The #quarantime has led to an assortment of geeky goods to stream and download at the leisure of your living room (Bloodshot and Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe both come to mind), and Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is no exception. Despite some low kicks to the kneecap, the animated “movie” — which feels more like an extended pilot of a new animated series (don’t we wish) — is easy on the gore-adoring eyes and packs enough laughs and enough riveting battles to satisfy longtime fans. Fight gamers will no doubt enjoy the “Pegi 18” film’s colorful aesthetics, the majority of the banter offered, and the voice choices that absolutely knock the brain out of the skull…
Whenever I peep a video game or comic book adaptation in cartoon form, especially in English (as a far bigger fan of Japanese “subs”), the first thing I typically bitch about is the voice cast. Not so here. Joel McHale (Community) and Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) are awesome and their normal voices are nearly unrecognizable as Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, respectively, and the tandem only disappoints within the script’s predictability. We know he’s going to try, and he’s going to get shut down.
Blade tends to push the agenda a bit, and I get it; but something shouted a little more creative than “fight like a man!” a few times would’ve been nice. Still, this voice pairing rocks it as does Patrick Seitz as the maleficent Hanzo Hasashi– better known as Scorpion.
Scorpion’s Revenge does its duty job getting enough of our favorite yellow-and-black ninja on-screen as much as possible, telling his original all the way to a few deus ex machina moments during The Tournament that clearly belong to him. Director Ethan Spaulding paces the film at a, ahem, breakneck pace, and allows for lighter moments between Cage, Blade and Liu Kang (Jordan Rodrigues) to dance around all of the apparent blood and guts. Voice acting favorites Steve Blum (Star Wars Rebels) and Kevin Michael Richardson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) do the damn thing as Sub-Zero and Goro in their scraps with Scorpion, too.
While this feels more MKX than MK11 — X-Ray Mode, no appearance by Spawn (heh) — the slicing animation, impressive hell, island and temple settings, and ramped up tension pay rightful homage to the games and I’m excited as heck that we’re getting more. Scorpion’s Revenge looks gorgeous and certainly services every need us MK diehards have as gamers…
But, despite a co-write from Ed Boon (or was that more of a go-ahead thumbs up to scripter Jeremy Adams), the dialogue was much more of a bone-cruncher in Mortal Kombat 11‘s story mode. Hasashi announcing his new alias couldn’t have been more cheap. There wasn’t even a rhyme or reason why he would name himself “Scorpion” in the scene other than it sounding cool. At least have WCW’s Sting hit him with his finisher or something.
As for Shang Tsung’s (Artt Butler) famed Mortal Kombat tournament, I’m not mad at that portion getting much less of the limelight. We’ve seen that already in the 1995 movie and 2011 web series, Legacy. With that, the film’s pacing benefits from the tourney not going beyond a few fights within the core Kombat roster (Grey Griffin is Katana, but blink and you might just miss Ike Adami as Jax Briggs).
Since it’s obvious we’re getting a sequel to this MK Legends Blu Ray, you can count your bets on more Kombatant appearances and tournament-centered action. While not entirely a Flawless Victory, Scorpion’s Revenge is a fun time on the couch, watching your favorite global fighters not named Ryu and Chun-Li say lots of deadly serious (or dumb fun things) and have all the broken bones and brain-pouring evidence to show for it. 3.5/5 Bibles.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge arrives on Digital tomorrow and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on April 28.