Why Nitara Turned Evil In The Mortal Kombat Movie

Here’s why Nitara is depicted as evil during her appearance in the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie reboot. The original Mortal Kombat arcade game arrived in the early 1990s and displayed shocking violence for its time, in addition to a surprisingly rich lore for its fighters. Despite outraging parents and politicians, the game soon spawned a franchise that was ported to everything from the Mega Drive to the Game Boy, and it received a movie in 1995. This Paul W.S. Anderson-directed adventure may have toned down the bloodshed, but it was a fun action movie with likable heroes and a main theme that has since become iconic.

The franchise had a spotty track record in live-action from that point on. The 1997 sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation tried to squeeze in as many characters as possible, with the movie being a mess of bad acting and endless, dull fight scenes. A third movie was developed called Devastation, but it didn’t ultimately happen. In 2010 an unofficial short called Mortal Kombat: Rebirth from director Kevin Tancharoen caused a buzz in the fanbase, which depicted a more grounded – but no less violent – take on the series. This was followed by Tancharoen’s webseries Mortal Kombat: Legacy, which received mixed reviews from critics and fans.

A new movie finally arrived in 2021, with Mortal Kombat bringing together most of the iconic characters from the games, including Liu Kang, Jax, Sonya, Kano and many more. Again, opinions were mixed, though it’s proven to be a success and unlike the previous two movies, retained the gore of the source material. One surprise addition to the roster of fighters was vampire Nitara, who in the game is depicted as a winged vampire. While the character isn’t exactly a hero during her debut in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, she’s not a villain either.

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Mortal Kombat 2021 changed this, with Nitara (Mel Jarnson) depicted as being in league with sorcerer Shang Tsung (Chin Han) and his band of Outworld warriors. While her introduction makes it appear she’ll be more of a threat, she’s dispatched fairly quickly in one of the movie’s bloodier moments. During the battle at Raiden’s Temple, Nitara tries to ambush Kung Lao, who outsmarts her and guides her right into the path of his famous razor hat, which brings her role to a messy end.

While Nitara wasn’t a villain in the Mortal Kombat games, she was later included in the movie by screenwriter Greg Russo. He’s a fan of the character and felt she has been underused in the franchise, and he told Comic Book that “Even though she’s neutral in the source material, the idea that Shang Tsung is able to manipulate anyone really that he has dominated over the years, felt like she could be a natural fit for that team.” This means that the sorcerer is using Nitara for his own ends, but while it’s nice Russo felt compelled to give the vampire more of a spotlight, she didn’t end up with much to do in the final product either.

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