Who remembers pressing a convoluted chain of buttons to rip out your opponent’s spine and see the treasured word, FATALITY? The sheer brutality of the Mortal Kombat games set it apart from the rest in the 90’s. With a new movie on the horizon, the fans are asking themselves what kind of movie they are going to get. The trailers have been promising and the movie comes with a R rating. Let’s break down why the R rating is the right move for this franchise.
R is for Red
If you’ve played the Mortal Kombat franchise for longer than ten seconds, then you know its favorite color is red. You may ask yourself what I mean by that and I’m talking about the blood. Every move the fighters connect releases a spray of blood that would send a crime scene investigation unit into a frenzy. When the series made a return with Mortal Kombat in 2011 they upped the ante with X-Ray moves. The franchise whose hallmark is fatalities decided to introduce moves where you see bones break and blood spurt as you unleash a destructive move. Everything about this franchise is blood and guts even to the point where the victor isn’t coming out of the fight unscathed.
PG-13 Doesn’t Suit the Franchise
Mortal Kombat has tried distilling their franchise to make it more accessible to audiences and the approach hasn’t been well-received. The words “just fine” have been thrown around while talking about the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie as well as the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe video game. Both of these were examples of studios trying to reach larger audiences while losing what made that franchise special. What makes Mortal Kombat unique from its peers is the unrelenting brutality and their love for destruction. If you try to downsize that to appeal to all audiences then you’ll get a product that is “just fine”.
Overcoming the Video Game Curse
I have always said that one of the reasons why video game movies have such a difficult time excelling at the box office is because the film focuses on the wrong part of the equation. Every video game has that one characteristic that separates it from the rest and is why people keep coming back to play entry after entry. For Mortal Kombat, the characteristic is the violence of the tournament. Everything is on the line and the protagonists are putting everything on the line to save Earthrealm. There’s a good chance that good guys will die, and the bad guys may even win it all. The audience has to feel every single muscle tear as the good guys dig deep to defeat the bad guys. If there isn’t superior combat in a Mortal Kombat movie then the name just makes no sense.
I’m feeling positive about the direction of what we’ve seen so far from the new Mortal Kombat movie. Only time will tell if this movie can reach the heights that the franchise deserves, but the R rating already shows they’re taking this project seriously. To borrow a line from another franchise with a movie being released soon, “let them fight”, and let’s watch them paint this town red.
What do you think of the new Mortal Kombat moving having an R rating? Let us know in the comments!