Mortal Kombat is the latest big budget blockbuster to hit our screens in 2021 — but despite being just another schlocky action fest, it’s a surprisingly important film for Australia. While the film’s most obvious ties to Australia come in the performance of Josh Lawson, who plays obnoxious Aussie mercenary Kano, Mortal Kombat‘s Aussie roots go well beneath the surface.
Not only was it filmed in South Australia, it was also helmed by Aussie director Simon McQuoid and features a talented cast and crew of Aussies.
For Josh Lawson, the film represents a chance to see Australia strut its stuff on the big Hollywood-led stage.
“Hopefully this film will play some part in bringing more work to Australia,” Lawson told Kotaku Australia during the Sydney Mortal Kombat media junket. “It does feel like a great time for the industry here. Our crew has always been some of the best in the world. Our actors tend to do very, very well in America and now America seems to be coming here. That’s a great thing.”
And beyond simply being able to gain more work in the industry, Australians are now more visible than ever. Kano in particular is an essential part of Mortal Kombat and drives much of the action — all through an ‘Aussie’ lens.
For Lawson, Kano represented a chance to show off Australia’s distinct sense of humour and perspective. “It was important to realise what [Kano’s] function in the film was and how he could advance the story,” explained Lawson. “One of the fun things about Kano is he gets to look at this crazy world and from an outsider, kind of commentate on it.”
It’s this commentary that really makes the film so fun — and it’s part of the reason why Kano is such a loveable character, despite his clear flaws.
“[Kano is] kind of juvenile in a way, as much as he is a psychopath and a bastard and all those other things,” Lawson told Kotaku Australia. But he’s hesitant to admit he has much in common with the character. “If I admit he’s relatable, it’s a pretty damning indictment of me.”
You can find all these revelations and more in the Kotaku Australia interview with Josh Lawson below:
Mortal Kombat is in Australian cinemas from April 22.
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