It was a bold move for Mortal Kombat, a movie named after a fighting tournament that uses said tournament as the driving force behind its entire narrative to end without the actual tournament taking place, but the box office returns and enthusiastic response from fans appear to have vindicated the decision.
Naming a blockbuster after an event that doesn’t happen during the running time isn’t something that occurs all that often, and it’s been cited as one of the major criticisms of the reboot in certain circles. Villain Shang Tsung wants to stop the tourney from going down, and protagonist Cole Young and the audience are forced to endure reams of exposition detailing the ins and outs of the rules and regulations, but it never materializes and the story draws to a close with the promise that we’ll be getting it in the sequel.
Luckily for Warner Bros., the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, though if Mortal Kombat was widely panned by everyone and flopped in theaters, then the risky storytelling method would have been viewed as a disaster. In any case, insider Daniel Richtman now claims that not only will we be seeing the interdimensional round robin format in the sequel, but the proposed franchise will dive even deeper into the mythology and explore its origins in future movies.
As fans will know, the Elder Gods established Mortal Kombat as a means to maintain balance and order between the realms, with the first official version unfolding when Shao Khan ordered Shang Tsung to take over a Shaolin fighting tournament to set the stage for an invasion of Earthrealm. And based on the sheer volume of worldbuilding contained in the reboot, it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world for a sequel to give us a flashbacks to the very first edition to continue filling in more of the gaps in the lore.