to do it. Hell if they did they would proabley just make another shitty wire fighting movie. Martial arts films are at thier best when the fights look real. take the gore and the amount of punishment over the top but make sure the hits look like they have weight to them. Wire fighting films lack that brutality and if you stick to MK's roots you risk going down that path.

again this is coming from someone who prefers the Bruce Lee method of martial arts films to Crouching Tiger hidden dragon. And also a person that isn't the biggest fan of the source material of this movie. I just think that you should give this a shot. It can't be worse then the orginal movies.

So... I decided to look MK up on netflix to see if it's where it stands 15 years later... and frankly... it was 90's cheesy... but I don't think it was really that bad...

I think Bob forgets that while the story behind Mortal Kombat is a campy, cheesy mess, it has one other big thing going for it: a video game. You take the game away, and you try to present the story as is, I'm sorry, but you'll end up with something worse than direct-to-dvd. You're not a real fanboy if you don't treat the material with respect. And you don't respect the material if you don't think it can rise above that level.

"Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker" without sounding like I am resorting too much to "well lets see if you can do better" ... lets see your attempt at making a good mortal kombat film.

Hey, make it like "ninja assassin" with coloured ninja suits and a fighting tournament and I am good to go! That movie was bloody as hell, with some pretty good action scenes ... Bob even reviewed it!

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