Serving as a sequel to 2020’s Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, there’s a lot of action and high stakes in Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms. However, it lacks in the story department. We are also doing a Digital Code giveaway, so keep reading for the details!
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free 4K UHD Combo Pack of Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.
Warning! This review contains spoilers.
If you enjoyed watching MKL: Scorpion’s Revenge, I do think you will like MKL: Battle of the Realms, too. The latest animated offering took what worked in the prequel and made it bigger and badder. There are more fights. More deaths. More fatalities. And the stakes are higher!
However, when expanding all of those things, the story did get a bit convoluted and the overall narrative made me contemplate how MKL: Battle of the Realms would have been better off being divided into two parts. There’s just too much going on and every plot thread isn’t given the time it deserves. Liu Kang and the rest of Earthrealm’s protectors could have handled the situation with Shinnok in part two instead of cramming it all into a single approximately 80-minute long animated movie.
MKL: Battle of the Realms opens with a baby Liu Kang being saved by Lord Raiden after his parents are murdered. We then jump to events occurring after MKL: Scorpion’s Revenge to see the good guys trying to fight Shao Khan’s massive army. Shao Khan and Lord Raiden come to an agreement to talk to the Elder Gods to have one final Mortal Kombat Tournament.
While I understood why Johnny Cage wasn’t keen on participating in another tournament so soon, I do think Lord Raiden made the right choice. He knows that Liu Kang’s destiny is to beat Shao Khan. So, might as well get on with it, right? However, I didn’t like Lord Raiden’s decision to give up his Godhood. It wasn’t like it was crucial for him to participate in the tournament to face an opponent the rest of the team couldn’t handle.
Seeing Lord Raiden willingly lose his Godhood and not do too much in the tournament made me go ‘Meh!’. I’m still not sure why he acted in such a manner. I guess the writers wanted Lord Raiden’s fate to cause more manpain for Liu Kang and help him feel more motivated to defeat Shao Khan? Whatever the reason, such a story choice felt unnecessary, especially with the possible hint (near the end) about Lord Raiden still being alive.
While Lord Raiden’s chosen fighters are busy with the tournament, the other plot involves Scorpion being on the run from Shinnok’s forces. Apparently, after what transpired in MKL: Scorpion’s Revenge, Scorpion’s soul houses the key to an ancient Kamidogu. Shinnok wants the last Kamidogu to summon a mad God that will merge all of the realms and wipe everything from existence.
With Scorpion trying to figure out how to stay away from Shinnok, we also have a new Sub-Zero, Kuai Liang, begin his journey to kill Scorpion and avenge his brother’s death. Not only that, Kuai Liang’s got his own troubles with the Lin Kuei clan. Cyrax and Sektor have been given cybernetic enhancements and the clan wants Kuai Liang and Smoke to undergo the same procedure. The cybernetically enhanced assassins have also been tasked with capturing Scorpion.
As I have already mentioned, there’s a whole lot going on in MKL: Battle of the Realms and I just wish the writers had decided to make this film into a two-parter to explore not only Shinnok and the Lin Kuei, but also flesh out other characters, especially Kitana. I would have loved to see her toxic father-daughter dynamic with Shao Khan receive some focus and why she’s so conflicted about siding with Liu Kang.
I would have also liked to see more of Stryker’s thoughts as a human getting to face beings from other realms. Give me a flashback of Jax trying to convince Stryker to join the cause to save Earthrealm. Also, Liu Kang’s supposed to think of Kung Lao as his brother and yet they don’t even interact once or have a heart-to-heart. And again, the finale about stopping the mad God could have been its own epic movie.
I did like the interactions between Scorpion and Kuai Liang, though. Scorpion’s been through his revenge phase. He helped Kuai Liang see sense in the fact that Kuai Liang’s thirst for revenge won’t get him the satisfaction he was looking for.
Having said all of that, the movie’s lack of a proper well-written narrative is more than made up for with stellar action sequences and an engaging pace. The good guys lose fighters and those particular deaths are quite emotional. Liu Kang vs Shang Tsung is fun to watch. And, of course, I loved all of Sonya’s battle sequences. Even though it was obvious she couldn’t defeat Shao Khan, it was still fun to see her put up a fight. The X-ray vision is back to properly show broken bones and internal damage. I loved it!
Coming to the Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms 4K UHD Blu-ray Combo Pack, if you have the recommended setup, you should consider watching this movie in 4K. The 2160p transfer is everything, especially during the gore-filled scenes. Lord Raiden’s lighting looks impressive. And with the finale featuring a shiny opponent, the visuals on the 4K disc does it justice. Some of the CG could appear wonky, but not to the level that it will distract you from an enjoyable viewing experience.
The Blu-ray features a 1080p transfer, which of course can’t match the 4K version and has color bleeding. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. You will still be able to enjoy the X-ray vision, Lord Raiden’s lightning, and other effects. And while I’m being frank, a number of people have no problem with watching and enjoying media on 1080p. So, it’s all good.
I found no issues with the audio in the 4K and Blu-ray versions. You can clearly hear the dialog as well as the punches, bones being broken, gadgets being used, and so much more via the .
The extra content included in the Blu-ray includes:
- The God and the Dragon: Battling for Earthrealm (Featurette) – Approximately 7 minutes long, you get some behind-the-scenes tidbits about this film’s creative process.
- Voices of Kombat (Featurette) – Approximately 9 minutes, we have some of the voice actors talk about the movie and what went into voicing such a huge cast of characters.
- Kombat Gags: Gag Reel (Featurette) – Around 4 minutes long, this was a fun little piece showing the voice cast having fun.
- Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms Audio Commentary (Audio Only) – I love it when home releases come with commentary tracks. This one has producer Rick Morales and screenwriter Jeremy Adams talk about the process of making this particular sequel. You can tell that the creative team loves working on MK animated projects. And I hope that this animated franchise continues. In my opinion, having a feature-length audio commentary track is one of the biggest reasons you should consider purchasing the Blu-ray.
All in all, while the storytelling in Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms will likely leave you a bit unsatisfied, you can’t help but smile and be hyped up during the numerous action sequences.
The R-rated Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms was released on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and Digital on August 31, 2021. If you want to win a Digital Code, make sure to enter the giveaway we’re running over at The Geekiary’s YouTube channel.
You can also learn about the giveaway details by watching the video shared above. The giveaway will end on September 7, 2021.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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