October 3, 2011 at 12:34 pm

10 things that must happen in the next Mortal Kombat Movie!

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Back in 1994, i was 12 years old and i remember the excitement i got when i read in a french video games magazine that a movie based on the Mortal Kombat series was in the works. I cannot possibly describe how happy i was, a movie about my favorite fighting game? a chance to see sub-zero and scorpion in live action? a chance to see sub-zero’s spine rip fatality on the big screen? Boy was i excited.

I could not wait for 1995 to be able to witness how will the movie be. A year later i got my hands on the MK movie, and while it did not have any blood in it (not even a single drop dammit) it sure did its job in representing the lore. It might not have been a master piece, but the first Mortal Kombat was a good action flick that i still watch to this day from time to time. Something i cannot say for its sequel, the 1997′s Mortal Kombat annihilation! a crap fest that lived to its tagline, which ironically was” Destroy all expectation”. MK Annihilation did destroy my expectation, and the expectation of millions who thought that a fighting video game could translate into a movie series. The movie was so bad that it killed the films series. A sequel to this abomination was in hiatus since 1997, with many actors and directors who got attached to the project then dropped from it. It seemed there was no way to continue from that movie, and early talks of a remake of annihilation were happening in the beggining of the millenium. Talks that stayed what they were, just talks.

Fast forward to present day, an announcement that brought similar joy to my heart: a new MK movie is in active development, with MK Legacy’s director Kevin Tancharoen. The joy however is mixed with fears, even though i have faith in my good friend Kevin, i still believe making a Mortal Kombat movie is very difficult and tricky, and for that reason alone, i made this list of 10 things that i believe should be done with the upcoming Movie, to ensure its success among both fans and casual movie goers:

- The protagonist is Liu Kang: Many directors will change the heroes of the game in their Movie adaptation. A bad idea that started with a bad movie, Street Fighter. Making guile the hero was a retarded move. This mistake was later made again in the second Street Fighter movie, where chun-li was the heroin. Even though we saw Liu Kang as the hero in the 1995 MK movie, he still needs to be the hero. Maybe make the character darker with a heavy painful past to make him more interesting, and more three dimensional.

- Respect the mythology of the characters: While it is good to stay grounded in reality, Mortal Kombat is above all a story of mythology and mysticism. Reptile and Baraka should not be serial killers or failed surgeons, no! They should both be from an alien world, the outworld. Scorpion and Sub-zero hate each other and cannot work together for shang Tsung. Sonya and Jax are military, not policemen (MK Legacy), and sub-zero was the one who killed Scorpion, and not Quan-chi (MK Legacy again).

- Blood and Fatalities: Let’s face it, if the first MK game did not have fatalities we would, probably, have never seen a sequel for it. The gore in the game series is one of the most important aspects resulting in the series success. Unlike the 1995 MK, the new Movie needs to have blood and fatalities, it is about time we see sub-zero’s spine rip in live action. And while at it why not show an x-ray move?

- Dark, Gritty, and Serious: This is self explanatory, and it does complete the previous point. The movie should have a serious tone and should feel dark and very serious. The first movie had some mildly dark moments, but felt more campy than serious.

- Respect the Characters attire: When i see a character in the big screen i want to easily recognize him/her. Something that some MK Legacy characters did not have (i am looking at you shao khan, you look like a warrior from braveheart dude!). and have rayden wear a hat please, no more white haired hobo rayden and no crazy ass rayden who is in a mental institute and can’t teleport his ass out of it, for no explained reason.

- Use fan feedback: I believe to make this movie successful, the studio needs to publish some hints about the plot, characters etc to test fans reaction. If this MK fails we can rest assured that it will take more than 10 years to get another MK movie.

- Promote your movie and cross promote it: Something that the makers of the first MK movie did right was promoting their product. The signs, logos, images for the movie were everywhere. There were MK comics coming out at the time, a crappy animated movie prequel, music cd’s, trading cards  , you name it. A similar strategy will only help promote the movie.

- Expand the universe: A bit related to the previous point, i believe expanding the Movie universe with prequel comic books, novels, a new webseries or an animated movie, will help new comers understand more about the lore of Mortal Kombat.

- Back to basics asian feel: Sure Mortal Kombat 9 is awesome, and so was MK2 and Umk3, but if you get the chance to go back to MK1, you will feel something different! a much simpler yet darker and mystical feel about the whole setting of the game. The asian feel of things, the music and clothing of the characters. It is something that no other MK media has captured. I believe going back to this roots will be a great asset to use in the next Mortal Kombat movie.

- Use actors who can both act and fight: My last, and by no means least point, is to choose good actors who can also fight. I personally think, that most of the MK Legacy actors did a great job portraying the characters. The 2 actors that i did not quite feel for their parts were Shang Tsung and Rayden. I also thought Jerry Ryan, while a good actress, is a bit old for Sonya Blade.

 

Those were, in my humble opinion, the 10 most important things to do in a Mortal Kombat movie. Do you guys agree or not? Do you have other points that i did not include? Plz post them in the comment section and let us help the studio in charge to give us the Best MK movie yet.

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11 Comments

  1. … and so they cast Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris and Dwayne Johnson ..

  2. Good points on all of these. The Asian (old hong kong movie) feel of mortal Kombat was long lost and the game studios seemed to concentrate more on the graphics ,but totally forgot about that theme of the game that made it interesting.

    On Mortal Kombat Anhiliation, I have to add although it was horrible, I enjoyed the Scorpion-Sub-Zero fight featuring Mark Dakascos as sub zero’s younger brother. But everything else was so bad, that the little good in it was mixed with all the horrible parts of the rest of the movie.

