Starting each day is a sort of a ritual for me. I get up, drink my daily cup of coffee, and read the morning news, regarding the entertainment media. So imagine my surprised face when I glossed over this morning and saw the trailer for the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie. While in my previous article I mentioned that a film was on the way, I was talking about a live-action one, not an animated film. So yeah, it was a shock, but not a pleasant one. By this point, I would discard the whole nonsense in the bin. But obligated by THE POWERS THAT BE, I will delve into this thing, with a more positive attitude. So shall we? Yes, we shall.
An Origins Story?
So yes, as the title suggests, this new animated movie is titled Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge. There is one thing I have to get out of the way right away. During the PS1 era, there was an idea of origin based games of the Mortal Kombat Universe. Mythologies: Sub-Zero was one of those ideas that made the cut, and well, it flopped hard.
This bears a striking resemblance to the whole thing just by its title, but the movie is far different than the PS1 title. First off, the main focus will be centered around Hanzo Hasashi, aka Scorpion. The story will mainly follow the character’s past, as a clan leader, as well as his tormented spectral form, after its demise.
On the surface, it’s what the title is supposed to imply. However, from the trailer, it looks more like a re-telling of the first game’s story. Specifically, the one recreated in 2009’s Mortal Kombat. All the main characters featured in the canon are shown. We have Earthrealms Champions Raiden, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, and Liu Kang, and on the other side, the forces of Outworld.
Scorpion is in the middle of all of it, seeking revenge against the one he thinks is the apex of his clan’s destruction – Sub-Zero. Long story short, he joins the infamous tournament alongside the likes of Reptile, Goro and Kano, to get his one shot at the cryomancer.
One thing that does put a smile on my neutral face is the voice actors. From what I could gather, the entire cast currently present in the game series will voice each of their respective characters. This is quite nice, considering that the show is based on a gaming franchise.
Another positive thing is that the film is R-rated. Though there is no blood and gore shown in the trailer, I expect there to be tons of it in the full release. I mean for god sake, it’s Mortal Kombat. Fatalities have always been the strongest point of the series, and seeing what they might do, even animated, is a spectacle. Plus, when you have a character like the specter of vengeance, you know you’re in for gallons of blood.
On the other hand, one glaring problem I have with this series is its animation. Behind the series is animator Ethan Spaulding, who worked with Warner Bros. in the past. He is credited for some truly amazing animated movies such as Batman: Assault on Arkham, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. And while the character resembles their in-game counterparts to perfection, the animation is more primitive than I thought. The characters look more like goliaths than actual people. And while, yes, they did look a little like that in the games, these are extreme levels of herculean muscles. Series like 2019’s Primal, while simplistic, show that with a right pallet, you can achieve master levels of animation.
Flawless Victory ?
Is it bad? No. Is it good? From what I gathered…not so much. A lot of it feels like they’re just trying to capitalize on the popularity of the character with zero effort. Like this new animated adaptation is trying to be the next Castlevania animated series, which it isn’t. Castlevania did a lot of things right, and while not perfect, it’s way ahead of this film. If you really want the gist of the story, go play the game, in my opinion.
That said, while I do look down upon it, I will watch it and give my honest opinion when it comes out. Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is set to arrive on home video this spring, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested. Until then, I highly recommend Primal and Castlevania, to all those looking for a fresh dose of animated entertainment.
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