Mortal Kombat’s Kano Explain Why This Isn’t An Action Movie

Josh Lawson as Kano

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Almost every genre has sub-genres within themselves. How much those sub-genres differ from the overarching genre is completely subjective and dependent upon how you choose to classify your movies. Josh Lawson, who plays the iconic Kano in the upcoming Mortal Kombat, has shed some light on exactly where the reboot stands in relation to more popular action movies.

When I spoke with Josh Lawson during my visit to the Mortal Kombat set in 2019, he noted the differences between Mortal Kombat and other big box action movies. Lawson went on to suggest that the upcoming reboot is more of a martial arts flick. In his own words:

It’s really not an action movie. It’s a martial arts movie. That’s where I think it’s different and it feels different on set. It really is about showing off and showcasing incredible martial artists. That to me is fundamentally different from some of the action films that are popular. Looking at Joe [Tsalim], Lewis [Tan] and Max [Huang], they really are masters of the craft.

According to Josh Lawson, Mortal Kombat is all about showcasing the martial arts performed by its impressive cast. He noted that some of the biggest names in the genre are involved, including Joe Tsalim, of Raid: Redemption fame, who will be playing franchise favorite Sub-Zero.

Mortal Kombat has long been known for its infamously over-the-top fatalities that are a staple in both the video games and films. While the original films in the franchise did feature some high-flying acrobatics and impressive martial arts, some may remember them more for their campy approach to the series.

From the most recent trailer for Mortal Kombat, it looks like there will be no shortage of impressive and brutal martial arts. At one point, Sub-Zero manages to cut his arch-enemy Scorpion (played by Hiroyuki Sanada) and then uses the frozen blood to stab him again. I mean, that’s about as Mortal Kombat as it gets.

Josh Lawson also mentioned Max Huang and Lewis Tan, with the former playing Kung Lao and the latter playing franchise newcomer Cole Young. Tan is known for his work on Netflix’s supernatural martial arts series Wu Assassins and the upcoming film based on the show, Wu Assassins: Fistful of Vengeance.

Mortal Kombat features a large cast, which makes sense considering how many characters are in the long-spanning video game franchise. We have already seen a number of confirmed characters from the trailer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a secret fan favorite make an appearance.

While fans won’t be able to see all of the impressive martial arts until Mortal Kombat releases on HBO Max (which you can sign up for now) and in theaters on April 16, you can stay up to date on everything heading to the big and small screens near you with CinemaBlend’s 2021 Release Schedule.

Braden Roberts

Into tracksuits by Paulie Walnuts, the Criterion Channel and Robert Eggers.