Top positive review
It's difficult to turn a 20-minute game into a movie, but they pulled it off well
Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2021
This movie is very well done. The fighting is absolutely amazing. As far as technique and martial arts skill, the movie is better than the game. (Not a criticism of the game.) The character costumes are much better than the original movies. I really liked some of the twists the plot takes with Scorpion, which are true to the more recent installments in the MK universe from Ed Boon.
The movie has received criticism on social media. It is true that no movie is without sin (to quote CinemaSins). However, I am of the opinion that much of it is unfair at best, and untrue at worst. The strength of the MK games is the fighting. The game only provides enough storyline to give character backgrounds and why they are fighting. This isn't Mass Effect, the Matrix, or Lord of the Rings where the storylines are more integral to their respective universes. Additionally, the original MK games, and the ladder play on the recent ones, can be beat in 20 minutes. With all that said, stretching the game into a full feature movie, while staying true to the essence of the game, is not going to be easy. Either you have to sacrific fighting for storyline (which will probably require leaving the MK universe to an unacceptable degree), or you have to stay true to the minimum-lore tournament that focuses on the fighting. I feel the movie did more of the latter, which would be my preference. Again, it is a fighting game and not Harry Potter or Star Wars. Not only did the movie stay true to the fighting, but it brought in world-renowned martial artists and a real MMA fighter. It makes the fight scenes so much better.
It is a great movie, imho. I hope we get one or two sequels from it. And I hope others who think they might have some interest in it give it a chance.