Whether you’re a fan of the Mortal Combat video game series that was created by Midway and is now offering Mortal Kombat 11 or you followed the original film series first released in 1995, you’ve got to be excited about the reboot Mortal Kombat (2021) that is slated to come out simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16, 2021.
Directed by Simon McQuoid and produced by James Wan, known for Saw, Aquaman, The Conjuring, and Insidious, Mortal Kombat offers some familiar faces, the spine-tingling excitement of the combat sequences that made the game popular, spectacular special effects, and a storyline that will feel like coming home (at least if you know the story).
Young mixed martial arts fighter Cole Young finds himself hunted by frightening and powerful Cryomancer Sub-zero (sound familiar game fans?). But why has Emperor Shang Tsung of Outworld sent this mystical warrior after Cole, why is Cole’s family in jeopardy, and what secret does the strange dragon marking Cole was born with reveal about his heritage? To protect himself and to understand his past Cole seeks Sonja Blade, a special forces major who also bears the same marking. The secret of the mark leads Cole to the temple of Lord Raiden, protector of “Earthrealm,” where the young warrior finds sanctuary and the training he needs to join forces with other champions against the Outworld and to save everyone he loves in a battle for the universe.
Mortal Kombat (2021) includes a mix of fresh new faces with a number of actors you might recognize. Lewis Tan, who plays Cole Young, made his name in AMC’s Into the Badlands, while his nemesis Sub-zero is played by newcomer Joe Taslim. You may recognize Sonja Blade, played by Jessica McNamee, from Battle of the Sexes where she played tennis great Margaret Court. Other notables include Mehcad Brooks of Desperate Housewives portraying Jax (whom we see an teased moment of in the trailer that may be the origin of his silver arms), Tadanobu Asano from the film Battleship, and Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion, who you will almost certainly recognize as Ujio from The Last Samurai and Musashi from HBO’s Westworld (Season 2).
While the original film series was panned, the 2021 reboot promises to breathe new life into the franchise with convincing fight sequences enacted by trained martial artists, special effects that harken back to the magic of the original games special character powers, and a cast that will make this an action thriller to remember.
Can Cole Young unlock his hidden potential and discover his arcana (his soul power) in time to save his loved ones and the universe from the threat of Tsung and the Outworld? The only way to find out is to check out Mortal Kombat (2021) in April with popcorn in hand and your katana at the ready.