If 'Mortal Kombat' Was 10 Times Shorter And 100 Times More Honest
TEST YOUR MIGHT! What’s preferable, being dragged anus-first across a razor-sharp spinning hat or watching the new Mortal Kombat movie? We sent The Editing Room to Outworld to get the abridged version of the script and find out. Despite having done so many times for us in the past, they were decapitated almost instantly. Here’s our best guess at the script’s contents anyway ...
EXT. JAPANESE VILLAGE
A quaint little VILLAGE in FEUDAL JAPAN is attacked by a horde of masked NINJAS. JOE TASLIM, who you know is an ESPECIALLY BAD MOFO because you can see his FACE, invades the home of a WOMAN and her LITTLE BOY.
You’re the family of my hated enemy, Hiroyuki Sanada. So instead of
killing you with my mere sword, I will use my ICE POWERS to impale you
both on an ICICLE!
Which is functionally identical to stabbing you with a sword, I guess.
HIROYUKI SANADA arrives home to find JOE teabagging the FROZEN CORPSES of his FAMILY.
Ha ha ha, suck it, Hiroyuki! At last, I have ended your bloodline, and
the centuries-long mission for the Lin Kuei to hunt down and destroy
the Shirai Ryu traitors is-
Oh God, you’re one of THOSE Mortal Kombat fans. SHUT UP, SKIP, NOBODY
CARES, JUST MAKE THE ICE GUY BEAT UP THE HARPOON GUY ALREADY.
HIROYUKI ties a DAGGER to a ROPE and starts trying to hit JOE with it.
Damnit, I have like a billion ice powers I could use to win the fight
pretty much instantly, but I don’t want to blow them all in the first
scene. Guess I’ll save all my actually useful moves for the climax,
and for now, just go with punching Hiroyuki in the face.
They FIGHT for a while, and finally, JOE kills HIROYUKI and leaves. Then TADANOBU ASANO teleports in.
(looking at piles of corpses)
Yeah, I think now is the perfect time for me and my immortal lightning
god powers to intervene!
He enters HIROYUKI’S HOUSE and retrieves a BABY which had been SECRETLY STASHED there.
And so Hiroyuki’s bloodline continues after all since Joe never
detected this additional child! Good thing this kid never cried while
being stuck in a dark closet accompanied only by the sound of distant
INT. MMA ARENA
Centuries later, MMA FIGHTER LEWIS TAN prepares for a FIGHT, assisted by his teenage daughter MATILDA KIMBER.
That’s right, everybody, it’s me, classic Mortal Kombat character...
“Cole Young?” Wait, who the hell is that? There’s like a million
good-guy characters from Mortal Kombat; why are we making one up? Oh
well, it is what it is. Come on, sweetie, come watch your dad get
beaten to a bloody pulp.
He goes and FIGHTS and LOSES.
Dad, why do you always fight so recklessly? You would have won if only
you’d shown control! And now that we’ve established the character flaw
that you need to overcome in this movie let’s never have you actually
overcome it or indeed display it ever again.
They are approached by MEHCAD BROOKS.
I saw you fight just now, and couldn’t help but notice your very
Oh, that’s not a tattoo; it’s a birthmark. A birthmark that happens to
be shaped exactly like an angry dragon face, framed by a perfect
circle. Apparently, I’ve never questioned this.
Well, now would seem to be the appropriate time to show you that I have
the exact same mark, and explain how your urgent help is needed to
save the world, and that your life is in danger. But, instead, I figure
I’ll wait and see if an interdimensional demon ninja tries to murder
your entire family first.
Indeed, the next time LEWIS is hanging out with MATILDA and his wife LAURA BRENT, JOE shows up and starts hurling chunks of ICE at them!
OH NO, RELATIVELY SMALL CHUNKS OF ICE! WHICH JUST SHATTER LIKE
SNOWBALLS AND DON’T ACTUALLY SEEM VERY DANGEROUS AT ALL!! ...You know
what, maybe he should have just brought a gun.
MEHCAD picks them up in his CAR, and they SPEED OFF.
