Fans are definitely enjoying the Mortal Kombat reboot more than critics, with the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes exponentially higher than the aggregated rating, but almost everyone would surely agree that Cole Young is one of the weakest parts of the movie.
Lewis Tan is a charismatic star with an extensive martial arts background, so he can certainly hold his own when it comes to the fight sequences, but Cole is little more than a walking, talking plot device. It wasn’t a shock to discover that his inclusion was mandated by the studio when his entire purpose in Mortal Kombat is to have things explained to him via lengthy exposition dumps, all while following the tried and trusted narrative journey of finding out about his destiny, turning his back on it and then finally embracing it by the third act.
That’s why it’s a little bit of a surprise to hear from our sources – the same ones who told us Zack Snyder’s Justice League was heading exclusively to HBO Max long before it was confirmed – that the producers are reportedly pushing to introduce more completely original characters in the Mortal Kombat franchise.
It isn’t as if the video game series doesn’t possess a deep and extensive roster of favorites to choose from, and the creation of a brand new protagonist hardly worked like a charm in terms of Cole being a memorable hero, although you can probably bet on him being a playable addition in the next version of Mortal Kombat on consoles. In any case, if the inevitable sequels do throw in some original faces built from the ground up, let’s hope that they’ve at least got some personality about them this time.