The feature film Mortal Kombat just arrived on movie screens and HBO Max in the USA, and in Brazil it arrives only in May of this year. In this way, many people, indifferent if the film is good or not, want to know if the adaptation is or is not faithful to their favorite game franchise.
Read too: Criticism | Mortal Kombat 2021
One of the things that must be said is that Mortal Kombat remains very close to the story and the characters of the video games, but makes some notable changes along the way. The film tells a story similar to the original arcade game and the 1995 film, showing the struggle between Earthrealm and Outworld through classic characters like Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada), Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim), Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), Jax (Mehcad Brooks), Shang Tsung (Chin Han), Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) and Kano (Josh Lawson). But, the story is a little different this time.
Before discussing all the changes in Mortal Kombat, it is fair to mention how much it comes directly from the games. Most of the mythology and history is exactly what fans would expect, almost all character designs are true to the games and look great, and the fatalities and special moves come from all ages in the series in fun ways.
Fights are appropriately brutal and there are a number of easter eggs smaller for more attentive fans of the games like the mixture of certain names or catchphrases, which the connoisseurs will notice, but who never played, will go unnoticed. Overall, Mortal Kombat is one of the most loyal video game adaptations to date. So go ahead and check out the differences between the games and the movie. And know that it contains SPOILERS.
1. The concept of Arcana is new
There is no universal explanation for superpowers in Mortal Kombat games. Different characters come into their abilities in drastically different ways, for example, Liu Kang and Sub-Zero through magic, Jax and Kano through cyber augmentation, Scorpion through witchcraft, etc.
In the film this changes by creating a unique cause for all the skills known as Arcana. The concept is described as the unique internal power of each Mortal Kombat character, which is awakened through training and possession of the dragon brand, also a new addition to the film to show the franchise's logo. Once awake, the fighter's Arcanum grants a specific power, such as control over fire, a hat that cuts from everything, or having robotic arms, apparently.
For reboot purposes, especially one that hopes to attract new fans, it makes sense to create a simpler tradition to explain the characters' supernatural abilities. However, due to how abstract many of these skills are, the idea of arcana ends up looking confusing and a little underdeveloped. This does not detract from the action of the film, however, and the powers themselves remain very faithful to the games in general.