Lewis, you’re being hunted! You need to hide your family and go and
find Jessica McNamee, who can give you important exposition! I could
give you the same exposition right here and now. Honestly, it’s a
really thin plot, but it wouldn’t be the same without the traditional
Big Crazy Wall of Clues.
He deposits the FAMILY somewhere, then lures JOE into a BUILDING to FIGHT. He fires his SHOTGUN at JOE, but JOE FREEZES THE PELLETS as they leave the GUN.
Ha, those projectiles designed to punch through walls and tear human
beings in half are somehow easily stopped by a half-inch of ice
crystals! And now that I’ve disarmed you, I think I’ll DISARM you!
He RIPS MEHCAD’S ARMS OFF and then tosses him over a THREE-STORY LEDGE.
There! No need to check he’s dead; I figure there’s no way he survived
that. Like, if it turns out he did, that would be a total steaming
pile of BS.
LEWIS goes and meets JESSICA McNAMEE at her CRAPPY WHITE-TRASH BUNGALOW.
So here’s the exposition and crazy conspiracy wall you were promised.
There’s a warlord from another dimension called Chin Han who something
something something something, therefore semi-random fistfights have
Oh, come on, that’s pretty much what it boils down to. That dragon mark
you and Mehcad have identifies Earth’s champions for the tournament.
He got his mark by killing some kind of demon thing that already had
it because the marks apparently work by The Santa Clause rules.
Tied up in the corner, you’ll find Josh Lawson, who also has a
mark. He’s a grimy, hairy, hobo-looking Australian criminal who’ll be
tagging along with the heroes making an endless string of wisecracks-
So he’s Captain Boomerang?
He’s pretty much exactly Captain Boomerang, yes.
G’day! My job in the movie is to yammer obnoxiously on and on and on
until it starts to get admittedly kinda entertaining! And then to
continue yammering on and on and on loooong after it stops being
entertaining. I got my mark when I snuck up on a guy and slit his
Wait, so it doesn’t even have to be a proper fight? How loosely are we
defining “kill” for this thing? Could a drunk driver become a champion
of Earth by accidentally running me over with his car?
Who knows, although I kinda want to see THAT movie now. At any rate, I
don’t have a mark myself. I want to get one to earn the right to
defend Earth. Which kind of gives me a better-defined sense of
personal stakes in this movie than the main character, if you think
At that moment, unbeknownst to them, a LIZARD MONSTER is sneaking into the trailer.
Heh heh, I completely have the drop on these guys. I’m perfectly
invisible, I’ve got razor-sharp teeth and claws, and I can spit acid
that cuts through solid steel, so obviously, my best opening gambit is
to TRIP THEM OVER
HA HA LOOK, THEY FELL DOWN A LITTLE
LEWIS, JESSICA, and JOSH fight the INVISIBLE MONSTER in a way that mostly looks like the SPECIAL EFFECTS TEAM haven’t gotten around to doing the CGI yet. Eventually, they KILL IT, but not before setting fire to JESSICA’S CABIN.
Hey Jessica, guess what? Before all your clues caught fire, I looked at
a couple of pieces of paper and was able to instantly figure out and
memorize the location of Tadanobu’s temple. I’m gonna trek through the
desert to go there and rob the joint because I apparently think an
old ninja dojo is bound to be overflowing with fancy loot or
Er, well, in that case, I’ll make an obviously fake offer of like a
bajillion dollars if you show us how to get there!
Oh yes, what an elegant way to have us all join forces to reach the
temple. I guess “we’re all being hunted by the same superhuman
murderers” wasn’t enough on its own.
INT. DESERT TEMPLE
After a journey through the desert, they reach a TEMPLE, where they meet LUDI LIN and MAX HUANG.
Thank the various god-like entities you’re here! We’re also champions,
we’ve known about the impending tournament and potential
interdimensional invasion all our lives and have been desperately
hoping that more fighters would show up.
Then why haven’t you been out looking for them? Mehcad and I thought
to do that, and we barely even know what the hell is going on!
Sure, we could have done that, but we thought our time would be better
spent sitting around this empty building with our thumbs up our butts.
