'Mortal Kombat' Red Band Trailer: Can This Movie Perform A Fatality On The Video Game Movie Curse?

It's been 24 years since Mortal Kombat: Annihilation debuted in theaters and 26 years since Paul W.S. Anderson's original Mortal Kombat film graced the big screen, and now we're just a couple of months away from a brand new Mortal Kombat movie. Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have just unveiled the first trailer for the newest adaptation of the classic fighting game, and you can check it out below.

Mortal Kombat Trailer

I know the most recent Mortal Kombat game, the eleventh main installment in that long-running franchise, had the most successful launch in the game's history, but I'm not sure if that's simply because games are more expensive now than they used to be, or if it literally outsold all of the other titles. It certainly feels like Mortal Kombat is no longer in the zeitgeist like it was in the 1990s, when it found itself at the center of a controversy about violence in video games and when Paul W.S. Anderson's movies – though they were terrible – were generating lots of enthusiasm from young fans. (And that theme song...still a banger.)

The question I have is: will modern movie audiences care about the labyrinthine mythology and over-the-top ridiculousness of this story? Or should Mortal Kombat be left as a cultural remnant of a very specific era?

Here is the official synopsis:

In Mortal Kombat, MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his family's heritage – or why Outworld's Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family's safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking that Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth's greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana – the immense power from within his soul – in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?

Mortal Kombat is slated to hit theaters and HBO Max (for 31 days) starting on April 16, 2021.