10th Apr2020

‘Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Features the voices of: Joel McHale, Jennifer Carpenter, Jordan Rodrigues, Patrick Seitz, Steve Blum, Artt Butler, Darin De Paul, Robin Atkin Downes, David B. Mitchell, Ike Amadi, Kevin Michael Richardson, Grey Griffin, Fred Tatasciore | Written by Jeremy Adams | Directed by Ethan Spaulding


Based on the almost 30-year old video game franchise, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge tells the now-familiar tale of the once-in-a-generation tournament between the champions of Outworld and Earthrealm as seen in the 90s live-action movie and pretty much every film or series that has followed since – Lord Raiden, protector of Earthrealm, gathers the greatest fighters of his realm together to defend it from the evil Shang Tsung in the a competition that will ultimately determine the fate of Earth and all its citizens.

Sounds familiar right?

However this time round the all-too-familiar Mortal Kombat tale is inter-twinned with the story of Scorpion – the iconic “get over here” villain from the video game – and gives an insight into the character, giving him a emotional core beyond anything I’ve seen in the video game. The film opens with the genocide of Hanzo Hasashi’s family and clan by Sub-Zero, who also takes his life after killing his son right before his eyes. Awakening in hell, literally, Hanzo is presented an offer by the sorcerer Quan Chi – to return to life as a Scorpion, a vengeful spectre on a mission of revenge, taking part in Shang Tsung’s interdimensional martial arts tournament and stealing the key to release Quan Chi’s master… the elder god Shinnok.

Warner Bros. follow-up their long-running DC animated movie series with the first in an all-new Mortal Kombat series – I say series in hope that we’ll definitely see more of this franchise in this animated style, especially considering the DCAU is ending as a series with the second Justice League Dark movie (though unconnected films will still be released a la Gotham By Gaslight). Why do I want to see more? Well because this film is THE closest any film or series has ever come to the actual video game.

For Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is an 18-rated, bone-crunching, blood-spurting, gore-filled slice of action that feels as boundary-pushing (for a US-made production) as the original game was. 1992’s Mortal Kombat saw the introduction of the now-standard video game rating system, thanks to the blood-filled deaths of the combatants. And that tradition continues here… With some of the most vicious and violent deaths outside a horror film. The film even includes the gruesome x-ray vision kill cam for that extra bone-crunching hyper-violence!

In terms of animation, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge looks like a lot of the latter-day DC movies, in particular sharing a lot in common with the recent Batman Ninja film – in terms of both the design style and the non-stop action. The narrative makes a refreshing change from the usual Mortal Kombat stories too – there’s more emotion for starters, especially in the relationships between combatants; and in the tragic tale of Scorpion/Hanzo Hasashi. The latter of which rises this above a myriad of other entries in the franchise – both game, film, animation and series.

In fact the sheer excellence shown in all aspects of this particular tale gives me high hopes for the upcoming live action movie… and hopefully an animated sequel!

**** 4/5

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is available on Digital Download on April 14th and arrives onto 4K UHD, Blu-Ray and DVD on April 27th.


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