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Mortal Kombat movie officially gets an R Rating – here’s exactly why

Mortal Kombat movie
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Mortal Kombat movie has, shock horror, been officially slapped with an R Rating ahead of its upcoming simultaneous release on HBO Max and in theaters.

As per Exhibitor Relations Company (opens in new tab), the Mortal Kombat movie is R-rated thanks to "strong bloody violence and language throughout, and some crude references." Tom and Jerry, this ain’t.

So, expect fatalities, buckets of blood, and plenty of cursing – exactly what fans have been clamoring for since the fatality-strewn fighter hit arcades in the early ‘90s.

What might be more surprising, however, is this is the first time in the franchise’s on-screen history that a movie has been R-Rated. 1995’s Mortal Kombat and its Annihilation sequel were both PG-13, which led to the big, brutal action the series is known for being diluted for mainstream audiences.

Those who have already seen the Mortal Kombat trailer will already be well aware of what’s waiting them. Featuring bone-crunching fight scenes and limbs being torn off, it feels like nothing is being held back in terms of gore.

On the topic of fight scenes, Shang Tsung actor Chin Han recently spoke to GamesRadar+ to outline what we can expect the action and how it mirrors the game series’ counterparts: “This is nothing like I’ve done before because the moves are really so iconic. You have to incorporate the iconic moves into actual fighting styles. That’s where it’s interesting. All the various forms of fighting merge in this film.”

It may be a clash of styles – but it’s the clash of skulls and fists that will get people through the door. On the basis of its R Rating, Mortal Kombat is certainly set to deliver.

Mortal Kombat movie arrives on HBO Max and in theaters in the US on April 16 and in the UK later in 2021.

For more on what’s just over the horizon, here’s our full guide to 2021 movie release dates. Plus, if you still need a subscription, check out the best HBO Max deals.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.