This movie is like getting a flu shot at the doctor’s office. Quick, painless, and you get to go to McDonald’s after finishing it.
I’ve made no secret on this website that I am a massive fan of Mortal Kombat. It’s a franchise that is near and dear to my heart and I still interact with it to this very day. Now what is NOT engraved into the very fiber of my being are Warner Bros. direct to video animated movies, at least the most recent ones. I used to be an avid watcher of their DC animated films but over the years my interest began to win. Call it fatigue or what have you, the point is, I lost interest. That being said they’ve started to slowly reel me back in with their more “out-there” endeavors with things like Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which I own but have not seen) and today’s movie, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpions Revenge. Why it wasn’t just called “Scorpions Revenge” I will never know.
The concept of an animated Mortal Kombat film has always more appealing than the prospect of another live-action one. While I get it could leave more of an impact with its violence in live-action, I feel like it would lose a lot of the charm. The world of Mortal Kombat lends itself far more to be animated than to be acted out in my opinion and for the most part, Scorpion’s Revenge delivers on that hope. Outside of a few odd design character design choices and moments of limited animation I thought Scorpion’s Revenge looked great. The environments and characters are well-drawn and vibrant, characters have this cool shading style to them making them pop out more, backgrounds look vast and fairly faithful to the source material, it’s great stuff..but there are some flaws. Like I said above certain characters look a bit off and the animation, while extremely dynamic and fluid when it wants to be, suffers from some awkward movement and general stillness. Background characters will barely move and there are several walk cycles in the movie that just looks BAD, Johnny Cage especially suffers from this during his fight with Baraka. In the grand scheme of things, I guess these are just minor issues because Scorpion’s Revenge makes great use of its limited animation during its fight scenes. Every hit carries a lot of impact and the scenes of brutality that happen in the movie hit hard because of the amount of detail the animators put into Gross Shit that’s inside the human body. Overall I thought the movie looked great for a straight to DVD movie.
The story on the other hand………
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is SUPPOSED to be about Hanzo Hasashi’s quest for vengeance against the Lin Kuei for the murder of his family and clan. I say “supposed” because outside of the first 20 minutes the movie practically forgets about him and focuses primarily on Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage and their quest to defend Earthrealm, which would be fine…if they used that focus to actually flesh out these characters and their world. Scorpion’s Revenge is one of the most tragically unfocused things I have watched in a WHILE. The film can’t decide if it wants to be a Scorpion focused story or a retelling of the first Mortal Kombat and when your movie is under 72 minutes, that’s really a problem. If you aren’t already a fan of this franchise you are going to have NO EARTHLY IDEA what is going on because the film bare explains its own mythology outside of the purpose of the tournament. Liu Kang is never formally introduced outside of being a “chosen one”, Sonya gets a single flashback to her army training days, Kitana isn’t even mentioned by NAME and has zero explanation as to why her fight with Liu Kang was important, and Sub-Zero..good god.
Sub-Zero. The main reason why Scorpion is the way he is. The object of his hatred. THE REASON WHY THE MOVIE IS CALLED “SCORPION’S REVENGE” is in the movie for less than 6 minutes. Six. Minutes. He has like 4 lines of dialogue and only shows up during the first and final act of the damn movie. That’s. Pathetic. It’s a shame too because Scorpion’s Revenge is filled to the brim with references and easter eggs for hardcore fans to find and those first 20 minutes are literal, genuine gold. I think the movie would have been much better off if it was a film about Scorpion and Sub-Zero’s time in the first Mortal Kombat tournament with small glimpses of Liu, Sonya, and Johnny throughout the film, or maybe even do the opposite and have the film focus on those three. It also wouldn’t have hurt the movie to have MAYBE 10 extra minutes to help flesh some stuff out. I dunno man, this shit is frustrating.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is not a bad movie. It’s not a GREAT movie, but it’s not bad. In all honesty, this movie was made for the die-hard Mortal Kombat fan, and in that regard, I guess it succeeded. There are some fun action scenes and references littered throughout the film that will keep longtime fans happy, but good GOD is it not good for newcomers. It’s too short and scatterbrained to tell an engaging story and I don’t see it converting watchers into fans of the series. Is it worth a buy? Eh? If it interests you and you’re a fan I guess, sure, just don’t be expecting anything great.