My 11th grade teacher grade English teacher was a dude named David Clarke. Mr. Clarke was amazing, honestly probably 27% of the reason I'm a teacher is because of him (I owe him a stiff punch in the balls, it would seem). Anyway, he ruled, and as a recent USC film student and graduate, he loved talking about movies, er, cinema.
One of his assignments was to keep a journal, and being that he actually read our stuff (I don't read my student's journals...because...*shudder*), I always wrote about movies, either random thoughts or something resembling a review, and usually in the order I saw them. (oddly enough, that's pretty much the same thing I do here...two and a half decades later). Anyhow, I remember these two 'reviews' verbatim:
Bridges of Madison County (PG-13): Maybe it's because of my age and sex (15, male), but this one probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
Mortal Kombat (PG-13): Maybe it's because of my age and sex (15, male) but this one was probably one of the best movies I have ever seen.Mortal Kombat debuted on HBO Max, even it was potentially an exercise in futility.
See, updating the characters (and violence) is one thing, but could anything remotely improve on that guy screeching MORTAL KKKKKKKKKOMBATTTTTTT over some techno jams? Is it even possible that the reboot could live up to the hype?
Or, and maybe even more pressing, does it even f--king matter?
If you've played any of the Mortal Kombat games - you're more than up to speed (and can gladly ignore 98% of what Sonya says). But if you haven't, um, weird, and uh...here's what you need (seems like the wrong word) to know...
For control of the world/universe/scary forest place, a secret fighting tournament is held...secretly?...over an undisclosed amount of time. Earthrealm sends its best warriors, cattle-branded with a rad dragon logo...against human-ish monsters from the Netherrealm, which, as far as I can gather, is basically straight-up Hell. Or at the very least, the Lava Level in every game ever. Got it? Really? Because I'm pretty sure I don't...
Okay, that description pretty much sucks, but this movie doesn't, at least, not if you compare it to every other movie based on a goddamned video game. It's fairly violent, super dumb and somewhat fun...which is, uh, exactly what I had hoped for. Though I don't think anyone unnecessarily shouted Mortal Kombatttttt!!!, outside of my questioning wife ) when I informed why I would not be coming to bed this evening), it still was a good f--king time (as opposed to a good time f--king?)
What also no one came for, are the Yays and Boos. Reading them might test your might, even if you don't FINISH THEM. Sigh...sorry.
- The first seven minutes were available on YouTube, and with good reason: helluva opening!
- Speaking of great entrances, Sub Zero's was pretty epic. Actually, pretty much everything about him is. That frozen bullet thing was dope as Hell, only to be topped with the absolute thrashing he put on Jax and subsequent discarding of the body (I actually watched that three times in a row it was so hilariously brutal).
- It was pretty bad for awhile there, but, uh...is Kano actually kind of funny (or maybe he just wore me down)?
- I hope I get fireballs.
- The constant sweeping of the leg was an incredibly solid touch. Like, thanks for just putting us all out there like that.
- Never really liked the character (especially when the AI constantly spins you over and over), but Kabal was absolutely perfect in this.
- And on a similar note, my goodness was Kung Lao perfectly realized. From start to...finish...this dude was shockingly legit. Without Kung Lao, Earthrealm is lost = factual statement.
- Wow, I hope in MK17 me and you can recreate Cole's Wife vs. Goro. Choose your Fighter indeed. (even better, after Cole f--ks up Goro big-time, he just kind of hugs his family like he just got home from a sales conference)
- Even though there are a decent number of fights, there probably couldn't be enough. Luckily, what we do get, is pretty effing good for the most part. There's a bit when we're treated to three fights at once, and out of nowhere the best part might actually feature Sonya. Wait, what? I know. Stunning.
- But nothing tops Scorpion showing up straight out of Hell. Literally.
- And finally, as stupid as this movie is, I'm all set for three or four(teen) sequels, if WB is truly up for it. I had a pretty good time in my basement at 6:00 am on a Saturday morning, I imagine theatrically I would have shit my own pants, likely someone else's, too. And if you're promising me Johnny Cage and an (implied) increase in nonsensical violence? Flawless victory.
- Uh, I feel like this cage match should be called, right? When there's more blood than an underground vampire rave, we might want to stop the fight.
- Wait. First you're telling me that Sonya Blade is no longer being played by Ms. Lippy's co-worker, and now you're saying that the only words out of her mouth will be exposition? Say it ain't so...
- And while we're at it, Sonya is pretty much the Black Widow of this crew, right?
- Let me get this straight, for Kano to get his powers, they have to goad him and endlessly say mean shit. But for our boy Cole, they literally have to beat it out of him? Check the tournament organizers' addresses - it's Sydney, isn't it? Something isn't adding up...
- Usually it's dead cell phones that irritate me. Here? It's the fact that that one is still charged.
- Oooh, Mileena, I'm going to have to deduct major points for the extra 17 rows of teeth. And also the blood-licking. Mostly the blood-licking.
- Imagine seeing Jax with his ripped-off arms and offering those as replacements. Shit, I'd rather they just rip my legs off too, and beat my sorry ass to death with them.
- I'd like a word with whomever decided to kill off a certain character. A few words, in fact.
- Hopefully Cole speaks Japanese...
- And finally, it's pretty funny how hyped everyone was for a rated-R version of Mortal Kombat (myself included) Like, a hard, hard R. Has anyone played the games lately? They left hard-R in the rear view years ago. Not only that, but the actually took the rear view mirror off, lit it on fire and shoved it up someone's ass. Sideways.