Ah, family: As a pop culture trope, it can justify pretty much anything. Noble sacrifices, gangland purges, ramping a car off another car while both cars are also firing harpoons at a third and fourth car, respectively—all of them can be passed off, narratively, as expressions of our shared love for the people closest to us in our lives. (And also, sometimes, our hatred of cars.) We can now add “Ripping a dude’s spine out and showing it to him, probably” to that list of filial duties, too, because the new Mortal Kombat movie is apparently all about those two big Fs: Family, and Fatalities. It’s enough to warm one’s heart, and then rip it, still beating, from their chest.
All this warm-blooded sentiment comes courtesy of a profile of the upcoming video game adaptation that was combo’d out by Entertainment Weekly today, talking with star Lewis Tan and director Simon McQuoid about their attempts to reboot the long-comatose Mortal Kombat film franchise. (The last theatrical MK film, Annihilation, slumped its way out of theaters back in 1997.) And, sure, the 2021 Mortal Kombat film is going to involve killing a whole bunch of people—which will make it the first film in the series to actually embrace the games’ signature Fatality mechanic, which, if you haven’t checked in on Mortal Kombat in a minute, holy shit those things have gotten gory—but it’ll also be full of tender, human moments, like when unded ninja Scorpion’s wife uses one of his kunai as a gardening implement, right before presumably getting shoved in a medieval Japanese fridge in order to motivate his afterlife-long grudge against similarly dressed ninja nemesis Sub-Zero. There’s also a touching search for identity and belonging centered on Tan’s character Cole Young (a name approaching “Cade Yaeger” levels of “Only an action movie protagonist would be called this” energy), an original character to the franchise who seeks to find out why he has a Mortal Kombat logo birthmarked on his chest. (Our guess: An amorous night betwixt his mother and an arcade cabinet, many, many years before.)
It’s all very silly, obviously, but, hey: At least the fight scenes sound cool. (Also, we get to see shots of the film’s takes on Sonya Blade, Kano, and Jax—played by Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, and Mehcad Brooks’ moustache, respectively—in EW’s exclusive photos from the film.)