The Mortal Kombat franchise has been running strong for decades and shows no signs of slowing down. This new animated movie release Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge brings together some of the best elements of the game and the lore to create a wonderfully entertaining watch that will appeal to fans new and old.
Essentially, this is the story of the first game and movie (which many will be familiar with), but with an added emphasis on the origin of arguably the most popular character in the saga, Scorpion. The film starts off with a look at the life of Hanzo Hasashi (Patrick Seitz), a warrior and family man who returns home with his son one day to find his village slain and the executioners still on-site.
At this point I’ll say that Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is a justified 18 certificate, and it’s a welcome one. Mortal Kombat has always worked best when it plays up to its brutality. This isn’t your average cartoon and to be done right, the story needed to go down some darker paths that a general animation can’t. The anime style and the incredible set-pieces are perfectly balanced in Scorpion’s Revenge and deliver some amazing fight scenes – especially the opening one featuring Hanzo.
Famed vocal artist Patrick Seitz is no stranger to playing Scorpion having voiced him for many projects over the years. This gives the character a nice sense of familiarity straight from the start (like hearing Kevin Conroy voice Batman). Seitz does exceptionally well here, giving Scorpion the gravitas needed to be the film’s central figure and you stay with him through his entire journey. Scorpion is an easy warrior to champion here thanks to Seitz’s work.
We all know the main story, which involves a chosen set of fighters who are being brought together to take part in a once-in-a-generation tournament to determine the fate of Earthrealm against its rivals in Outworld. Sonya Blade (Jennifer Carpenter), a headstrong young soldier and famed Hollywood superstar Johnny Cage (Joel McHale) join up with Liu Kang (Jordan Rodrigues) and the warrior-God Raiden (Dave B. Mitchell) to take on the evil Shang Tsung (Artt Butler). Hanzo/Scorpion is also on course for Mortal Kombat having made an uneasy pact with Quan Chi (Darin De Paul) in order to exact revenge.
The movie has a lot of bone-crunching, blood-soaked fights and they are a joy to watch. There are a lot of famous Mortal Kombat faces to pick out including Kano, Baraka and Kitana. The fight between Goro (who still gives me chills years on from first seeing him in the game) and Jax (Ike Amadi) is fantastic. Kevin Michael Richardson voices Goro and gives him just the right level of menace befitting such a great end-of-game boss.
As violent as the animation is, there’s a nice off-tone of comedy running throughout, that mainly plays through the relationship between Sonya and Johnny. Having Joel McHale and Jennifer Carpenter onboard undoubtedly helps with this and the two gives the film a nice balance between the carnage. McHale, in particular, as Johnny Cage spends most of the film thinking that his agent has booked him onto a straight-to-video martial arts movie that he isn’t happy with.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is a great piece of escapist fun that works for newcomers and seasoned MK fans alike. The violence and animation style is superb, the characterisation is spot-on and the film flows well narratively. I do hope we get more sequels from this as I’d love to see a story centred on Sub-Zero (Steve Blum) and the choices he makes that leads him to Mortal Kombat. If you are looking for a nice distraction from the lockdown, then this does the trick.
Cast: Patrick Seitz, Joel McHale, Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Blum, Kevin Michael Richardson, Ike Amadi, Artt Butler, Dave B. Mitchell, Darin De Paul, Jordan Rodrigues, Grey Griffin Director: Ethan Spaulding Writer: Jeremy Adams, Ed Boon Released By: Warner Bros Certificate: 18 Duration: 85 mins Release Date: 14th April 2020 (VOD), 27th April 2020 (DVD & Blu-ray) Buy Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge