I was really hoping 2021 would be the beginning of a fresh start for the decade. It turns out, it may not fair better than 2020. A bit premature, but more bad news just keeps pouring in. For instance, the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie has been delayed indefinitely. Not totally surprising news, but still very unfortunate news. I was very much looking forward to that movie and figured it would’ve kicked off 2021 with a bang. Again, I kind of expected this news, but I really didn’t want it to happen. The most disappointing part about this news is that there is no new set release date for it. I get it, it’s necessary, but as a lifelong Mortal Kombat fan and someone who’s itching to go back to the movies, I’m pretty upset.
However, there are some good things we can pick apart from this unfortunate news. For one, the January release date always worried me. Movies that release in January typically fall victim to the January movie curse. I don’t know why, but for some time, most of the movies that have released in January have been terrible. At least now the Mortal Kombat movie doesn’t have to worry about falling victim to that curse. It is, however, still a video game movie. It’s a well-known fact that video games and movies just haven’t mixed well. Yes, there have been some exceptions (the original Mortal Kombat movie) but most of them have been a dumpster fire. I would never expect for this new movie to break that bad streak, but I at least wanted it to be entertaining.
Based on what I’ve heard about it, the director and writer seem to be respecting the lore. That’s a start, but it doesn’t guarantee a good movie. When past video movies diverted from the lore of the source material, they failed. If you have a good recipe, you never ignore the chief ingredients. If you want to add an extra ingredient of your own, that’s understandable, but don’t let it ruin what makes the recipe work. It seems that’s what the director of this new Mortal Kombat movie is doing. The movie will feature fatalities, x-ray attacks, several of the main characters from the first game and a brand new character just for the movie. We don’t know who that character is or who will play him, but he or she will join the roster. Rumor has it, Lewis Tan will be playing that original character.
That makes me curious, but also cautious. On one hand, I always enjoy seeing something new added to the Mortal Kombat lore. On the other hand, something new can be hit or miss. When I played Mortal Kombat X, I enjoyed some of the new characters, such as Takeda and Cassie Cage, but characters like Kung Jin were lackluster. Not that he was really a bad character, but I just didn’t dig him. Even in past Mortal Kombat games, characters like Kobra or Shujinko fell flat with fans, because they were just generic fighting game characters and there was nothing special about them.
If the director really wants to include an original character, I just hope he’s not the generic type. Make him special in some way and make him stand out from the other characters. If they can do that, then then he’ll be worthy to join the Mortal Kombat roster. But let’s not get our hopes up just yet. There are still some issues I have on my mind. For one, the director of the movie is someone I haven’t even heard of. That’s probably because he’s a first-timer. Is it really wise to hand over a movie with a popular franchise name to a first-time director? Normally, I would say no, but if James Wan (the producer) believes he can deliver, then I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
He does have David Callaham on board as the screenwriter and he’s got some decent scripts on his resume. If you have a good writer to help guide an inexperienced director, something good can be made. Perhaps I’m the kind of guy who likes to look for silver linings, but hey, I want this movie to be good. My expectations aren’t incredibly high, but Mortal Kombat entertains me and that’s all I want from this upcoming movie. It probably won’t break the video game movie curse, but it should at least be a fun action movie. The problem is, there is still no release date.
That’s really not as big of a problem as it sounds. We’re all wondering when it’s going to release, but if we’re being realistic here, I reckon it’ll shoot for a 2022 release date. Let’s talk about why. It’s not a film that has an enormously huge budget. Last I checked, it was around forty-five or fifty million dollars. Sounds like a lot, but it’s nothing when you put it next to a big Hollywood summer blockbuster movie. That’s precisely why it probably won’t shoot for a summer release date in 2021. Sure, it’s a time when no movie can have a definite release date, but let’s just say, for arguments sake, that some big-budget movies make the 2021 summer release schedule. If the Mortal Kombat movie is going to try and fill a spot for the summer, it’ll have some serious competition.
If this movie wants to succeed, it would be a wiser move to have a release date when there’s no summer blockbusters competing with it. There’s no guarantee when movie theaters will reopen, but I reckon Warner Bros. is keeping this movie on the ropes. They have several DC movies that they probably want to release first because those will undoubtedly make more money. They’ll focus on the release dates on those movies first, then decide when it’ll be the best time to release the Mortal Kombat movie. It makes sense, especially if the film wants to do some additional reshoots. If they can manage that, then we’ll hear news of a release date.
Oh, and don’t expect a trailer anytime soon. If there’s no set release date, it wouldn’t make sense to release a trailer of any kind. If they release one, the movie itself can be two years away and by the time we get closer to that release date, we would’ve forgotten the contents of that trailer. Just think of how many fans lost interest in Godzilla: King of Monsters because they released the trailer a year before the movie came out. It’s best to keep the hype going in when it’s in the same time frame. Looks like we all just have to be patient.