RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... Mortal Kombat (2021)

The beloved and fiendishly violent video game's new movie adaptation is splitting critics: But are they failing to see a flawless and fan-pleasing victory?

by | April 29, 2021 | Comments

Mortal Kombat

(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

Does a Mortal Kombat need a Mortal Kombat tournament? That was the question critics and audiences were left pondering after director Simon McQuoid’s new adaptation of the beloved video game franchise arrived in theaters and on HBO Max last weekend.


Listen Now: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Podcasts | Radio Public | Deezer | iHeart | Art19


The new movie has everything fans love from the games and was promised in its killer trailer – awesome characters, mind-blowing combat, jaw-dropping fatalities – with one minor exception. It tells the story of the lead up to the titular otherworldly tournament, rather than of the tournament itself, with soul-sucking Big Bad Shang Tsung sending Outworld’s finest fighters to kill Earthrealm’s chosen fighters before the Mortal Combat competition even begins.

As some noted: It’s a Mortal Kombat movie about trying to stop Mortal Kombat happening. But does it work?

Critics and audiences are split, with reviews lifting the movie’s Tomatometer score to 55%, which is just Rotten – and actually places it in the top four video game adaptations ever. So, more Friendship than fatality, if not quite a flawless victory. (Sorry, there’s going to be a lot of that.) Fans, on the other hand, seem to be loving what they see, forgiving some of the rushed storytelling and spotty acting because… whoa, how f—king cool are those Sub Zero fights!? The movie’s Audience Score is a very Fresh 87%.

In a bit of a departure for our podcast, Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong, where we usually look back at least a few years at a beloved/despised/divisive film, this week’s episode sees our hosts and mega Mortal Kombat fans, Jacqueline Coley and Mark Ellis, going deep on the new blockbuster. Joining them is another huge fan of the games, pop-culture expert and YouTube personality, Brian Tong. Together, they enter the arena to talk about which character stole the show, which fight slapped the hardest, and whether they’re pumped for the inevitable sequel… and eventual tournament.

Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”



If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.


Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.


