‘Mortal Kombat’ Summary & Ending, Explained – Fails To Compete With Its Animated Version

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Mortal Kombat directed by Simon McQuoid tries to reboot the franchise once again. After the previous failed attempt to establish the series and its characters, the 2021 movie is a Warner Bros. Picture’s attempt to give the world of Mortal Kombat a final try. The film, therefore, establishes the core of the story and begins with the assembly of its prominent characters who would fight the Mortal Kombat.


‘Mortal Kombat’ Summary

A major portion of the narrative is invested in assembling the fighters of the Earth Realms who would fight against other realms to safeguard Earth. Mortal Kombat is a tournament battle founded by the Elder Gods who created the universe. To avoid an unnecessary battle between the worlds, or realms, the gods created this knockout tournament where fighters from different realms would fight against each other and their victory will decide the fate of their realm.

However, the 2021 Mortal Kombat fails to instate these simple yet extremely important details. It invests all its necessary plot points in establishing the characters but fails to dig deeper into their backstories.

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Sub-Zero or Bi-Han is a minion of the soul-eating sorcerer Shang Tsung, who is the protector of the realm of Outworld. On Shang’s order, Sub-Zero kills members of the rival Shirai Ryu ninja clan. He eradicates Hanzo Hasashi and his family, thereby destroying his lineage. As per the old prophecy, the descendants of Shirai Ryu will someday stop the outer world from proclaiming its control on the Earth Real. However, before dying Hanzo’s wife hides the newborn baby who is later picked up by the protector of the Earth Realm, Lord Raiden.

In the present time, the outer world has defeated the earth realm in 9 out of 10 battles and another lost would provide Shang Tsung, the control over the earth realm. However, a new set of warriors that include a failed MMA champion, Cole Young, a special force agent, Sonya Blade, her partner, Major Jackson “Jax” Briggs, and a mercenary Kano are chased by Sub-zero and other minions of Shang Tsung, who has ordered them to kill and put an end to Earth’s chances of fighting back in the tournament.

However, with the help of Sonya’s research, the team finds the hidden temple of Lord Raiden where two other fighters, Liu Kang and Kung Lao are waiting for them. They train the new fighter and help them to discover their “arcana”, another name for a hidden superpower that is held by each fighter who has a dragon tattoo on his body.

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The final one among the lot, to unlock his arcana is Cole Young, who later learns that he is actually a descendant of Hanzo Hasashi. Therefore, the prophecy that Shang Tsung was trying to stop, actually comes true. When all the earth’s fighters recognize their arcana, they put up a fight against the warriors of the outer world and join hands to stop the ultimate fighter, Sub-Zero.

Mortal Kombat Summary & Ending Explained
HBO MAX

Major Spoilers Ahead

‘Mortal Kombat’ Ending Explained

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While all the earth fighters prove fatal against the warriors of Shang Tsung, Sub-Zero ver cunningly abducts Cole Young’s daughter and wife. He is ardent to finally put an end to Shirai Ryu lineage. In order to save his family, Cole puts forward a brave fight but he is no match against the massive ability of Sub-Zero. He finally uses Hasashi’s kunai that was given to him by Lord Raiden who picked it up from the death location of Hanzo Hasashi. A kunai, which is a metal masonry trowel has Hanzo’s blood on it and when Cole uses it in the battle, it resurrects Hanzo, now Scorpion, from the dark realms of hell. He has been burning in the flames of vengeance that have kept him alive even after so many centuries. Together they put up a fight against Sub-Zero when finally Scorpion unleashes his hell-wrath and burns down Sub-Zero forever.

Shang Tsung tries to stop the warriors of the earth but Lord Raiden stands in between them as the shield. Shang runs away from there but before leaving he promises to take revenge. He will come back with an army this time. Lord Raiden assures his warrior that they will be ready when Shang Tsung strikes back again.

Lord Raiden is preparing a new team of fighters for the next Mortal Kombat tournament and wants the help of these fighters to recruit the new team. In the credit scene, Cole departs in the search of the new fighter who is a Hollywood star named Johnny Cage.

The next installment of the film, if there would be any, would see another batch of Mortal Kombat fighters who would fight against the fighters of other realms. Next time, the fight is going to be more lethal.


Mortal Kombat fails miserably. It is a very superficial exploration of the Mortal Kombat world. In fact, the animated film, ‘Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge that released in 2020 does a much better job in revealing the insights and conflicts. The animated film was much more entertaining and crisp with a high adrenaline exhibition. This 2021 is flat, dull, and artificial. For new or first-time viewers, it doesn’t establish the necessary details which are extremely necessary to lure an audience’s interest. Even the exploration of its central characters is cosmetic. None of the actors or characters create an impact. I think it’s a failed attempt and Warner Bros better be concentrating on their animated installments of the Mortal Kombat world rather than investing in such lousy real-life action films.

If you want fun, enjoyment and necessary insights about Mortal Kombat then check out the animated version, ‘Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge. It is much more captivating and entertaining with some real skull-breaking sequences. The film is an utter waster of time.


Mortal Kombat is a 2021 fantasy film directed by debut director Simon McQuoid. The film is streaming on HBO MAX.

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Shikhar Agrawalhttps://dmtalkies.com
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 6 years, majorly writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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