Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mortal Kombat: Legacy

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Mortal Kombat:  Legacy - 4 out of 5

I'll never forget when Mortal Kombat first came out on the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis.  I couldn't wait to play the game but this desire had more to do with the fact the uproar the game caused because of its emphasis on violence and blood.  Looking back, I realized the first game wasn't that great and was more of an excuse to have excessive amounts of gore but that's okay, I played the game and I'm not a nutjob like some people will claim violent video games will make you into be.  Mortal Kombat redefined what it meant to be a fighting game through characters, fatalities, Get Over Heres and a pile of pixelated bodies.  The series generated tons of sequels (although, in my personal opinion, they stopped being relevant after the third one--until the latest one came out and before a Fatality on the underwhelming sequels it churned out), some animated specials and two live-action films were also unleashed onto the world.  The first of which was not bad and the second...well, it's best not to speak of it.

This better be Mortal Kombat:  Legacy and not another Terminator film.

Recently, YouTubers were treated with a short film that took the mythology of Mortal Kombat into a different territory, a less fantastic and more gritty one.  Mortal Kombat:  Rebirth was a short film that showed Major Jackson Briggs interrogating a suspect in a police department about an upcoming fighting tournament and a man named Shang Tsung who has some assassins working for him.  It's revealed that this suspect is the famous Scorpion who agrees to work for the officers and enters the tournament, albeit he does it to stop his rival Sub-Zero.

Battlestar Galactica's Tahmoh Penikett stars as Stryker.

Game Series creator Ed Boon makes a cameo in the
The short film was received with confusion from the internet as some belief that is was a marketing ploy to sell a new Mortal Kombat film or perhaps a television series.  Even the creator of the game series had no idea the film was being made but he was quoted to say he thought it was "awesome."  I, myself, was blown away with the short film and thought it was a unique view on the Mortal Kombat universe.  Well, some others thought so too and the short film was commissioned into a webseries called Mortal Kombat:  Legacy.

Black Dynamite himself Michael Jai White returns as Briggs from the short film.

Don't tell Lord Rayden but he accidentally missed the hat
he was reaching for and grabbed a wok.
The webseries focuses on several of the Mortal Kombat characters as it leads into the first fighting tournament.  Each episode surrounds one or two of the main characters and how they end up in Shang Tsung's service or how they enter the tournament against him.  Unlike the gritty realism of the short film, Legacy returns to the roots of the mythology and it incorporates both the mysticism and the edge of the original game.  While the origins may have changed, the fresh take on the universe was surprisingly entertaining with a great cast of actors taking on the roles of the fighters.  Each episode has a unique storytelling perspective as some are dark (like the story of Mileena and Katana), some are humorous and witty (like Johnny Cage's), some are twisted (like Rayden's, my personal favorite), some are action packed (like Briggs', Kano's and Sonya Blade's), and one even have shocking amounts of heart (Sub-Zero's and Scorpion's).  Each episode is crafted with a feel and tone that mirrors the character they are following and the editing and technical aspects involved can rival many major motion pictures.

What?!?  Oh, for a second I though Scorpion said something about killing a shotgun. 
I really need to learn to read.

I used to have a roommate who was a hardcore fan of Mortal Kombat and if you ever said anything disparaging about the game series, he would fly off the handle, scream, call you names and one time even started to cry when I told him that I didn't like when the games went into the 3rd dimension (I'm literally not making that up).  So, if you're a fan like this guy (or even less of a degree than this guy) you may not enjoy this new perspective--and I complete understand why the fans would take arms against this, I know I would raise hell if a remake of Star Wars came out.  However, I've always been a casual fan of the game series and found myself really digging this.  So much in fact, I find myself craving more when the final episode was done--luckily, it's been announced that they are working on Season 2.

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