In the spirit of the greatness that is Mortal Kombat X, I’ve decided to do a throwback review of Mortal Kombat Legacy Season 1. I’m not reviewing the movie because I know I would catch some flack for shitting on everyone’s childhood. I just can’t look at that movie the same now that I’m a man. I have a whole bunch of jokes and questions...it would just go badly.
Back in 2010 I was stationed at Langley, and I remember waking up in my dorm room to a text message from my girl at the time. It said: “MORTAL KOMBAT IS COMING BACK. THERE’S A NEW MOVIE TRAILER.” I was skeptical because I remembered the rumors about the Mortal Kombat 3 movie that was still in the works, so in my mind it was going to be some fan-made crap that I wasn’t going to care about.
I was half right. It was fan-made, but it was the kind of fan-made stuff I care about. And it wasn’t a trailer, it was a short movie directed by Kevin Tanchereon called Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, which was a pitch to Warner Bros for a grittier Mortal Kombat movie. Though it didn’t get picked up for a movie, it was picked up for a web series. Thus, Mortal Kombat Legacy was born.
Mortal Kombat Legacy is a 9 episode series, of which a majority of the episodes are 2-parters, focusing on character backstory and events before the first tournament. The first 2 episodes focus on Sonya Blade and Jackson “Jax” Briggs as they work to bring down Kano and the Black Dragon clan, while also trying to figure out the purpose of the enhanced weapons Kano’s helping to transport. Episode 3 tells of the rise and fall of Johnny Cage, a martial arts movie star whose career begins to fall apart. Episodes 4 and 5 are the origin stories of sisters Kitana and Mileena, as well as the rise of Shao Khan and the fall of Kitana’s home world, Edenia. Episode 6 tells Raiden’s story as he tries to break out of an asylum in order to gather highly skilled warriors and prepare them for the tournament. Episode 7 and 8 is the story of Scorpion and Sub Zero. They show the catalyst that leads to Hanzo Hisashi becoming Scorpion and seeking revenge for the death of his family and clan at the hands of Sub Zero and the Lin Kuei. The final episode is the story of Cyrax and Sektor as the first members of the Lin Kuei to be experimented on for the Cyber Initiative, a program to turn every member into a cyborg.
I liked the fighting in this series. Larnell Stovall is an amazing choreographer as he mixes finesse and brutality with some of the characters’ fighting styles. I liked the mocap work done for the Sektor and Cyrax episode (probably my favorite episode out of the series). I think the strongest episodes were Jax, Sonya, and Kano’s; Sub-Zero and Scorpion’s; and Cyrax and Sektor’s. The action was hard-hitting. The stories, even if you knew them, were still interesting. And the actors did a pretty damn good job. I especially liked the late Darren Shahlavi as Kano. I wish he didn’t pass away because he owned that role.
Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. The weak episodes were Johnny Cage’s, Kitana and Mileena’s, and Raiden’s. They were boring to me, especially Raiden’s. Kitana and Mileena’s started off strong but you really ended up not caring about Kitana’s conflict with the truth of her birth and the person she became. Johnny Cage had some funny moments, but Matt Mullins (who is a great martial artist) is a meh actor.
Also, the individual story arcs don’t seem to add up in chronological order in regards to during which tournament these events take place. If you know MK lore you know which characters show up in which tournament. In this series they set up for the first tournament, but it seem like some events are before that tournament while some might be after.
All-in-all, I enjoyed the series and purchased the Blu-Ray. My rating is 3.5 out of 5, so get Mortal Kombat X if you don’t own it already.