Oh, but speaking of Mehcad...
It turns out that MEHCAD is IN THE TEMPLE SICK BAY.
Oh, you have GOT to be kidding me. You had multiple limbs torn off and
then fell several stories, smashing your face against every obstacle
on your way down! How are you not dead?
It’s only a flesh wound! Besides, Tadanobu here was able to teleport
me to safety in time.
Well, that’s good-- Hey, WAIT A GODDAMN SECOND, we just had to traverse a
DESERT to get here, meanwhile, there’s a GOD who could’ve just ZAPPED
US HERE INSTANTANEOUSLY?!
Well, see, the rules say that I can’t intervene in the tournament to
help you. I mean, I can save Mehcad, and give you a building in which
to train, and hand you a weapon which will guarantee you an easy
victory in the final fight -- really the rule is mostly that I’m not
allowed to do anything that would end the movie too quickly.
Fair enough. All right then, now that we’re all here, let’s get
training for the tournament! Are you guys going to show us some
advanced martial arts techniques, or some kind of mystical elemental
abilities, or something?
Nah, we’re just gonna kick you in the face until your dragon marks
give you random superpowers.
It’s how this champion thing works! Once you’ve been branded, at some
arbitrary time, some kind of arbitrary personal breakthrough will make
you get some arbitrary mutant ability. I got the power to shoot fire
out of my hands, FWOOSH!
And I got ... a dumb-looking metal lampshade I strap to my head, that I
can throw at people.
They start trying to trigger their SUPERPOWERS.
Hey, look, I got a single laser eye! Which makes me exactly half as
impressive as the most boring character in X-Men!
I got robot arms! Oh wait, that’s not a superpower; it’s just a
regular mechanical prosthesis.
(bolt falls off robot arm)
A crappy one.
I got kicked across the floor a bunch without achieving anything!
And I got to stand around being absolutely pointless. Shouldn’t I be
out finding a monster to kill or something?
Suddenly WARLORD CHIN HAN storms in, accompanied by JOE and SISI STRINGER, who looks like she just ate a GRAPE JELLY DONUT really sloppily.
Wassup guys? Hey, I was thinking, that whole tournament thing to
determine whether I get to invade and conquer Earth is kind of a dumb
idea for a movie, like a really, really stupid premise. So what if
instead we just come here and murder you guys? That way, when the
tournament’s supposed to start, we can be all, “Whoops, the other team
can’t come because they were all murdered, guess we win by default.”
It feels like that should probably be against the rules.
Okay, on the one hand, yes, it is, but on the other hand, it seems like
absolutely nobody is enforcing the rules? I mean, we are NOT trying to
hide what we’re doing here; seriously, Joe tried to kill you in a
public street and everything. So, yeah, put ’em up!
But the only thing TADANOBU puts UP is an ELECTRIC FORCE FIELD.
Ah, damnit! We’re thwarted, no way any of us can get to the other side
I have teleportation powers, if that’s any-
You win today, Tadanobu and friends! But we shall return!! Seriously
we have to get out of our homeworld. Have you seen that place? The
entire planet looks like a big quarry. We don’t even have buildings as
far as I can tell; it’s total BS.
The bad guys LEAVE.
Damn, if these guys aren't even waiting for the tournament to start
fighting us, we need our champions even more than ever! So to that
end, Lewis? Go home. Your superpower hasn't shown up after a couple of
days, so please just give up and leave.
Wait, what?! But Mehcad's power hasn't shown up either, and Jessica
doesn't even have a mark, but you're not making either of them leave
the safety of the force field with a cosmic bullseye still squarely on
their backs! What gives?
Lewis, haven't you ever wondered why you've had your mark your whole
I dunno. Did I kill somebody when I was a baby?
That'd be hilarious, but no. You inherited your mark from your
centuries-dead ancestor, Hiroyuki.
Oh! So unlike everybody else who earned their place by defeating
superhuman beasts and warriors, I'm basically a trust fund kid who got
in because his
around a knife on a string once? Damn, I almost would've preferred to
have gone the drunk-driver route.
