Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of April 26, 2021

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of April 26, 2021

Mortal Kombat
Rated R for some crude references, language throughout, and strong bloody violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%
In theaters and streaming on HBO Max

This uber-violent martial arts thriller, based on the classic video game, follows a group of chosen human fighters who must fight a group of fighters from the “Outworld” in order to prevent them from successfully invading and destroying Earth. In one after the other brutal fight, the seemingly underwhelming human fighters are made to find in themselves the power to take on the evil forces. Just as in HBO Max’s recent release Kong vs. Godzilla, the plot is practically unnecessary. Every word spoken is there just to get to the next action sequence. What little dialog there is tries to make sense of the world our heroes and villains are in to give them a reason to fight, and since the audience is only there for the macabre melee, it all works out. In a way it’s like fight porn. But if you work hard to ignore the lousy script and even worse acting, what you are left with is some pretty spectacular, although extremely gruesome, battle sequences. From start to finish, there is a level of excitement and energy that allows the movie to work in its own way. So for what it is, Mortal Kombat delivers exactly what it promises, and nothing more. C+

Four Good Days
Rated R for brief sexuality, language throughout and drug content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 46%
In theaters now and paid streaming on May 21

Mila Kunis has done rather well in comedy and sci-fi over recent years, but here she goes the dramatic route as a young heroine addict who needs the help of her mother (Glenn Close) to stay sober for the 4 days required to get a shot (literally and figuratively) at remaining drug free. While the movie is timely and relevant, it is still a hard one to watch, just like it’s eerily similar cousin Hillbilly Elegy, which also starred Glenn Close in almost the exact same role, sans the make up. As one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, Kunis gives gravity to the role showing that beauty and innocence can be decimated by drugs. She makes a convincing enough addict and Close is on point as the mom. I’m not sure if the story is realistic enough as it tries to display a life on drugs in just a matter of days, but as a morality tale, it sorta works. There are some nice scenes, like the one where she speaks to a classroom full of children which sums up the film nicely, even if set up under inorganic circumstances. But honestly, there is too much here to be overly critical about, so while they get through the script, it ultimately proves to be movie-of-the-week material with a few dirty words thrown in so they don’t categorized that way. C