For those of you who don’t know what Mortal Kombat is for some reason, it’s a fighting game that was initially released in arcades around 1992. The primary storyline of these games are relatively simple: Mortal Kombat is a martial arts tournament, but of worldly consequences, and the fighters, regardless of who they are or their intentions, are chosen to fight. All playable characters belong to different clans or groups.
There’s the US Military (Jax & Sonya), clans in which Sub Zero and Scorpion belong to, and well, just a bunch of others that with extremely varied intentions, appearances, and power. A major element in the games are fatalities; finishing moves on an opponent that has been defeated, and by the way, Mortal Kombat is almost always gory. The most iconic character is undoubtedly Scorpion, known by the line “GET OVER HERE”, followed up by him pulling a poor soul over with a chained spear.
Just a little knowledge of the Mortal Kombat games and the lore embedded with them will help you to understand the movies better, but it’s not really needed. Despite the Mortal Kombat universe being just as evolved as any other complex franchise, the movie is easy to follow, focusing on basic elements from the game and several major characters. It’s also clear who’s evil and good, for the most part. The movie also serves as background for much of these characters, setting the stage for Scorpion’s to be successor, Sonya Blade, Jax, etc.