From Warner Bros. Animation and NetherRealm Studios, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge served as a very enjoyable introduction to the gore-heavy fighting game franchise. Fingers crossed we get a sequel.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free Digital copy of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.
I’m not sure if all hardcore Mortal Kombat fans will like this animated offering. But, as someone who is quite familiar with this franchise and respects what it stands for, I can say that I enjoyed watching Scorpion’s Revenge very much – even though there were a few narrative issues.
The story opened with Hanzo Hasashi (Patrick Seitz) being ambushed by the Lin Kuei clan and losing his family and his own life in the attack. Am I a huge fan of Scorpion? No, I’m not. And I don’t know if others will agree with me, but over the years, Scorpion seems to have become the Batman of the Mortal Kombat franchise.
The film’s narrative used his tragic backstory as Plot A while trying to flesh out the rest of the main characters and the overall lore in the limited 80-minute running time. Certain iconic characters, such as Kitana, only got to make cameos while others like Kano acted in a manner that might not satisfy some fans.
With Scorpion’s story done (for now), maybe the sequel will focus more on other characters? One can only hope.
You should look at Scorpion’s Revenge as an introduction to the Mortal Kombat franchise for new viewers. The narrative did try to cover the basics of the lore as much as possible. We saw Lord Raiden (Dave B. Mitchell) gathering his three-person team to save Earth.
While we didn’t get to learn a lot about Liu Kang (Jordan Rodrigues), the film provided some backstory for Johnny Cage (Joel McHale) and Sonya Blade (Jennifer Carpenter). With how this movie ended, I wouldn’t be surprised if the sequel is where Kang’s backstory is explored because he is the franchise’s Chosen One.
Being based on a fighting game, there really wasn’t much depth offered by this animated film. The narrative did have some emotional moments, but it also seemed to be in a race to get to the next big fight. In my opinion, that’s where Scorpion’s Revenge shone the brightest. It made excellent use of its R-rating. You will get to see a lot of limbs flying around and numerous fatalities. When it comes down to it, isn’t that what the fandom really wanted from an animated adaptation?
Every main character was allowed to participate. Johnny’s fight scenes featured his sense of humor. There’s this funny gag involving him thinking he’s shooting stuff for a movie and how the Mortal Kombat Tournament isn’t real.
A particular moment in Sonya’s one-on-one tournament battle was definitely my favorite. I liked her fighting style. It involved choosing to look weak to make her opponent drop their guard.
Kang’s fight with Goro was intense. And of course, Scorpion loved ripping people’s spines out and looked stylish while doing it.
The animation’s fluid and everything moved quite quickly. The battle sequences were choreographed while keeping in mind every character’s individual fighting style. Now, I will say that the character design might not be for everyone. I wasn’t a fan of the dark shading appearing on the cheekbones and the knuckles. Such an artistic choice just looked weird. It was as if the characters had black paint on certain parts of their body.
You should look at my review video (where I cover some of the highlights) to see what I’m talking about.
As for Sonya looking masculine (which caused a bit of controversy in the fandom), I was okay with how she looked. Sonya Blade’s an elite military professional who has to go up against supernatural creatures. She doesn’t need to look petite and cute. Sonya’s design made her come across as someone who can not only take a beating but also give it back tenfold.
Coming to the Special Features I was provided access to:
- From Epic Game to Extreme Animation (4:53 min) – Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon and the filmmakers revealed the creative process behind adapting the best-selling game to an all-new animated film.
- The Weapons, Wardrobe and World of Mortal Kombat Legends (7:04 min)– The artists revealed the design challenges of animating the world of Mortal Kombat, from authentic armor to wildly imaginative weapons and fantasy settings.
- The Savage Sound Design of Mortal Kombat Legends (3:41 min)– It revealed the art of designing the sonic language of the fight scenes.
- Mortal Kombatants (4:33 min) – A look at the cast of characters to reveal their unique abilities, signature moves and backstories. This is also the featurette with the team talked about striking a feminine and masculine balance when it came to designing Sonya Blade.
According to this movie’s home release information I got, a ‘Filmmaker Commentary’ will be featured as extra content for fans to enjoy. It includes producer Rick Morales and screenwriter Jeremy Adams offering an insightful audio commentary “that reveals the process of creating a compelling animated film based on one of today’s most popular fighting games.”
All in all, I think Scorpion’s Revenge served as a good beginning to an animated franchise. It was created to not only satisfy the current fanbase but to also appeal to new people. With a live-action movie coming out in 2021, here’s hoping this animated fare creates new fans who will be interested in more Mortal Kombat content.
You can go ahead and purchase Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge right now on Digital. It is scheduled to be released on 4K UHD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD come April 28, 2020.
This animated movie is not meant for children. It doesn’t shy away from showing little kids dying. There’s also some harsh language in there. So, keep that in mind if you want to play it for some of the younglings in your family.
Have you watched Scorpion’s Revenge yet? What did you think of it?
Let us know.
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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