The Mortal Kombat trailer showed off plenty of iconic characters, signature moves, and of course, fatalities, from the video games. With an R rating and a cast full of prolific martial artists, the new Mortal Kombat film promises to deliver on the intense action and brutal fatalities the video game franchise is famous for. While there’s certainly more to come in the final movie, the trailer alone has already teased a handful of ways its fighters will be finishing their foes.
From Scorpion to Sub-Zero and Liu Kang to Goro, Mortal Kombat’s cast of characters includes a wide collection of classic fighters from the original arcade games. Most of those faces have appeared in numerous entries in the series over the years, building up an impressive collection of fierce attacks and deadly fatalities. That gives the reboot a lot of options to choose from in assembling its own arsenal of gruesome finishing moves.
A fighting game is only as good as its best moves and Mortal Kombat has stayed atop the genre for decades by continuing to introduce bold, bombastic, and brutal attacks from its ever-increasing roster of warriors. That trend looks to be continuing in fine fashion with the new film, and here are all the big finishers and fatalities in the Mortal Kombat trailer.
Sub-Zero shows off several impressive ice magic attacks in the Mortal Kombat preview, including a devastating finisher on Jax during a flashback. The new movie has retconned Jax’s cybernetic arms, making Sub-Zero the one to rip off his normal arms, rather than Ermac as in the games. The trailer shows the ice ninja grabbing Jax’s fists, slowly freezing his arms solid, and then brutally shattering them. It’s an impressive and horrific display of power, and a variation of several freeze-and-shatter fatalities Sub-Zero has used in the games.
The Jax attack isn’t the only major move used by Sub-Zero in the trailer, of course. Classics like his projectile ice blast, ice sheet, and ice wall moves are shown too. He also performs a new move in one shot, where he conjures an array of icy blades in the air around him and hurls them all down in a shower of deadly hale. In his fight with Scorpion, Sub-Zero once again displays his strength by stabbing Scorpion, freezing his blood into an ice dagger in midair, and using it as a weapon against him. On a lesser opponent, that last attack may have been a fatality in itself.
During the Mortal Kombat trailer’s roll-call sequence introducing the warriors of Earthrealm, Jax is seen winding up for a devastating blow in slow motion. He’s seen leaping at an opponent with his robotic arms spread wide, seemingly going in to smash his foe’s head from either side. This thunderclap move is perhaps Jax’s most iconic fatality from the game series, first debuting with the character in Mortal Kombat II and continuing to appear in many other entries. Though the trailer cuts away before the lethal blow lands, gamers will know the grizzly fate Jax’s is about to dish out.
Another classic fatality comes later in the trailer when Liu Kang channels his fire magic to summon a dragon out of living flame. As with the Jax fatality, the preview cuts away from Kang’s move before the killing blow is delivered. If it’s anything like the games though, the dragon is about to make short work of the other fighter – who appears to be Mortal Kombat veteran Kabal – by chomping him half. Liu Kang’s dragon is particularly recognizable as it’s also the logo for the entire franchise, so it’s great to see it brought into live-action in such a cool way.
The Mortal Kombat trailer ends with a kill-blow montage, sparked by a shot of Shang Tsung ordering the various fighters to “finish” their foes. The first fatality shown in these rapid-fire clips seems to be Sonya Blade, who shoots an opponent clean through with a series of powerful laser blasts. The purple hue of the attack is reminiscent of older fatalities from Sonya, but the blasts themselves are more similar to her wrist-mounted guns from Mortal Kombat 11. The two may have been combined in the new movie to create a fatality reminiscent of multiple eras.
Scorpion is shown in the Mortal Kombat trailer’s fatality montage about to deliver a quick kill with his signature katana. This shot is actually from the flashback scenes for Scorpion and Sub-Zero, when the former was simply known as Hanzo Hasashi. In the clip, he stabs a kneeling attacker straight down through the skull, bearing the full length of his blade into him. Earlier shots show moments from the rest of the fight, which includes Hanzo using his makeshift kunai-with-chain to dispatch a group of foes. At one point, he throws the spear through an opponent’s face, killing him instantly and proceeds to yank his body to the ground. That particular spear headshot finisher is incredibly reminiscent of one of Scorpion’s video game fatalities.
The reboot trailer ends with a true classic – Kano’s Mortal Kombat heart-rip fatality, performed on a monstrous character who appears to be Reptile. As in the games, Kano punches through his opponent’s chest, grabs their heart in his hand and rips it out, brandishing it afterward like a trophy. Kano even makes a direct reference to the games by proudly proclaiming “Kano Wins,” in the style of the series’ fight announcer.
That blend of gory brutality and quirky meta humor is a signature of the Mortal Kombat franchise, and it’s encouraging to see it alive and well in the reboot. Hopefully, the fatalities yet to be shown are just as true to the games as those seen in the trailer. If the rest of the reboot can keep up the style shown so far, it could be one of the better video game movie adaptations to date. Mortal Kombat releases in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16.