‘Mortal Kombat’: The Reason Behind There Being No Tournament

‘Mortal Kombat’: The Reason Behind There Being No Tournament
SPOILERS AHEAD! This page contains spoilers from Mortal Kombat 2021.

Mortal Kombat has made its long-awaited debut earlier this week. However, to the disappointment of many, it didn’t feature the tournament of the same name. Based on the renowned video game of the ’90s, the franchise has expanded into many adaptations, among which the deathmatch tournament is a central theme.

But even though the movie builds up to it, the tournament doesn’t actually occur. Instead, the Earth’s champions pair up to fight against their enemies as they are not given enough time to prepare before Shang Tsung’s invasion.

Even though this take is entirely new, it has received mixed reviews, considering how the narrative choice subverts expectations. It also adds to the stakes, since the conflict between both teams begins even before the tournament can take place, which is a fresh change compared to the original story. Furthermore, generating conflict before the tournament helps retain the feel of the video game, which saw characters fight one on one.

Mortal Kombat 2021: The Reason Behind There Being No Tournament
Scorpion | Source: IMDb

In the reboot, Shang Tsung sends his fighters to assassinate the Earthrealm’s champions, who all possess a dragon mark. Among them is Cole Young, who is a newcomer to the franchise and the descendant of Hanzo Hasashi aka Scorpion.

Mortal Kombat 2021: The Reason Behind There Being No Tournament
Sub-Zero | Source: IMDb

The latter also makes his return as an undead specter to fight against his arch-enemy Sub-Zero. Both characters became mortal enemies after Sub-Zero (Bi-Han) killed Hanzo and his family. Following his death, Scorpio’s vengeful spirit reincarnates as a specter and has been on the hunt for revenge ever since.

Given that the reboot sets up Cole as Hanzo’s descendant who will lead the other warriors to victory, it wouldn’t have made sense to put up Scorpion as a fighter in the tournament. Instead, he battles with Sub-Zero outside the Mortal Kombat confines and ends up victorious after killing him.

Having been in the works for almost two decades, Mortal Kombat finally saw the light of day when HBO Max released it on April 23, 2021. The film received mixed responses from both fans and critics but was praised for its action sequences and commitment to the original game.

Mortal Kombat 2021: The Reason Behind There Being No Tournament
Johnny Cage | Source: IMDb

The ending, which hinted at Cole departing for Los Angeles to look for Johnny Cage, hints at an upcoming standalone sequel. But whether it could be a real possibility, is yet to be confirmed.

About Mortal Kombat (2021)

Mortal Kombat (2021) is an American martial arts action fantasy film directed by Simon McQuoid. It is based on the video game franchise of the same name and serves as a reboot.

The film stars actors like Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, and Hiroyuki Sanada in various roles. It was released on HBO Max on April 23, 2021.

Hunted by the fearsome warrior Sub-Zero, MMA fighter Cole Young finds sanctuary at the temple of Lord Raiden. Training with experienced fighters Liu Kang, Kung Lao and the rogue mercenary Kano, Cole prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions to take on the enemies from Outworld in a high-stakes battle for the universe.

Source: HBO Max