Ronda Rousey Has No Business Being in 'Mortal Kombat 11'

I’m having a blast playing Mortal Kombat 11. As I said in the podcast last week, I suspect that Mortal Kombat functions for me much the way pro wrestling does for other people: it’s a batshit costume drama with no pretenses in reality, featuring larger than life characters and violence/fighting that bears no resemblance to the real thing. It’s just wonderful, campy, colorful nonsense and a lot of fun to play with.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/qv7b5w/ronda-rousey-mortal-kombat-11-transphobia
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Watching an LP of MK11’s story mode and yeah, Rodney’s acting is TERRIBLE. There are moments where she’s somewhat passable, but anything that isn’t making a bad quip is wooden at best and completely delivered at odds with the scene at worst. Not only is she a terrible human being, she’s a terrible actor as well.

It really deflates how the story mode wraps up one of the longest running plot threads in the series because it has to be done listening to a Sandy Hook Truther badly reading off her script and a tired production staff just yelling that’s a take after 200 terrible line reads.

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The Rousey thing is such an odd choice because I just don’t really see how it ever happened in the first place other than someone high up at NR or WB being a personal fan. Pure armchair marketing here, but MK seems like an extremely known quantity, and also not the kind of thing you’re going to pull people into casually. The barriers to entry are so many that I cannot mentally picture the person who is a diehard Rousey fan that is unaware or uninterested in MK that suddenly decides this is where they’re going to dive in. Does Rousey bring enough attention in and of herself to draw in lapsed MK fans, or make big enough headlines together that it’s worth it?

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The flatness of her delivery feels even more out of place when paired with the expressiveness of the character animations. It’s really off putting when she’s clearly showing grief, rage, etc. But has little or mismatched affect. The animation team mostly nails it.

The thing is, I think MK11’s story isn’t just good camp, it’s fantastic in general. It’s amazing to me that NRS managed to cram all they did into just a four-five hour package. This thing’s got crazy action, actual attempts at introspection, some genuinely sad moments and it fucking GOES PLACES, BRO! It’s make Ronda Rousey’s inclusion even more aggravating to me, like, there’s no way that this script was written after she was cast. There is no way in hell that they cast Rousey and then decided to give her that death scene.

I obviously can’t say for certain who approved her casting, but WB is absolute dog-shit, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a decree from suits. It gets even stranger when you realize that Rousey’s career has been, well, stagnant since Holly Holm(?) kicked her in the freakin’ face several years ago

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Such a tragedy that they went from Tricia Helfer in MKX to Rousey in MK11. All for a stunt casting…

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I wonder if there’s any chance of something like a Witcher 1 or Destiny situation happening where significant bits of voice work is re-cast and recorded again. Like I’d even take a fan attempt’s voice mod over Rousey.

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I was legit blown away that after her performance in Furious 7 anyone ever considered giving Rousey lines in anything ever again for any reason, let alone her actually getting cast in something again.

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looks like it was a typo because it’s fixed now

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I would guess that a fan mod is the only possible fix, because this is also the publisher that just straight up admitted that they weren’t gonna fix Arkham Origins problems and instead just focus on putting out dlc

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It takes a special kind of anti-talent to have two lines in a major movie and fuck both of them up, but Rousey sure managed it.

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Not too surprised at this as her promo work in WWE has been… Passable at the very best.

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Apparently Rousey actually has a significant speech disorder called apraxia that she dealt with as a child and that I imagine still affects her ability to speak today. When people discuss her poor performance as a voice actor here, I think it goes beyond simply being bad at the job and actually has at least some relationship to that speech impediment.

It’s sad to me because if she didn’t have this history of being a complete asshole transphobe Sandy Hook truther, it could have been a bold and even heroic choice to have her voice a major character because of overcoming apraxia. She has been an advocate for the condition, which affects children, and that’s a good thing.

Unfortunately, one thing does not cancel out the other and she just has this long history of being a dirtbag on top of that.

This is why when I’m critical of her inclusion in MK11, I keep that criticism centered on her shitty opinions and history of awful behavior rather than her performance (which I do agree was not good but… if we were in a world where she hadn’t been spouting shitty opinions for years and was instead a decent person, I’d probably feel like it was fine given her apraxia).

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