Goro is one of Mortal Kombat’s most iconic villains, but the character’s use in the 2021 reboot was far worse than in the original 1995 movie.

Goro is one of Mortal Kombatmore iconic villains, but the character’s use in the 2021 reboot was far worse than in the original 1995 film. A four-armed giant, Goro is, according to video games, the prince of the underground kingdom of Shokan, and one of the most main lieutenants of the sorcerer Shang Tsung and the Emperor Shao Kahn of the Outworld. Goro was the sub-boss of the first Mortal Kombat game and proved to be a visually stunning foe as well as a tough one to beat.

When the Mortal Kombat The franchise begins, Goro has been the undefeated champion of Mortal Kombat for many years and Kahn and Tsung see it as their ticket to dominate Earthrealm. Sadly for them, Goro is defeated by canon tournament winner Liu Kang, in part because his winning streak inflated the monstrous mauler’s ego enough to make crucial mistakes.

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In 1995, when the first Mortal Kombat movie released, it had been three years since Goro appeared in a game, and fans were waiting for his return. While the puppets used to bring Goro to life had their limitations, Goro played a vital role in the story, serving as a major obstacle to the defense of the Earth Kingdom from the thunder god Raiden. While returning in Mortal Kombat 2021, its inclusion felt more like an afterthought than anything else.

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In 1995 Mortal Kombat film, Goro has several important scenes and is shown dominating the competition. He even manages to destroy a fighter named Art Lean, who had befriended the main heroes. How deadly Goro is is emphasized, complete with a commanding baritone voice that clearly intimidates Kano. While Goro is defeated, Johnny Cage, one of the most popular characters in the game, defeats him, and Cage uses tactics such as crotch shots and luring the monster to a narrow ledge to gain victory. Goro is always a threat on screen, and clearly Shang Tsung’s most prized asset.

On the contrary, Goro in Mortal Kombat 2021 appears only once before his big fight with Cole Young and is almost completely speechless. Goro doesn’t have character moments like in the original, his background is barely mentioned, and eventually Cole kills him. While Cole is the protagonist of the film, he is also repeatedly shown getting his butt delivered in most fights, be it by MMA opponents, Outworld fighters, or fellow Earth champions during training. Sure, it took Cole’s Arcana magical powers and an unlikely help from his wife to defeat Goro, but still, this was not a fighter on Goro’s normally exalted level. All in all, Goro feels like a mere henchman, a side attraction in Mortal Kombat 2021, whereas in the 1995 original he felt like an important character with a mind of his own. While the CGI that brings Goro to life looks good, and he moves and fights with precision, that’s not enough to do Goro justice.

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