Mortal Kombat 11 puts its violence right out front, with its obviously gruesome fatalities and vicious brutalities taking center stage. That said, NetherRealm Studios' newest fighting game is also packed to the gills with references and Easter eggs hidden just beneath the surface. These secrets pull from a variety of different source types, but some of the most fun ones come straight from the silver screen.
Indeed, there are a myriad of movie references in Mortal Kombat 11, and this is by no means intended to be a comprehensive list of them. However, these are some of our favorite MK11 movie references, and a few of them may have just passed you right by.
While all of the other Mortal Kombat 11 movie references listed here are found in character intros, this one comes from a victory pose. More specifically, when Johnny Cage strikes his Inner Child victory pose, the word "Cassie" can be seen scrawled across the foot of his figurine — a clear reference to the way that Andy's name is written on the foot of Woody and Buzz in Pixar's Toy Story.
John Woo's 1997 cult-classic Face/Off features Nicolas Cage at his most unhinged, stealing faces and eating peaches. It is this affinity for nature's candy that is referenced in Mortal Kombat 11. When pitting Kano against Jade, the male fighter will say, "I could eat a peach for hours," a line directly lifted from Face/Off.
The Cages like to go big, and, when it comes to movie references, it is hard to go much bigger than The Matrix. The Wachowskis' action sensation turned "bullet time" into a household phrase, and pitting Johnny Cage against Cassie Cage lifts directly from words exchanged, between Neo and Morpheus, about dodging bullets.
Calling back to one of the most famous lines in film history, a bout between Johnny Cage and Skarlet can prompt Johnny to say, "frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." While based on a book, this line is frequently associated with the 1939 film adaptation of Gone with the Wind, and the reference is only made sweeter by the fact that the movie's protagonist is named Scarlett herself.
There are, in fact, two references to Disney's animated smash Frozen in Mortal Kombat 11. The first comes when putting Cassie Cage up against Frost, with Cage calling Frost "Elsa," the name of one of the film's main protagonists. The other comes when Frost fights Frost, as the two fighters will quote the lyrics from "Let It Go," the hit song from Frozen, at one another.
Rather than pulling from just one scene, this MK11 movie reference targets several from 1986's Big Trouble in Little China. Indeed, John Carpenter fans that send Liu Kang against Johnny Cage will be happy to discover these quotes.
Perhaps the only thing that is more primed for a movie reference than the appearance of Johnny Cage is the appearance of two Johnny Cages, and there is indeed a reference to be found when setting up this mirror match. The dialogue heard here is pulled directly from the 1999 comedy film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, where it is exchanged by two Austin Powers and Dr. Evil himself.
The 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner contains an oft-quoted monologue, known as the "tears in rain" monologue, and it is directly referenced when Johnny Cage goes up against Geras. Performed in the film by Rutger Hauer, it is a treat to see Mortal Kombat 11 go back to this classic moment.
When two Kabals battle, it seems that they have a strange inclination to reference the 1994 Tom Hanks vehicle Forrest Gump. While the exact words have been slightly altered, this is quite a clear call-out to the famous "life is like a box of chocolates" and "run, Forrest, run," lines from the movie.
The utterance of just two words is often not enough to be considered a movie reference, but the words "clever girl" are inextricably linked with 1993's Jurassic Park. While it is debatable if Frost is as deadly as a velociraptor, putting her up against Johnny Cage will prompt this quick reference.
Discovering references and Easter eggs can be a delight, and the sheer quantity that has been packed into Mortal Kombat 11 means that fans will be continually coming across them. Furthermore, as the Mortal Kombat 11 DLC characters continue to make their way to the game, there are sure to be more movie references added as well.
Mortal Kombat 11 is out now for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version in development.