Mortal Kombat made 22 million at the box office last weekend. Here are four reasons why it is such a hit!

Written by: Kelly Levine – April 27th, 2021 6:03 pm pst

Movie theaters are on the way back! Box office numbers from the past weekend have revealed that Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train have over performed on expectations. Both films are closing in on numbers in the twenty millions with Mortal Kombat quickly coming up on making back its budget. That isn’t even counting the numbers the film has racked up on HBO Max where it was concurrently released. Here are five reasons why all eyes are on 2021’s Mortal Kombat

Gore Galore! 

One thing any Mortal Kombat fan knows is that this franchise is not for the faint of heart. From its initial release in 1992, the Mortal Kombat series has been defined by its unique approach to violence. The series has a reputation for high levels of graphic violence, including, most notably, its fatalities (finishing moves allowing the player to finish off their defeated opponent). It makes sense that fans have long desired a film adaptation that keeps true to the spirit of the game. Well have no fear because Mortal Kombat has more than enough unique fatalities to entertain audiences. There is a particularly memorable death involving Kung Lao’s hat that has to be seen to be believed. Mortal Kombat truly earns its R rating. 

New Stars

Mortal Kombat isn’t just introducing concepts like fatalities to movie going audiences. The video game flick boasts a nearly unknown cast of fresh faces to take on battles in the Outworld and Earthrealm. Lewis Tan who joined the franchise as a new character named Cole Young spent much of his career either doing stunts or in small supporting roles in films like 2018’s Deadpool 2. After one of his first major roles in AMC’s Into the Badlands, Lewis Tan was cast in Mortal Kombat. Lewis’s background in stunts gave him the skills to perfectly embody the role. You also might recognize Ludi Lin who plays Liu Kang from his action heavy role in the Striking Vipers episode of Black Mirror, where he had a role in a fighting game obviously based off of Mortal Kombat. Another lesser known action star who has now become a fan favorite is Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero. The Indonesian actor and former Judo athlete got his start in films like The Raid: Redemption which led to smaller parts in franchise juggernauts like Fast & Furious and Star Trek. Sisi Stringer made her film debut in Mortal Kombat as the terrifying villain Mileena. The actress and assistant director is the first Black woman to play the role and has opened up about the positive experience of interacting with Mortal Kombat and Mileena fans. 

More to Come

Mortal Kombat ends on a very exciting note as Raiden sends out Cole Young to search for more champions to defend the Earthrealm. It is heavily hinted that Cole has set out on the trail of Johnny Cage. Cage is one of Mortal Kombat’s oldest and most beloved characters. The characterization of the martial artist and actor came about because the original creators of Mortal Kombat wanted to make  a video game starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, but the idea fell through. Nonetheless the two paid homage to the actor by creating Johnny Cage, whose initials and personal style resemble Van Damme’s. The film’s producer Todd Garner revealed to Collider that there is a possibility of a Johnny Cage-centric standalone film along with a potential sequel. Joe Taslim also revealed that he is signed on for four films of the series if the reboot is a success. Considering the success of Mortal Kombat in both theaters and online, plans for a sequel seem more than possible. 

Tributes to the Game

It’s safe to say that Mortal Kombat is a movie for the fans. The film comes complete with some combo fighting moves pulled directly from the games, certain character-based catch phrases, and even a few famous fatalities. The character costumes are overhauled to be more modern while also honoring the original designs from the first game. Even the new characters written specifically for the film, like Cole Young are deeply connected to the lore of the universe. Cole is one of the descendants of Hanzo Hasashi a.k.a Scorpion one of the most iconic characters in Mortal Kombat. He is even gifted his own costume and abilities that harken back to Scorpion, but still manages to capture a sense of originality. 

About The Author:

Kelly Levine is a screenwriting student at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and an intern at AfterBuzz TV. She hopes to one day pursue a career in television writing and production. Kelly loves television, movies, and all things nerdy in pop culture!

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