Mortal Kombat released today both on HBO Max and at the theatres. A second movie adaptation of a popular video game by the same name, Mortal Kombat was supposed to be as brutal as the game. It matches up to that promise as many critics loved the opening with major slicing of bodies. But what bothers them is that the film doesn't really have a story to narrate and is just a string of violent scenes put together. Mortal Kombat: HBO Max Shares 7 Minutes of the Action Movie’s Opening Scene That Just Can’t Be Missed (Watch Video)
Hollywood Reporter: The kills mostly lack the kind of shocking thrill that is offered by pulpier, more unrepentant genre pictures. Though the filmmakers definitely wanted to please the gore-starved faithful by getting an R rating (and threw a lot of gratuitous “fuck”s in the dialogue to seal the deal), you do get the impression they don’t want to alienate ordinary viewers either. The result is kombat that isn’t as viscerally mortal as it wants to be. Yell “Flawless! Victory!” all you want, but this is just an ordinary product hoping enough people buy it to justify a sequel.
The Guardian: Mortal Kombat would have benefitted from a number of things – a sharper sense of humour, a more coherent script, some tighter editing, less techno music – but its sheer manic energy might just about be enough for some. For the rest, more alcohol should help.
IGN - In a spectacular display of blood, guts, and effects-heavy martial arts battles, this new take on the over-the-top story of the Mortal Kombat fighting games perhaps bites off a little more than it can chew by attempting what is essentially an origin story and an Avengers-esque superhero team-up all in one.
The Wrap: First-time director Simon McQuoid doesn’t demonstrate all that much finesse in the fighting scenes, often putting his camera too close to the action, or filming that action from awkward angles, or relying on CG (characters appear and reappear, or encase people’s arms in ice, or fly around on wings) so much that it saps the combat of any organic energy. Where he does excel is in the deaths, which are often so gruesome that they become a kind of Grand Guignol dark comedy. Mortal Kombat: Hiroyuki Sanada Shares How He Prepped Up for His Role of Scorpion
Entertainment Weekly: Fatalities are the closest we get to the fun of playing a Mortal Kombat game, but future adapters would be better off realizing that video games are art precisely because of their unique gameplay, and not because of the silly lore that stitches cutscenes together.