Tag Cloud

cars First Reviews Certified Fresh political drama A&E biography new zealand what to watch critics SXSW Spectrum Originals Martial Arts movie DC Comics independent Extras Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt A24 VICE Super Bowl YouTube Red Crackle facebook Comics on TV Trivia game of thrones asian-american Interview television Thanksgiving Ovation 2019 cancelled TV series Women's History Month blaxploitation Vudu Britbox Music zero dark thirty Disney unscripted stop motion Universal Pop TV Winter TV dc french game show comics Rock Television Academy video Sony Pictures golden globe awards high school breaking bad slashers Adult Swim halloween Esquire ABC Signature VH1 WarnerMedia Amazon romantic comedy kids TV renewals TIFF Brie Larson trailers Election ratings FX Marvel Studios BET Awards MCU kaiju jurassic park children's TV canceled 2017 politics San Diego Comic-Con Crunchyroll Sundance TV Nominations new star wars movies diversity docudrama Masterpiece women Awards reboot Pixar Arrowverse TLC Chilling Adventures of Sabrina NYCC Podcast book werewolf GLAAD HBO Go comic books worst Action Paramount NBC ITV dragons BET cats docuseries news Binge Guide Star Wars Calendar Marathons 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards YouTube international Acorn TV Star Trek south america Turner Classic Movies psycho LGBTQ Mystery Film spanish anime lord of the rings nfl indie Oscars WGN marvel cinematic universe Cartoon Network Sneak Peek Epix Creative Arts Emmys Holidays Classic Film a nightmare on elm street live action spinoff documentaries halloween tv justice league indiana jones theme song chucky remakes SundanceTV Dark Horse Comics Netflix Christmas movies Pet Sematary Baby Yoda The Academy Summer Broadway SDCC dramedy Pacific Islander Logo OWN ESPN 2016 Alien football 2021 21st Century Fox Endgame National Geographic war First Look Disney Plus TCA American Society of Cinematographers Nickelodeon GoT The CW History Fall TV Watching Series RT21 deadpool Tubi screen actors guild anthology Columbia Pictures serial killer Grammys jamie lee curtis OneApp Hear Us Out concert AMC Best and Worst travel natural history Photos transformers Film Festival Premiere Dates Apple TV+ cooking DC Universe Schedule 20th Century Fox mission: impossible sag awards aapi New York Comic Con Turner twilight Country Ellie Kemper pirates of the caribbean 4/20 Mindy Kaling Disney streaming service golden globes universal monsters X-Men DGA Amazon Studios Pride Month MSNBC Discovery Channel E! spain italian spy thriller Shondaland romance hidden camera GIFs batman Chernobyl ViacomCBS Paramount Plus HBO toronto cinemax ABC Funimation Travel Channel scary movies Bravo movies Nat Geo streaming james bond dogs Toys fresh See It Skip It Red Carpet animated IFC Films true crime The Witch Mary Poppins Returns BBC One PlayStation japanese talk show Starz based on movie Cannes Drama vampires Hallmark foreign witnail Marvel 24 frames Fox Searchlight Emmys screenings Box Office Comedy binge The Walt Disney Company reviews Rocketman Spike popular Christmas Trophy Talk kong Year in Review Amazon Prime superman CW Seed name the review Disney+ Disney Plus Animation Sci-Fi joker Shudder FXX strong female leads cancelled TV shows Song of Ice and Fire scene in color classics mutant Mary Tyler Moore mockumentary target Sundance sequel new york cartoon FOX science fiction Valentine's Day BBC series Mudbound fast and furious spanish language Spring TV TCA 2017 APB singing competition Peacock 93rd Oscars Character Guide venice boxing Food Network Writers Guild of America Showtime Academy Awards PaleyFest canceled TV shows best Countdown stoner Lifetime Christmas movies FX on Hulu BBC America Biopics Elton John YouTube Premium DirecTV IFC President Lionsgate adaptation Horror saw ABC Family blockbuster christmas movies TV One Tarantino Rom-Com revenge superhero cults elevated horror renewed TV shows versus Image Comics Marvel Television Exclusive Video 71st Emmy Awards cancelled medical drama Comedy Central rotten black films dceu teaser heist movie harry potter 72 Emmy Awards archives Ghostbusters sitcom Warner Bros. stand-up comedy Comic Book Walt Disney Pictures TV movies Anna Paquin blockbusters 2018 festival free movies disaster TV Apple Quiz die hard E3 robots ID CBS All Access comic TV Land nbcuniversal historical drama aliens zombies CBS award winner Lifetime discovery hist Stephen King Set visit 45 BAFTA Avengers Television Critics Association comedies adventure rotten movies we love TCM criterion dark spider-man satire LGBT Opinion all-time TCA Winter 2020 Teen casting ghosts Mary poppins king kong child's play Video Games Winners franchise godzilla Western YA crossover RT History Hallmark Christmas movies Heroines Freeform Pop Syfy laika psychological thriller finale Family The Arrangement australia composers 99% Superheroes TNT monster movies Lucasfilm social media cops miniseries streaming movies emmy awards Black History Month Fox News comiccon Holiday Superheroe crime drama quibi Tumblr hispanic crime Reality USA Network nature zombie Emmy Nominations sequels crime thriller Disney Channel worst movies CNN cancelled television Kids & Family latino Infographic doctor who richard e. Grant parents El Rey Legendary Hulu green book The Purge hollywood tv talk festivals Sundance Now The Walking Dead rom-coms PBS Reality Competition book adaptation USA know your critic 2020 scorecard MTV video on demand Captain marvel razzies DC streaming service 007 Awards Tour Rocky sports prank TruTV thriller Tomatazos Trailer HBO Max Musical Amazon Prime Video obituary Paramount Network rt archives supernatural Pirates 2015 TBS Netflix space telelvision documentary Cosplay technology Black Mirror police drama boxoffice VOD CMT TCA Awards toy story period drama Apple TV Plus Musicals Polls and Games directors Fantasy