Fans of the Mortal Kombat video game series have long dreamed of a movie adaptation that does justice to the series’ ultra-violent aesthetic. The Mortal Kombat trailer seems ripped straight from those dreams, featuring one bloody fight after another, and even versions of the infamous “fatalities” that have long differentiated Mortal Kombat games from other brawlers. In an interview with IGN, director Simon McQuoid explained that the fatalities actually service the fight scenes instead of being pure fan service.
“The Fatalities were always in from the get-go, there was never any question from anyone at all. There was no resistance from the studio. They wanted them, I wanted them. There’s a fatality from Kano, he ripped someone’s heart out. But what was important to me was that even when the Fatalities arrived, we couldn’t just do a Fatality and have it mean nothing. … It actually becomes an important ingredient in the rhythm of the action scene.”
The fatalities in the games occur after a fighter scores a decisive victory over their opponent. As the commentary voice thunders “Finish him!”, the victor has the option to execute a variety of finishing moves, from the comically bloody, such as impaling an opponent on a bed of spikes, to the comically comic, like turning the opponent into a baby. These fatalities have become a signature part of the franchise, and each new game installment has tried to top the previous one in terms of ultra-violent fatalities.
In the trailer for the movie, we see various versions of fatalities unique to each fighter. Kano rips the beating heart out of an opponent. Liu Kang summons his dragon avatar, and a ninja is straight-up impaled in the skull. Clearly, the team behind the film knew fans were finally ready for Mortal Kombat characters unleashing their full destructive potential on the big screen as they have on gaming screens for decades.
Apart from the fight scenes, the trailer for the movie also hinted at the story, which deals with an interdimensional deathmatch that Earth warriors must win at all cost in order to protect their reality from the machinations of the dark lord Shao Kahn. Many familiar faces are introduced, from Jax to Sonya to Scorpion and Sub-Zero. We are also introduced to a new character played by Lewis Tan, named Cole, who is hinted to be the central character of the story.
Directed by Simon McQuoid and produced by James Wan, Mortal Kombat stars Lewis Tan as Cole Young; Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade; Josh Lawson as Kano; Tadanobu Asano as Lord Raiden; Mehcad Brooks as Jackson “Jax” Bridges; Ludi Lin as Liu Kang; Chin Han as Shang Tsung; Joe Taslim as Bi-Han and Sub-Zero; Hiroyuki Sanada as Hanzo Hasashi and Scorpion; Max Huang as Kung Lao; Sisi Stringer as Mileena; Matilda Kimber as Emily Young; and Laura Brent as Allison Young. The film arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16. This news was first shared at IGN.