You want to see a movie where a guy’s spine gets torn out by a ninja? How about one where a teenage girl kicks a guy’s heart out and then makes kissy faces through the bloody hole? Or the God of Thunder (no, not that one) electrocuting someone so bad their arms and legs pop off, only to be mashed into a tiny flesh ball?
Well, expect all that and more from the upcoming Mortal Kombat film. Writer Greg Russo has explained in an interview that the movie intends to stick very closely to the series’ gore-splattered tone, and will include fatalities taken directly from the games.
“I can say for sure that the fatalities that we’re going to put into the project are from the game. We’re going to come up with some new things that we haven’t seen before, but at the same time … we want to make sure that it’s not just in there just to be in there and have that point to the story. So everything will always have that point to what’s happening in the story, it will feel awesome and badass, and it’s going to play a role, you know, it’s not just going to be there just to be showy.”
Well, fair enough. But assuming that Mortal Kombat is targeting an R-rating, the games have gotten so dementedly violent that putting some of these finishing moves on screen would probably nudge the film towards NC-17 territory. Some of these are so nuts that players have actually been asking NetherRealm to tone things down a bit, and there’ve been reports that their staff have been mildly traumatized after endless months working on just the right way to animate a shower of intestines across the screen.
But quibbling aside, it’s very promising that Russo is taking his job seriously. Lord knows we’ve seen enough bad video game films over the years, with Paul W.S. Anderson’s 1995 Mortal Kombat still considered one of the best to date (and it’s not even that amazing). Still, this movie has got to be better than Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, which has the budget, ambition and aesthetic of a Power Rangers episode.