Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Call me Scorpion...

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

As a rule of thumb I don't usually review short films or what could possibly be an overly long trailer. But there are exceptions to everything and I think this is one of them...the Mortal Kombat reboot.

Now I realize that they have made two live action Mortal Kombat movies already and to be quite honest, both of them suck pretty badly, even compared to other video game films. And due to low ratings, bombing at the box office, and nobody wanting to touch this franchise, the chances for a Mortal Kombat 3 became slimmer and slimmer. Honestly, that's a good thing. Or at least I thought it was a good thing until I saw this pop up on the internet the other day.

Being dubbed under many titles including Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Rebirth, the story follows Captain Jackson (Jax) Briggs as he talks to an ex convict whose help he needs. He tells this man first about two assassins. The first one has a skin condition that turns his skin scaly and his eyes red. Usually this kills babies early but this guy is 30 years old. He also kills people for a living and eats there heads for food. He is nicknamed "Reptile." The second guy is a plastic surgeon who went crazy and filed his teeth down to spikes and attached blades to his arms. His nickname is "Baraka." They get this information from washed up action star Johnny Cage, who caught up with Baraka only to be murdered. It was only after he was murdered did they find out that both Reptile and Baraka are working for an evil crime boss named Shang Tsung. Shang Tsung happens to be holding a tournament for fighters and if the man wins then they will get a good shot at taking down Shang Tsung. The man agrees on the condition he is given a new nickname..."Scorpion." Honestly this short film was enough to put me over. Now I'm learning that it was indeed test footage that was sent to Warner Bros. for a new film and if so then I am excited.
The main complaint people will have with this short film is that they are missing the "point" of the series by making it really hyper realistic and gritty. Well I tell them to go watch the original films and then come back here. Both of those films attempted to make themselves as accurate to the games as possible, even down to the costumes and the monsters. The problem however is that the story of Mortal Kombat on it's own is quite weak. It's a fighting game for Pete's sake! So I think this new direction is actually good because it's a refreshing and honestly quite interesting reboot of a great franchise.

But this wasn't the perfect short film either. The cinematography, choreography, special effects, lighting, atmosphere, and direction were all brilliant but the acting suffers slightly. That's not to say they were terrible but especially Jax and Sonya really needed to up their energy. Sonya seemed monotone and Jax got better in voiceovers but when the camera was on him he seemed a bit shaky in my opinion. But really I can't diss too much because it's an 8 minute short film and with what they got it's pretty good, although more talking from Scorpion or any talking from Baraka would be good. I know Reptile doesn't speak but does anybody remember Baraka's gold ending?

Baraka's got a badass voice and I would just hate to see him treated like nothing more than an animal in the new movie if and when it's made.

Either way this looks like it'll be great if it's made and the short film alone is quite enjoyable.

I guess if I had to rate the short film I'd say OWN IT (aka 4 stars) but this film has potential to be a 5 star film if it's done right. Here's hoping!


  1. Technically he only agrees to go along with it to kill Sub-Zero, and he gets annoyed at Jax for calling him by his birth name when he's changed his name to Scorpion. But yeah... I so hope this gets made.

    I do have to say, however, that I do enjoy the first Mortal Kombat movie. Sure it's cheesy, but it's a lot of fun. The second one tries too hard, though. But the first one is pretty good (at least in my opinion). Regardless, this super dark reboot would be awesome.

  2. The movies are a guilty pleasure for me, but this actually got me kind of excited. I would pay to see a full length version of this.

  3. Reminds me quite a bit visually of Max Payne. I think this could be comically bad, but I'm not sure there'll be much good about it. Michael Jai White should call upon Black Dynamite for the role :)

  4. I already commented at length about this elsewhere so I'll just copy and paste:

    I can't muster up the encouragement over this that you found. I didn't find the visuals stunning but rather bleak and ugly. The movie looks like Saw which means it looks like Seven, which is nothing special in 2010.

    This trailer reminded me of the debate that went on over at my blog a week or so again when I wrote about how old movies were poorly made but they tried whereas now movies are well made and lifeless. It seems that's what will happen here as well. The original was cheesy but fun. This one looks like a polished bore. Even that fight scene is pretty stock and takes itself way too seriously. The I am Scorpion line at the end made me laugh and not in a good way.

    Plus Jeri Ryan as Sonja Blade, Michael Jai White, Baraka, Reptile not in his green ninja outfit? I don't know but this seems like it should be going direct to video to me.