Mortal Kombat 1 is upon us, and the iconic fighting game series comes full circle and restarts the timeline, adjusting what we knew about all of the Mortal Kombat 1 characters. While we rethink what we knew about the series with Mortal Kombat 1, co-creator and director Ed Boon has talked about the reboot in the context of both Tekken and Street Fighter’s return, and how he felt when Jean-Claude Van Damme went to do the latter’s less-than-favorable ‘90s movie instead of his own videogame.
Considering the original Mortal Kombat from 1992 started out life as a Jean-Claude Van Damme game that fell through, seeing the action star come to Mortal Kombat 1 is quite poetic. Van Damme now plays an alternate skin for Cage, who himself is a parody of Hollywood actors, but this isn’t Van Damme’s first brush with videogames, oh no.
He starred as Guile in 1994’s Street Fighter film, and while Boon had a lot of nice things to say about the Street Fighter games in a recent interview, he was a bit less kind to the infamous movie adaptation.
“It was so long ago, I’m not even… [pauses]. Well, I’ll say it nicely: I don’t think that was the greatest film in the world,” Boon tells Rolling Stone. “I think it had novelty and it was almost like purposefully cheesy? Part of it, I couldn’t tell if it was trying to be cheesy or if it was trying to take itself seriously and they didn’t hit the mark. So if it had been this huge hit, I think we probably would have felt a certain amount of, ‘Oh man, this should have been us.’ But it wasn’t.”
By all accounts, the 1994 Street Fighter film is not good, so I can see exactly where Boon is coming from. That said, the moment when Van Damme’s Guile delivers an inspiring speech might be one of the most unintentionally brilliant pieces of film I’ve ever seen.
Despite his words against the Street Fighter film, Boon did have a lot of good to say about this year’s Street Fighter 6, and the perceived renaissance of fighting games that has come around as Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and Street Fighter all see new releases so close together.
“I personally think it has more to do with the fact that the big three: Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and Tekken – this is the first time in a decade or something where all three games have come out within a year window of each other,” Boon says. “When you hit the big three all coming out, there’s certainly going to be an assumption of a renaissance. It’s a good time to be a fighting game player.”
Boon was then asked in the interview what he liked most about his competitors, and he has some great stuff to say about them. “Tekken always had really smooth animations; I thought that was of their strongest things. They had these crazy ten-hit combos, which are always fun to watch. Hard to memorize, but fun to watch. Street Fighter was always a little tighter. I’ve always been a Tekken and Street Fighter [fan]. I think those are my favorite two – other than Mortal Kombat.”
If you need some help with the new MK game, we’ve got you covered with all you need to know about the Mortal Kombat 1 gear system, alongside how to unlock and perform all your Mortal Kombat 1 brutalities as well.