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Film Review


Neil reviews the latest film in Warner Bros. Animation’s MORTAL KOMBAT LEGENDS series. Cage Match is available on digital and on disc now.



Mortal Kombat: Cage Match (Warner Bros. Animation)

Warner Bros. Animation presents Mortal Kombat Legends: Cage Match, available now on digital platforms, DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD.


Action superstar Johnny Cage is pulled into a mystery that leads him through 1980’s Los Angeles, where he finds a dark secret that might have lasting effects on the city and his career!


Following hot on the heels of Mortal Kombat 1, Warner Bros. Animation has now released the fourth film in its blood-soaked Mortal Kombat Legends series. Cage Match is the most creatively unique approach to the franchise. Side-stepping the usual linear approach and replacing it with a neon-drenched, 80’s action-adventure with the original MK heartthrob, Johnny Cage in the spotlight.

Penned once again by franchise stalwart Jeremy Adams and directed by Ethan Spaulding, Cage Match undoubtedly takes the audience by surprise. Adams’ story is both hyper aware of itself and committed to hitting all of the right notes for a movie of the 80s. The final product falls somewhere between meta commentary and fist bumping blast from the past. With far more comedic elements than its predecessors it feels tonally fresh and completely invigorates the source material.

The film’s success hangs on the shoulders of Joel McHale as the aforementioned Cage. The film begins as Cage is shooting Ninja Mime, a film which he hopes will kickstart his Hollywood career. When his co-star in the film, Jennifer Grey (yes she of Dirty Dancing fame), goes missing. With his career hanging in the balance, Cage finds much more than he bargained for when his search for Grey uncovered a demonic cult in L.A.’s underbelly.

The story features a mix of narration from Cage and his direct interactions with the world around him. Again Adams uses all the right notes from classics like Rocky to make Cage Match sing in tune. McHale’s cocky yet heartfelt approach perfectly embodies the character. Whether he’s salaciously trying to charm… well… any of the women he comes in to contact with. Or simply trying to save his on backside from danger. McHale has the character performance nailed. Whilst you could be forgiven for forgetting this is a Mortal Kombat movie, there’s no denying that McHale pulls it off thanks to Adams’ capable dialogue.

All of the elements you would expect are ready and waiting to be discovered. There’s training montages, 80’s power metal and, of course, slow mo. Cage sports a stunning 80’s mullet haircut and the fashion, the less said about that the better. But it’s all perfectly placed within Cage Match’s day-glow appearance.

But there’s no structured tournament in sight. Instead Cage Match presents several familiar faces such as Ashrah (Kelly Hu) and Jataaka (Zehra Fazal) as allies and enemies along the journey. In that respect the film is more of a straight forward action adventure. But utilising elements from Mortal Kombat makes this an interesting and worthy approach.

Cage Match adds a fresh coat of paint to the Mortal Kombat Legends style. Whilst the design work is familiar. Everything has been tracked back to the 1980’s and given a style to match. Then the team have overlayed a brilliant mix of incredibly bright hues that make the film pop of the screen. The attention to detail is incredible with even shading being accomplished through more vibrant and eye popping colours.

Before we wrap up let’s remember why we’re here… because we’re Mortal Kombat fans. Cage Match has the gore and action where it counts. But the film does dial back from the levels of violence in previous films in this franchise. The action is much more measured but then so is the story and in that respect its well balanced and not at all overpowering or heavy handed.


Mortal Kombat Legends: Cage Match might just be my favourite of the films in this line. It has a spectacular mix of comedy and action with buckets of charisma thanks to Joel McHale’s energetic performance.


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