It’s been an up-and-down journey for Warner Bros. and HBO Max in recent months. After shocking the industry by announcing day-and-date theatrical and streaming releases for its entire 2021 film lineup, Warner Bros.’ divisive strategy has been met with varying levels of success. Wonder Woman 1984 bombed at the box office, but lit up the streaming service. Denzel Washington’s The Little Things and Oscar nominee Judas and the Black Messiah produced modest footprints. Tom & Jerry performed surprisingly well in ticket sales and on streaming. And now Godzilla vs. Kong has put an exclamation point on both mediums.
So what about Mortal Kombat?
The reboot of the 1997 video game adaptation franchise is expected to carry forth the momentum that began with GvK when it arrives in movie theaters Friday, April 23. But for those of you who are not yet comfortable returning to movie theaters, the film will be made available domestically on HBO Max beginning 12:00am PT / 3:00am ET on the day of its theatrical release. To watch the new blockbuster, you must have an HBO Max subscription, which’ll run you $14.99 per month if you are not eligible to convert an existing HBO subscription at no extra charge.
In this Mortal Kombat, MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his 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 Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the 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?
The film stars Lewis Tan, Joe Taslim, Hiroyuki Sanada, Jessica McNamee, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Max Huang, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Sisi Stringer, and Chin Han. Simon McQuoid makes his feature directorial debut.