The first critic reviews for Simon McQuoid’s Mortal Kombat reboot are in, and it appears that the film delivers on its promise of violence and gore. While Mortal Kombat won’t premiere in the U.S. until later this month, the movie has already debuted in several other countries, where it’s earned its fair share of positive reviews.

Inspired by the video game franchise of the same name, this new Mortal Kombat movie has a lot riding on it. While 1995’s Mortal Kombat was generally favorable, 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annhilation was a critical and commercial failure. McQuoid’s reboot is a fresh start, and according to most of those who have seen the movie, it’s a leap in the right direction.

Reviewers praised the film, which was described as a “gleefully violent” video game adaptation that remains faithful to its source material. While it doesn’t offer much of a challenge in terms of storyline or character development, fans of the video game will eat it up anyway.

Here's what critics are saying about Mortal Kombat:

James Marsh, South China Morning Post

[A] gleefully violent video game adaptation... Nuanced character drama this most certainly isn’t; instead, this is boxers with ninja blood and green berets with robot arms pummeling invisible lizards and bat-winged demon babes to a bloody pulp... Mortal Kombat is not for the discerning palate, but for those in the know - get over here!

Mufaddal Fakhruddin, IGN Middle East:

If you’re a Mortal Kombat fan, you’ll have a blast since you’ll fill in the gaps with your pre-existing knowledge of the series and just revel in the violence. But for the average viewer, there will be little reason to care for the stakes here. Ultimately that’s what 2021’s Mortal Kombat comes down to - a solid video game adaptation full of fan service for the gamers (stay for the sequel tease) and a decent action movie for everyone else.

Kervyn Cloete, Critical Hit:

For every step backward it takes, Mortal Kombat then promptly flying-bicycle kicks its way forward again to the point where I walked out of the cinema not just thoroughly entertained, but actually all-in on the next chapter teased in its closing moments.

A'bidah Zaid, Geek Culture:

As a movie based on the popular video game, 'Mortal Kombat' effectively brings the game's world onto the silver screen with a lot of care and attention to detail... The visuals, sound effects, gore and action are exactly what fans have been looking for since the original 1995 film and more.

Sergio Pereira, Fortress of Solitude:

The fatalities are just as gruesome as you’d expect... but it’s the hand-to-hand combat that stands head and shoulders above everything else here. The amount of work that went into the choreography and stunt work is beyond impressive.

Casey Chong, Casey’s Movie Mania:

If Mortal Kombat manages to make enough money to warrant another movie, here’s hoping that whoever ends up in charge of the sequel would improve significantly upon the largely dour reboot.

Mortal Kombat arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on April 23, 2021.

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