This whole time I've been hoping you'd show that you'd inherited your
ancestor's skills. Although judging by the opening scene, he didn't
have any superpowers either, so I don't know what the hell I was
expecting. Anyway, the long and short of it is, piss off.
He teleports LEWIS home.
EVIL CYBORG DAMON HERRIMAN comes to talk to JOSH.
Psst. Hey. Remember me? I'm the guy whose throat you cut to get your
And you didn't even die? I am no closer to understanding the rules to
any of this.
Yes, well, Chin Han has an offer for you. Join the evil team and
disable the force field for us, and we'll pay you millions of dollars!
Hot damn, lots of money will be so useful once civilization has fallen
and humanity has been enslaved by interdimensional armies! I'm in!
He shuts off the FORCE FIELD, and then CHIN HAN, JOE, SISI, and DAMON all invade the temple, along with BAT LADY WITH NO LINES MEL JARNSON and SOME DUDE WITH A BIG HAMMER NATHAN JONES.
Sheesh, really pulling out some third-tier nobodies by now. I guess
this late in the movie, we don't want to waste any of the popular
characters. Except for one, that is ...
EXT. REMOTE CABIN
LEWIS has returned to where he stashed his FAMILY when suddenly FOUR-ARMED GIANT GORO SHOWS UP ON THE FRONT LAWN!
What's this? Now that my family is in danger, my superpower is finally
emerging! Weird that it didn't happen back when Joe was trying to
snowball my family to death.
Aha! My power is some kind of ... string armor! That glows orange
sometimes when it gets hit! And also it gets, like, sharp stick things
on the arms under vague circumstances, and uhhh ... okay, yeah, I
honestly don't have the faintest clue what I'm looking at here.
Nevertheless, he's able to use the CONFUSING ARMOR to slice GORO into ribbons.
Ugh, is there ever going to be a Mortal Kombat movie where I don't go
down like a punk?
Then a TELEPORTATION THING opens up, and LEWIS enters it.
LEWIS finds TADANOBU chilling with JESSICA, MEHCAD, LUDI and MAX in a vast white NOTHING.
To protect you all, for now, I've brought you here, to my void.
Oh. Kinda disappointed that we don't all look like D'Arcy Carden right
now. But check it out, everybody, I got my superpower, whatever the
hell it's supposed to be!
Me too! When the bad guys attacked, Jessica got pinned down by a rock,
so my terrible robot arms turned into awesome robot arms! ...Which of
course means if I'd gotten good robot arms in the first place, my
superpower could have been some other thing, maybe flight or
telekinesis or I don't even know.
Dumb Johnny 5 piece of crap prosthetics...
Anyway, I've figured out how to beat the bad guys. We'll use
Tadanobu's teleportation powers to split them up and fight them one
Wait, so after all we've done to get away from the lame tournament
plot, now we're doing it anyway?
Yeah, but all the fights will be happening at once, and they're all
over very quickly and easily! That way, NOBODY'S happy!
TADANOBU zaps them away to their various ARENAS.
JESSICA gets to fight JOSH.
Since you have a laser eye and could kill me just by looking at me,
I'm traveling under my floor and using clever trapdoors to pop up and
stab at you, like the world's most lethal game of Whack-a-Mole!
What if I fired my laser INTO the floor, then?
At no point will that ever enter your mind.
Eventually, she manages to STAB HIM IN THE EYE with a GARDEN GNOME. His MARK transfers to her, and she finally becomes THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.
MEHCAD pairs off against NATHAN.
Oof. Practically my first scene and I'm in a fight to the death with
one of the main characters. But it's okay, I might not have any
characterization or backstory or anything, but I do have this big
(Mehcad throws away his hammer)
Uh ... well, I guess I still have this intact skull!
(Mehcad crushes his skull)
Well, that was quick.
LEWIS and LUDI are fighting against SISI and DAMON.
Wait, we are? Well, that's the whole "one-on-one" idea right out the
window then, isn't it?
LUDI manages to defeat DAMON, but SISI has unhinged her jaw and is seemingly about to SWALLOW LEWIS WHOLE when suddenly JESSICA shows up and blasts a LASER HOLE through SISI'S TORSO.
