Even if you’ve never seen the ‘90s “Mortal Kombat” film, based on the hugely popular video game franchise of the same name, you’re likely familiar with techno theme song that became a huge hit. “Mooooortalllll Koooombaaattttttt!” came rushing out of your speakers followed by enough oomphs and umphs and tsssss to get that fist pumping in the air, as your 10-year-old self attempts to do a spinning roundhouse kick to a tree in your backyard. All that to say, the original film was campy, silly fun. The upcoming 2021 reboot of “Mortal Kombat” is an entirely different beast.
At its core, “Mortal Kombat” will always be a franchise about an illicit underground fighting tournament where some of the most eclectic fighters battle to the death. Yes, it’s similar to “Enter the Dragon,” but what fighting video game wasn’t influenced by the Bruce Lee classic film? And the upcoming reboot is no different. However, this isn’t the PG-13, family-friendly slugfest from the ‘90s. No, this is hard-R, brutal business.
“It is like a family drama with excitingly brutal fighting,” said actor Hiroyuki Sanada in a new preview from EW. “That’s the image of this movie for me.”
As for the reason for the R-rating, director Simon McQuoid minces no words about the film “definitely not getting a PG-13.”
“Out of context this quote might seem incendiary, it’s not: The rules around ratings aren’t what a lot of people think they are,” he explained. “It’s amount of blood, it’s amount of red, it’s interpretation of how you go about it. We had a lot of discussions about getting the balance right so there was gore and there was blood and there were fatalities.”
He added, “And there is gore, blood, and fatalities.”
EW also released a number of pictures from the film, which you can see below.
“Mortal Kombat” arrives in theaters and HBO Max (yes, it’s part of that deal) on April 16. Well, that is unless WB decides to delay it. We’ll just have to wait and see.
For those that would like a refresher on the original film (and the theme song), take a trip down memory lane with these videos: