Blu-ray: 'Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge' (2020) Dir. Ethan Spaulding
One of the original 'Mortal Kombat' characters is brought to life once more in this vivid, violent 2020 origin story...
Following on in the guise of such Warner Brothers animation such as Batman: Hush, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines and Superman: Red Son, now comes the turn of legendary video game series Mortal Kombat.
Based on the source material by Ed Boon and John Tobias, this adult adaptation acts a new origin to the video game series, introducing well-known characters in a new version of a story seen in various films and animations. A group of fighters are brought together in a martial arts contest where various realms across the universe are pitted against each other in a battle for supremacy and survival.
With Earth-realm represented by a host of well known franchise characters such as Lui Kang, Sonya Blade, Jax and Johnny Cage, we also have our villains like Reptile, Kano, Shang Tsung and Goro.
In terms of content, there is nothing overly new for fans of the franchise to take away, but this re-invents the franchise and a popular character for new audiences.
The instantly recognisable yellow-clad ninja Scorpion is the focus of this new origin story, charting his painful transition into merciless warrior from what once a proud family man. Here, he is placed in the middle of warring realms as he seeks revenge on those who took away everything he once lived for, and in the process will come across new and old faces that will shape his violent future.
From the start, this is clearly a Mortal Kombat product and ever faithful to the source material. Inspired by the video game Mortal Kombat X, the blood, gore and violence is right up there with your expectations. Bone crunching, organ splattering, blood drenched, knife gouging violence that has become a staple of the games is animated beautifully here, featuring many slow-motion special moves that take influence from the game where you see the internal damage caused on the victims. It does nothing but satisfy those who come looking for adult violence and attitude in familiar surroundings.
The main arc of this animated feature is split into various battles and set pieces across a number of locations. Each mini fight, part of the overall Kombat itself, is a flashy showcase of animation, violence and language between popular fighters, each having the identifiable traits and special moves from the game. It’s this attention to detail and fan-service that makes this such an enjoyable watch, with no limits or pandering to audiences even if this comes from Warner Bros. Animation – even Daffy Duck succumbs to Scorpion’s wrath in the opening logo!
Voiced by a strong talent who bring the characters to life with deep growls, silky tones and fast-talking attitude, the fighters really come to life when mixed with quality animation and detail of locations and violence. Each character is just as you’d expect, and don’t fail to do justice to the heroes and villains on show. Joel McHale as Johnny Cage in particular is wonderfully inept and ego driven in his own charming way.
F-bombs a plenty and numerous hints at popular culture bring the 90s source material right up to date. The potential for more blood-soaked, bone-splitting origin stories, or even a series, in this new timeline of Mortal Kombat animation is wonderfully teased here. And all this is supported by a great cast, solid production and authentic music by John Jennings Boyd and snappy writing by Jeremy Adams.
The possibilities for more 'Mortal Kombat' animated origin sorties are endless if done with the same high quality and passion shown here.
'Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge' is a Warner Bros. Animation production