The cult video game saga “Mortal Kombat” returns to the big screen with a film that promises to be gruesome, following two more or less commercial film adaptations in the 1990s. Even the best fighting film of all time is promised…
It’s a game that makes people talk.
The arcade game “Mortal Kombat,” which was released in 1992 to compete with Street Fighter, was a smash success and spawned a 14-game franchise (11 main games and three spin-offs). The Midway Games video game series has a strong following among fans of the genre thanks to its violent violence taken to its logical conclusion. However, the well-known “fatalities,” which enable players to violently execute an opponent after a battle, have sparked a lot of discussion. The US Congress investigated the matter a year after the first “Mortal Kombat” was published, and Senator Joseph Lieberman harshly criticized the game for its ultra-violent violence.
In Germany, authorities confiscated all copies of “Mortal Kombat” in 1994 because they were used to stage “cruel actions against individuals.”
A third adaptation for the big screen
The latest “Mortal Kombat,” directed by Simon McQuoid, is the third big-screen adaptation of a video game. In 1995, Paul WS Anderson was the first to embark on the adventure, well before another cult game, “Resident Evil,” was adapted for the big screen. Despite some murderous criticism of the content of the script and dialogues, the first “Mortal Kombat” was a huge commercial success for the time, grossing $ 122 million worldwide on a budget of $ 18 million. The next adaptation, “Mortal Kombat: Final Destruction,” directed by John R. Leonetti in 1997, fared even worse, grossing just $ 55 million on a $ 30 million budget. The saga was dealt a fatal blow by this commercial disaster, and it took a long time to emerge from the ashes. A third sequel, called “Mortal Kombat: Devastation,” was planned for 2005, but Hurricane Katrina devastated the sets for the film, and the project was shelved. Finally, after 15 years, the saga was “rebooted” by Simon McQuoid, who set himself the goal of making “the best fighting film ever produced.”
A film that is true to the game.
Fans of the video game were dissatisfied with the first two film adaptations of “Mortal Kombat,” which did not place enough emphasis on fatalities. They should be happy this time. In an interview with “Entertainment Weekly,” Simon McQuoid explained, “We wanted the film to be very authentic and violent.” As a result, the latter was eager to show the impressive kills that have become synonymous with the video game franchise for the first time on the big screen. Hundreds of liters of fake blood were poured in the center of the prostheses of arms and other false limbs torn off, according to actor Lewis Tan, who confessed to having his stomach turned over more than once during shooting. “There were a couple of days on set where I felt physically awkward,” Cole Young’s translator told Comic Book. However, producer Todd Garner tried to comfort delicate souls by stating that we were still a long way from the amount of violence seen in video games. “If we were to compare the two, I would suggest the film is like Bambi,” he said in an interview with “The Verve.”
In the arena, there is a new “kombattant.”
Cole Young (played by Lewis Tan), a declining mixed martial arts fighter with a birthmark on his chest that looks suspiciously like the dragon from “Mortal Kombat,” is the protagonist of the new film. This gained him the attention of the Emperor of the Underworld, Shang Tsung (Chin Han), who sent the cryomancer mercenary Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) to track him down. Our hero seeks refuge in Lord Raiden’s temple (camped by Tadanobu Asano, who succeeds Christophe Lambert in the role), where some of the world’s best warriors are trained.Fans of the games were only able to see that Cole Young did not feature in the video game saga after finding his name. In reality, this fighter was designed specifically for the film’s needs. In addition to introducing this new hero, director Simon McQuoid chose to kill off Johnny Cage, a cult character from the 1995 “Mortal Kombat” film (played at the time by Linden Ashby).
A strong opponent
Joe Taslim portrays the mercenary Sub-Zero, the main character in the latest “Mortal Kombat.” The Indonesian star, like Lewis Tan, has a strong martial arts background. Joe Taslim had a brilliant career as a judoka with the Indonesian national judo team from 1997 to 2009. Before breaking into Hollywood and portraying the villain in the sixth installment of “Fast and Furious,” Joe Taslim had a brilliant career as a judoka with the Indonesian national judo team from 1997 to 2009. As a result, he won the Southeast Asian Judo Championships in 1999 with a gold medal. Enough to give Sub-character Zero’s a lovely physical dimension on film.“Joe Taslim is a natural athlete who demonstrates it. “The presence he brings to this character is truly extraordinary,” said Simon McQuoid, director of “Mortal Kombat” at the Comic Book site.
A real master of martial arts
Lewis Tan was inspired to play Cole Young by a real UFC fighter, Jorge Masvidal. In order to put himself in the shoes of a mixed martial arts fighter, the actor conducted extensive research into how the athlete performs in the octagon. However, Lewis Tan, who starred in the martial arts series “Into the Badlands” on television, drew on his own experiences. Indeed, the star is no beginner when it comes to action sports. He also went into the ring before going to film sets to compete in kickboxing and Thai boxing matches, two sports in which he excelled.Lewis Tan also has the distinction of briefly portraying another “kombatant,” Kung Jin, in the web series “Mortal Kombat X: Generations” in 2015.