Mortal Kombat Red Band Trailer Wants to Be an Epic Fantasy
How do you turn a fighter game into an action movie without losing the dueling aspect? As we learned from the past Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter attempts, you don’t, really. Those movies are great for 90’s nostalgia and little else. But studios keep trying to adapt these lore-heavy games into a workable feature film. We now have a new Mortal Kombat movie coming to theaters and HBO Max, complete with a red band trailer. So, does this trailer make the premise more workable than the past ones? It certainly tries.
In The Mortal Kombat Red Band Trailer, Epic Music Does Not an Epic Make
(Image: Mortal Kombat (2021, Warner Bros.)
Sure, we get to see some high violence action, complete with ripping limbs and sub-zero making a dagger from freezing his opponent’s blood. There’s some high-quality schlock in the Mortal Kombat red band trailer. But in between the ridiculous scenes mimicking the game, it looks like the marketing team is going for a Lord of the Rings meets Matrix vibe. There’s some nice scenery with a classic fantasy score…and then Scorpion, in the ’90s gargled video game voice, actually yelling, “get over here!” The amount of cheese is just painful.
The characters don’t even look that much better than they did in the 1990 movie. Sure, the Mortal Kombat preview images hyped us up, but in full, live-action? Not as thrilling as we’d hoped. Also, the effects might be unfinished, but I think Goro looks worse here than he did in back in the old days of 1995.
Embrace the Ridiculousness. Embrace the Cheese.
(Image: Mortal Kombat, Warner Bros.)
The Mortal Kombat red band trailer looks like it’s trying to take itself seriously. It shouldn’t. Instead, they should revel in just how dumb a movie like this can be. Forget the serious fantasy music score. This should be mixed to something like the White Stripes “Icky Thump” or Wolfmother’s “Apple Tree.” Or better yet, the most hardcore Ozzy Osbourne song, “Mama, I’m Coming Home.” Imagine Scorpion’s corny “get over here!” followed by his opponent flying towards the screen with Ozzy going, “Cause Mama! Mama, I’m coming hooooooommmmee!”
But it looks like they want to be epic fantasy, so we’ll just hope for the best. In the meantime.
(Featured Image: Mortal Kombat (2021), Warner Bros.)
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.