A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence solves problems.
Positive Role Models
In a flashback scene, the lead character, Johnny Cage, is shown being bullied while a teenager. He trains in a dojo, and from that experience learns that sayings like "it gets better" do nothing, and that the only way to stand up to a bully is through violence. After a training montage, young Johnny breaks the arm of one of his bullies while in the gym.
Some diversity in terms of gender and race. Women feature prominently in the movie as fighters who can be just as fierce as the men, if not more so. Johnny Cage's assistant is a sheepish Black young man who finds inner strength by trying to emulate Johnny Cage.
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Violence & Scariness
This movie based on the notoriously violent video game franchise has frequent moments of blood, gore, and violence. Violent stabbings, in throats, chests, resulting in one instance in entrails spilling all over Johnny. A punch in the testicles. Gunshots while filming a scene in which Johnny is a co-star. Flashback scenes show a teen Johnny being bullied: a basketball is thrown at his face, resulting in a bloody nose while the coach laughs at him, soda dumped on his head in the cafeteria, he's locked in locker, gets a wedgie and swirlie. Johnny is sliced by cult demons until he has a pentagram, among other signs, on his chest. A house blows up. Monster and demonic imagery. Monster impaled on a statue.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual innuendo. Johnny implies that he had sex with an '80s pop star. When Johnny wakes up tied to a bed, he jokes that this isn't the first time he has woken up like this. Innuendo when Johnny falls on top of an elderly woman during a street fight.
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Strong language throughout, including "f--k" used many times. Also: "bulls--t," "bats--t," "s--t," "a--hole," "ass," "pissed," "bitch," "damn." During a street fight, a young boy onlooker shouts, "F--k him up, Johnny!"
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Products & Purchases
Movie based on notoriously violent video game franchise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mortal Kombat Legends: Cage Match is a 2023 animated action movie in which an '80s C-list action movie star fights demons and an evil cult in LA. Unsurprisingly, seeing how this is based on the notoriously violent video game franchise, there's a lot of violence. Stabbing deaths -- throat, chest, disembowelment. Decapitations. A character is run over by a tourist bus -- blood. Martial arts violence throughout. Flashback scenes show a teen Johnny being bullied: a basketball is thrown at his face, resulting in a bloody nose while the coach laughs at him, soda is dumped on his head in the cafeteria, he's locked in a locker, gets a wedgie and swirlie, etc. Johnny is sliced by cult demons until he has a pentagram, among other signs, on his chest. Demonic imagery. A house blows up. A broken arm, with blood shown. Some sexual innuendo. Strong language throughout, including "f--k." Some drinking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a violent movie that's also surprisingly funny. There's a self-aware humor that makes Mortal Kombat Legends: Cage Match stand out among all the more adult and older teen-appropriate animated features based on video games and/or multiverses. The soundtrack alone is hilarious, perfectly parodying the high-octane banality of ‘80s action movie soundtracks. As "hero" Johnny Cage, Joel McHale is full of quips and one-liners and these humorous moments (and note the cameo from Gilbert Gottfried, who plays Johnny's foul-mouthed agent) stand out almost as much as the obligatory violence.
The humor is dry, self-aware, and cynical, and it works. One wishes the aforementioned "multiverse" movies could have at least some humor like this instead of attempts at humor that are the textbook definition of "groan-worthy." This isn't a masterpiece of animation and story, but it's entertaining.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.