The war cry that motivated millions upon millions of gamers might just be making its return to a theater near you. That's right, with everything else being rebooted, you had to know that Mortal Kombat's ticket was due to be punched yet again. According to BloodyDisgusting, Warner Bros. pictures will be looking to reboot the MK film franchise. While no details have been dropped, it is being reported that the script will be provided by scribe, Oren Uziel author of the famously unproduced script, Shimmer Lake.
Other than Street Fighter, no fighting game franchise has devoured more quarters and tokens from hapless adolescents (including myself back in the day) than Mortal Kombat. In 1995, its popularity was at its height, with the highly-anticipated Mortal Kombat III just hitting arcades (where people were begining to realize that Kabal was a cheap bastard,) and a hugely-hyped film ready to hit theaters. The first Mortal Kombat film actually exceeded expectations. For what it's worth, it was like the Citizen Kane of video game films, (which would make an inexcusably butt-ugly rendition of Shao Kahn a sled named Rosebud.) Don't get me wrong, it was not a masterpiece, but director, Paul W.S. Anderson got the fundamentals right. While somewhat accurately representing the characters in the game, he would stay focused mainly with ONE main character (Robin Shou's Liu Kang,) and made sure that the film was still structured around the Mortal Kombat tournament itself (the whole reason the characters were there.) Besides that, there was solid, in-your-face action, and while some may not have found the techno music agreeable, it really heightened the intensity.
Unfortunately, its 1997 sequel was an atrocity in so many ways, it would hijack this article to even try to explain. Really, it may just be worse than Batman & Robin, as 1997 (aka: "The Year of the Volcano Movies") was kind of a bad movie year in general. Compounding that, the video game series itself was starting to lose its luster. Despite attempts at reinvention, subsequent outings brought a lot of 'been there, done that" to the table. Plus, people were getting sick of having to remember 50 finishing moves per character with each game. While the franchise never went away, with many renditions on the game platforms of the 200X's, and 2008's Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe being the most recent, it was clear that it was fueled on nostalgia for the glory days.
What, then, in the year 2010 can another Mortal Kombat film bring to the table? The news item by BloodyDisgusting makes the comment that an R-Rated film that could actually display the franchise's signature "fatalities" would be a good start. I'm in complete agreement on that front. You would have to think that a great portion of the people this film would be trying to reach, would be the ones who remember the good old days of the series' heyday. Not that, at PG-13, the original film series was something geared towards kids, but this time, it really has to live up to the hardcore, renegade reputation that garnered its original popularity.
I want to see Kano pull the old "Mola Ram" and rip someone's heart straight out of the chest! I want to see Sub-Zero do the "Predator" thing and rip someone's head off, with the spine dangling! I want to see Reptile eating peoples' faces and...okay you get the idea.
The point is that, right now, it's going to take something exceptional to get people to go to a theater to see a film based on Mortal Kombat. This film needs a selling point, and it has to be one that's immediately clear: Blood and gore! If that makes this more of a horror film than action, then so be it.