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

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