Aw yeah! Sure glad Tadanobu knew to teleport me back from the trailer,
Hang on, did you achieve your superpower like one minute after getting
your dragon mark?
I sure did! Kinda undermines the whole second act of this movie,
Suddenly they hear a SCREAM from somewhere. They rush over and find CHIN HAN has seized MAX and is giving him a DEMENTOR'S KISS.
You jerk, you chopped Mel in half with your stupid razor hat. I was in
love with her or something. Now I am filled with rage.
You are? That's really not coming across. It feels more like you're
ticked off at me for taking the last slice of pizza.
No look, I'm sucking your soul right out of your body, see? This is
white-hot vengeance right here.
IF YOU SAY SO, I JUST THINK YOU'RE KINDA UNDERSELLING IT IS ALLLLLL
No! Not Max!! My lifelong friend, my brother, oh how-
Yeah yeah yeah, you're sad; can we forget about that forever? More
important characters, i.e., me, have problems now. Joe has attacked my
Oh no! He's killed them like he killed Hiroyuki's family at the
beginning of the movie?
You'd think so, but instead, he just sort of ice-glued them to the
wall? I suppose as the protagonist I just automatically get let off
He rushes to fight JOE.
RIGHT! Time to show what this weird stringy armor thing can really DO!
He and JOE just sort of BEAT ON EACH OTHER for a while without the ARMOR seeming to do ANYTHING AT ALL.
Ugh, piece of junk. Hey, where's that auto-plot-resolving MacGuffin
Tadanobu handed me earlier; maybe it can win the fight for me.
He pulls out HIROYUKI'S OLD DAGGER THING, and it summons HIROYUKI'S GHOST, which hurls a HARPOON into JOE!
GET OVER HERE!!
And yes, I said that line despite my character not knowing how to
speak English, who gives a crap.
He yanks JOE over to him.
Ulp, this ain't good! Fortunately, it is now the climax. FULL SUITE OF
ICE POWERS, ACTIVATE!
He stabs HIROYUKI with an ICE KNIFE, then throws him through an ICE WALL, then dodges his blows while leaving behind an ICE CLONE, which, you know, coulda just dodged without bothering with the clone, but this way more IIICCCEEE.
(getting his ass kicked)
Damnit, this is kinda taking the wind out of my whole Unholy Revenge
from Beyond the Veil of Death thing. Lewis, little help?
Sorry great-etcetera-grampa, I've decided to leave the fight
altogether to try and punch my family out of their ice cocoons.
(punches and punches and punches ice)
Geez, wish those stupid arm-blade things would activate right about
I hate to repeat myself, but will you please GET OVER HERE!!!
LEWIS and HIROYUKI team up to give JOE a total BEATDOWN.
Okay then, we've got him on the ropes, time for a finishing move:
(breathes fire and turns Joe instantly into a charred corpse)
...Which, as it turns out, could have been the only move and saved us
a lot of time.
Suddenly TADANOBU, JESSICA, MEHCAD, and LUDI all burst in.
Oh, are we too late to help fight the final boss? Sorry, traffic was a
Then CHIN HAN arrives, extremely ANGRY.
Oh, big whoop, you killed all my guys. Well, your ghost ringer has been
dead for centuries, so what does death matter anyway! In fact, I'm just
gonna evaporate away all my guy's corpses so we can reuse them in the
sequel, thus making everything completely unsatisfying, NYAH!
I suppose that fits the source material: no matter how beaten,
stabbed, harpooned, frozen, or sprayed with flesh-melting acid you
get, you can always expect to get back to your feet for round two.
(reaches into cloak)
So in that spirit, who wants to see the sequel hook we got!
Sure, I could go for more of this! It was still goofy as all get out
with paper-thin characters and story, but now that we've actually got
good fight choreography and special effects, this has been a pretty
fun time! And best of all, we completely left out that annoying
Hollywood douchebag character Johnny Cage!
(hastily shoves hand back into cloak)
Well, never mind then.
Top Image: Warner Bros.