The upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot has already won over fans of the video game series based on the first trailer alone, but convincing viewers that don’t have any investment in the property is a much tougher task, especially when we’re talking about a brutally violent R-rated martial arts actioner with heavy fantasy elements and a dense, complex mythology.
Adding in Lewis Tan’s Cole Young is a smart move, though, because it’s a lot easier to immerse audiences into the worldbuilding and story through a character that’s just as in the dark as they are, giving Mortal Kombat the opportunity to introduce newbies to the lore and have them discover things at the same rate as the protagonist without taking it for granted that everyone knows about Outworld.
However, fan service is clearly going to be a huge part of Mortal Kombat as well, with all of the major players on the creative team promising that it’s going to deliver exactly what longtime enthusiasts of the console favorite are hoping to see. On that note, in a new interview, producer Todd Garner revealed that while Cole might be the hero of the narrative, the heart is definitely provided by Scorpion and Sub-Zero.
“Where you begin the movie is everything. So if you’re starting with whatever character, that’s the movie you’re telling. You saw the beginning of our movie and that’s the movie we’re ultimately telling is what does it mean when you try to exterminate someone’s entire race, their entire clan?
So clearly we’re setting up the heart of the movie in the first thirteen minutes. So when you make that decision to start a movie that way with no English words spoken in a very carousel way with revenge and heartbreak and tragedy, that’s the movie you’re telling. And you can’t then just shift gears and have the ’90s techno soundtrack, and everybody in spandex running around, bicycle kicking each other. So once you make that choice, you have to stick with it and for better or for worse, ride that wave until it crashes. And that’s what this movie does.”
From the sound of things, Garner is clear to establish the driving force of Mortal Kombat from the very beginning, and he’s dead right in saying that the opening scene needs to set the tone for the rest of the movie. It might be an action-packed blockbuster based on a video game franchise, but relying solely on hand-to-hand combat and bloody fatalities isn’t enough to keep people invested unless there’s at least some sort of meaningful arc to invest in.