MORTAL KOMBAT LEGENDS: SCORPION’S REVENGE / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: ETHAN SPAULDING / SCREENPLAY: JEREMY ADAMS / STARRING: PATRICK SEITZ, STEVE BLUM, JENNIFER CARPENTER, DARIN DE PAUL, JOEL MCHALE / RELEASE DATE: APRIL 27TH
While movies, webseries, comics, and a whole host of video games have been present and accounted for in the subsequent years, it’s a little crazy to think that we’ve not had any form of animated Mortal Kombat offering since 1996. Now though, Warner Bros. has moved to rectify that with the hotly anticipated Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge. Is this animated return for the franchise a welcome one, or is this picture as welcoming as a hug from the multi-armed mega-bastard Goro? Let’s find out.
Starting things off with a bang, Scorpion’s Revenge opens with personal tragedy hitting Hanzo Hasashi (Seitz). Having been ambushed in gloriously clinical fashion by the Lin Kuei clan, Hasashi is chillingly killed at the hands of Sub-Zero (Blum). Fear not, though, for death isn’t exactly a permanent arrangement here, and instead Hasashi finds himself resurrected in the murky depths of the Netherrealm. After that, revenge is on his mind – which means entering a big ol’ fighting tournament and taking on the moniker of Scorpion, with Sub-Zero in his crosshairs.
From the moment Daffy Duck is brutalised during the usual Warner Bros. Animation logo, you know you’re in for something a little different here. And different, Scorpion’s Revenge most certainly is. This is a movie that is as intense and inventive with its violence and bloodshed as anything we’ve seen in recent memory. As in, so much of what we see in this film just would not be possible to achieve in a live-action setting. But then that’s kind of always been Mortal Kombat’s M.O. going back to the early days of that first 1992 video game – that this was a franchise that looked to set itself apart from its rivals by its sheer gore and extremism. While Street Fighter II was busy serving up Hadoukens, Mortal Kombat was about pulling an opponent’s spinal column out of their body. And that spirit and the fantasy landscape of this long-established series is fully championed in Scorpion’s Revenge.
For those long-time Mortal Kombat fans who were fearing that this tale may merely be all about Scorpion and, to a lesser extent, Sub-Zero, there’s nothing to worry about here. While Hanzo Hasashi is the anchor of the film, so many other franchise favourites – such as Jennifer Carpenter’s Sonya Blade, Jordan Rodrigues’ Liu Kang, Joel McHale’s Johnny Cage, and Dave B. Mitchell’s Raiden - are included and utilised brilliantly in a way that feels oddly natural for the property. After all, the more recent Mortal Kombat games have long since left behind any real tether to realism and logic, with the series instead one of fantasy, magic, and otherworldly shenanigans.
Scorpion’s Revenge is everything that a Mortal Kombat fan would want from an animated feature. Brimming with jaw-dropping brutality, the slickest of slick stunning animation, a solid and engaging driving narrative, a brisk 80-minute runtime, and a smidge of knowing cheese and camp, this truly feels like the Mortal Kombat movie that people have for so long been clamouring for.