The Mortal Kombat franchise is home to some seriously fun characters. You’ve got a ninja cryomancer, a hat-tossing martial artist and few demigods to name a few of the more popular choices. However, wedged into the ever-expanding roster of fighters is a particularly nasty character who has been around since the beginning. Kano, played by Josh Lawson in Simon McQuoid's Mortal Kombat, is extraordinarily unbearable at times, and it’s only fitting that his character was dispatched in such a humiliating manner.
Just so we are clear, this article contains spoilers for Mortal Kombat. If you’ve already seen the movie, or just don’t care, feel free to read on.
Josh Lawson’s Kano was dispatched by longtime rival Sonya Blade in the final act of Mortal Kombat. While it was already a sort of slap in the face to be bested by Jessica McNamee’s character, Kano’s death was particularly humiliating because he was killed off by the one thing he hated most: a garden gnome.
Why? Well, I had a chance to ask Mortal Kombat director Simon McQuoid that exact question ahead of the movie's release. According to him, it was the perfect way to send off Lawson’s ‘revolting’ character:
There’s kind of a beautiful, albeit extremely messed up, irony going on there, but I can appreciate it. Greg Russo, who wrote Mortal Kombat, went on to share some behind the scenes details on how Kano’s demise came to life:
Russo then took that version of the script to Simon McQoid, and the rest is history. Being dispatched with a garden gnome is certainly one of the more hilarious ways characters were killed off in Mortal Kombat, it definitely wasn’t the most brutal. According to the cast, Kung Lao’s fatality on Nitara holds the title for best in show.
Although Kano was killed off this time around, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Josh Lawson reprise his role in a future sequel. Mortal Kombat’s lore is very similar to comic books in one regard, no one ever stays dead.
Fans can check out Mortal Kombat in theaters and on HBO Max, where it’s streaming right now.
Into tracksuits by Paulie Walnuts, the Criterion Channel and Robert Eggers.
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