    Also Shao Kahn needs to be more of a mystical ethereal warrior with the mask on at all times(like mk II) , similar to a Death Adder character from Golden Axe.

    The cliche Bald Headed “stone cold steve austin” type of dude is a dumb idea in my opinion (see mortal kombat anhiliation shao kahn terrible) and detaches people away from the fact that he is supposed to be a powerful ruler being from another realm.

  3. Actually you got that wrong. Quan Chi disquised himself as Sub Zero and killed Scorpions Clan. If you played MK9 And look back at Story Mode ( Scorpion Chapter ) and Sub Zero and Scorpions ending ( Arcade Ladder you would know and not make that mistake ( reference ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4bAbMbrDH0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=_PaMtcx_JPY

  4. I agree with all the comments: MK Annihilation sucked big time and that is lightly said, MK does need a movie reboot and does need to be darker to fit the MK theme.

    My personal opinions for MK 2013 Movie other than the ones that are already stated are:

    1. It should stick to or at least follow the original MK1, MK2 etc. story and not seek any MK9 or MK series alternatives.

    2. The Characters: one of the problems with MKA was that they tried to fit every single character into a movie thus losing the importance and the quality of the story plot, IMHO MK 2013 should choose a large bunch of characters that the story would wrap around and base on that, sure there is no reason of just dumping the other characters from the movie just make it like in MK9 they do appear on the background however the story does not focus every single one. (sure everyone wants to see their favourite character in the plot but with 30+ char it is mere impossible

  5. I agree. Going back to the simple, Asian mystical feel is the way it should be for this upcoming movie. I also agree about having Shao Khan’s face be masked at all times. Seeing him with a mask makes him seem less human which he isn’t.

    This upcoming movie should also revolve around a small group of characters and not try to fit every character from the series. Start this movie with the basics from MK1 and *possibly* some from MK2. Leave MK3 newcomers out of it. Then, IF THIS MOVIE’S A SUCESS, follow it up with a sequel including more people but still not cheese it up like “Annihilation” did.

    I just really hope that 1) it isn’t cheesy and 2) it has an Asian feel.

    Good article.

  6. For the love of god bring nack robin shou for lui kang

  7. I also agree with this article, respect the MK characters by at least making them identifiable from the games, fans want to recognize their favourites from the game on the big sceen and after waiting 14 years-the movie should be for the MK fans so MK costumes would be essential for me- look at all the negative feedback for Baraka and Shao Kahn and all of the positive feedback for Cyrax’s MK9 robot appearance in Legacy, also throw in a couple of characters that have never been in an MK movie before like: Quan Chi and Kenshi, it doesn’t need to drop the mystism to be a success, it just needs to be done well and kept serious and full of action, if you take away the characters story and appearance of the characters then it won’t be MK, I also agree that promotion is important but we know WB are great with that kind of stuff, I just hope Kevin remembers he should be making this movie for MK game fans

  8. I also strongly agree and MK fans want to be able to visually identify their favourite characters from the game, even if you differ the character story a bit- they must keep the characters look based acurately as possible from the games- this is why in Legacy Baraka and Shao Kahn failed and had so much negative feedback and why Cyrax’s MK9 robot appearance was recieved with positive feedback, the MK fans that have waited 14 years for a new MK movie want to see their favourite game characters respected and recognised on the big screen- NOT just by name but by appearance and character story, you can keep mystism and make it serious and dark- simultaniously if you know what you’re doing, I would also really like to see QUAN CHI in the movie as he only just missed out from MK Devastation in 1998, please use some MK characters that have never been used before in an MK movie- only using the MK1=2 characters is too predictable and it’d be great to see some newer characters get developed in the series asap, I can’t wait for this movie but I hope Kevin will make this for the true MK fans and not just make it for his own appreciation of horror movies and alternate story telling, we’ve waited too long and deserve an MK movie that’s about MK!

  9. I agree. Going back to the simple, Asian mystical and use DONNY YEN or JET LI… Get some real Kombat action in this moive so it can become a block buster!!!

  10. and dont kill johnny cage at the first five minutes…

  11. I completely agree 100% with the points made up above. To add on to those points, I’ll say that I would like to reccomend they work with a professional and famed martial arts fight choreographer such as Yeun Wo Ping, a weapons specialists or someone reputable who has knowledge of how a martial artist should move and also capture the moves in best light for the camera being as this is a visual platform.

    If you study in old marital arts movies in Asian cinema, the choreography dwarfs America’s by a long shot. Adding enhanced special effects for the film to showcase the mythical elements of the characters I also think would be great visual stimulation and not just for one grand move. I think one of the shortcomings of the past films, though the hand to hand fights were good, were that they didn’t showcase enough of the mythical sides of the characters. Films such as Harry Potter, X-Men Series and Marvel Series of films do a remarkable job of creating a visual display of the mythical abilities of the characters.

    I think also showcasing the backstory of the characters would be helpful in communicating the persona or the idealogy of the characters as well including the antagonist characters such as Scorpion or Shang Tsung as well as the protagonist characters. A good example of a film that communicated these elements would be the revamped Batman films. The character Two Face’s story was incredible in their display. And I also think there should a strict limit on the characters showcased in the film as well. Too many major characters for a film that last about an hour and a half to two hours won’t allow enough time for the characters to develop on screen. Some minor characters could be ok in maybe a tournament styled storyline format but major roles would be too consuming. And if done properly, I think this could lead to sequels for MK or spin offs in the future with more characters to showcase.

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