Casting the New Mortal Kombat Movie's Biggest Characters
Mortal Kombat isn't the most esteemed video game franchise, but its coterie of bloodthirsty fighters is one of the most beloved in gaming history. Sure, the 1995 movie adaptation was a dud, but it was a magnificent dud with a throbbing Jock Jams soundtrack and a provocative cast. (Where have you gone, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras?) Since the 2013 reboot has a chance of reigniting interest in the age-old series, let's cast our dream players in five of the main roles.
Harry Shum Jr. as Liu Kang
Harry Shum Jr. is Glee's most intriguing cast member. He can't sing, but he can dance. He's not a main character, but he's one of the most gorgeous dudes in primetime. His specialized skill set is ideal for Liu Kang, the fast-moving dragon master with a massive, fire-breathing fatality. The fight choreography might be better suited to someone like Taylor Lautner, but Shum is just more appealing than Twilight's crying wolf.
Armie Hammer as Sub Zero and Scorpion
The Social Network's clever Parent Trap clone job of Armie Hammer is so damn fun, I think Mortal Kombat should exhume the trick for the parts of identical fighters Sub Zero and Scorpion. For Sub Zero, Hammer could deliver his signature Winklevoss frostiness, but for Scorpion, I'd prefer he tap into ghastlier, scarier new territory. When he screams, "Get over here!" I want Mark Zuckerberg to blink uncontrollably, scurry back to Harvard, and hide in his dorm room.
Jennifer Lawrence as Sonya Blade
She's toplining a much fancier operation with The Hunger Games these days, but Jennifer Lawrence is just right to play the ponytailed warrioress whose kiss of death is as unnerving as any scene from Winter's Bone. Bridget Wilson-Sampras's coldness worked in Billy Madison, but it's a bit too forced for an actual fighter. There's no disbelieving Jennifer Lawrence's intimidation, and I expect her to tower effortlessly over lesser femme fatales like Mileena and Jade.
Dwayne Johnson as Raiden
He may seem like a more obvious choice for Jax or Kano, but 10 years into Dwayne Johnson's career as a (non-wrestling) thespian, I support all efforts to cast him as a wizened, supernatural elder force. Raiden is an immortal brimming with thundering stoicism; his part shouldn't be handled by an action film amateur. If Johnson's spirited performance in Fast Five is any indication, he can make even the campiest of material more fun than it has any right to be.
Joel McHale as Johnny Cage
Johnny Cage's brawny, washed-up Hollywood persona is meant to provide comic relief next to the chillier grit of the other characters, and who better to fill his boots than the overtly muscular and bastardly Joel McHale? His dryness would update the character nicely, and he'd also get to show off that jacked physique he so cavalierly reveals on Community.