Two months ago seems like an eternity from now. It was back when most of us could only dream of vaccination, and the thought of a shrimp-tail-Cinnamon-Toast-Crunch Twitter guy was but a glimmer in our eye.
It was also when the trailer for the new Mortal Kombat movie was released.
But the world, too distracted by shrimp tails and new Presidencies, was not yet ready to take it all in. Now, two months later, we have a new Mortal Kombat featurette, and after finally having the mental bandwidth to process it all, something is looking increasingly obvious that we might all be too afraid to admit …
… this movie might be good. Like, maybe even really good. I wouldn't say really, really, really good -- it's still a movie based on a video game -- but if you were to throw two “really's” in there, then I wouldn't object.
Now, I don't want to jinx It. We know the history of video game movies, and the first two Mortal Kombat movies, in particular, were famously “meh.” (Okay, the second one was beyond “meh.”) But that's also part of what gives me so much hope. This doesn't need to be Citizen Kane. It just needs special effects that make Scorpion look better than a Nazi who just saw the Ark of The Covenant.
And this movie does that and then some. I mean, did you see the part where Sub-Zero froze Scorpion's blood in midair and then used it as a shank? If that's not the most metal thing you've seen all day, then it's only because you're a special effects designer for this movie, and you just animated Raiden to electrocute someone using the neurons in their spine.
It's scary to get too hopeful, and a clearer mind would warn against it. For example, the plot device used to get everyone together for a tournament seems shallow even by Mortal Kombat standards. “I've had a birthmark in the shape of a what is clearly a company-designed logo all my life, but that's not weird, right?” Sure. But I don't care. I'll jump headfirst into the teeniest puddle of plot if the fighting scenes are good enough, and from the trailer, they look like they very well could be good enough.
And I can't help but wonder what finally getting a good Mortal Kombat movie would mean going forward. It seems like a franchise perfectly suited for a shared Universe. Imagine getting a standalone Raiden movie where he fights the Elder Gods or a movie where Johnny Cage tries to make it in Hollywood. The possibilities are endless, and it's all because we might have finally reached the point in history where CGI and special effects have caught up to video games or, at the very least, we've reached the point where they can realistically simulate video game effects from the 90s, and hey, that might be enough for Mortal Kombat's redemption.
Top Image: Warner Bros.