Mortal Kombat Fails to Land a Punch
“[We] made it for the fans.” Although this quote is specifically attributed to a David Ayer tweet following the relentless pans of his 2016 Suicide Squad, the sentiment could have come from any franchise director of the last few years. As Hollywood has become more and more IP driven, the fans have become more and more of a shield for bad movies. Marvel and especially DC have consistently put out lifeless films with just enough fan service to get their die hard supporters to flood into theaters multiple times. Now it seems that Warner — purveyors of both the DCEU and the recently ended MonsterVerse — is attempting to graft this format onto Mortal Kombat.
I’m starting to become concerned about the 2021 film year. A few big titles have trickled in, from Judas and the Black Messiah taking advantage of the the extended Oscars window to Disney testing out Premier Access again with Raya and the Last Dragon. Those have been great, but so to date are proving to be the exceptions to the rule. What movie fans feared of 2020 is coming to a more dire fruition now.
From it’s very inception, there has been a contentious battle at the the center of Warner’s modern MonsterVerse. No, it isn’t Godzilla vs Kong, it’s the monsters vs the humans. Godzilla (2014) took heat for investing too much time in the people while it’s titular Kaiju lurked in the background. Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) overcorrected the other way with an overwhelming amount of monsters and a small group of people specifically tied to them. People weren’t too happy with that either. So, what makes a good monster movie? Maybe it isn’t about how the two much people feature, rather how they’re used.