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Mortal Combat 

click to enlarge FIGHT NIGHT Goro (voiced by Angus Sampson, left) squares off against Cole Young (Lewis Tan), in the newest installment of the Mortal Combat franchise, screening on HBO Max and in local theaters. - PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW LINE CINEMA
  • Photo Courtesy Of New Line Cinema
  • FIGHT NIGHT Goro (voiced by Angus Sampson, left) squares off against Cole Young (Lewis Tan), in the newest installment of the Mortal Combat franchise, screening on HBO Max and in local theaters.

What's it rated? R

When? 2021

Where's it showing? HBO Max, Downtown Center, Park, Sunset Drive-In

Directed by Simon McQuoid, this most recent installment in the Mortal Combat franchise follows MMA fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan), whose career seems to be fading fast. It's all but over ... except just maybe he's the only offspring of 117th century ninja clan leader Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada), who was defeated by evil Bi-Han/Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim), who slew the whole Hasashi bloodline except for a hidden infant daughter found by Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano)—lowercase god of thunder—who saves the girl so she could continue the Hasashi bloodline and its prophesy that the blood of Hanzo Hasashi will unite a new generation of Earthrealm champions to defeat Outworld before Outworld wins a 10th Mortal Combat tournament and takes over Earth.

Got all that? Doesn't matter. You're here for the fighting, and there's a lot of it. Unlike previous live-action installments, this one's rated R, so there's a lot of blood and gore too. Is it any good? That depends. Do you want to see a bunch of fighting and listen to some marginally funny banter between Earthrealm fighters? If so, you'll love it.

Otherwise, it's dumb as a bag of hair and silly to boot. Of course, I didn't play the video game and only watched the first 1995 film, so what do I know? Proceed with caution. (110 min.) Δ

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