Mortal Kombat: Legacy
Mortal Kombat Theme Song
Mortal Kombat Returns with a Vengeance
To sum up my entire thoughts on this online web series, I only have two words to say, "Flawless victory!" For those that don't know, last year an online short movie was released titled, "Mortal Kombat Rebirth." Needless to say, the video became so immensely popular that it generated over a million hits on youtube. Of course, many fans wondered if the online movie was real, or if it was fan made. Then again, the movie did feature such big name actors such as Jeri Ryan (Star Trek Voyager) and Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight). However, it was later revealed that the online video was actually a leaked short film that was pitched to Warner Bros. by Kevin Tancharoen, who also directed "Fame."
In Kevin's "Mortal Kombat: Rebirth", he conjured up a more grittier and realistic version of Mortal Kombat. Unlike the previous film adaptations, the short movie took sort of a more realistic approach to the franchise. Where characters like Reptile were portrayed as being a homicidal cannibal with a rare skin disorder, rather than a mutant from another dimension like in the games. As for Baraka (one of the more popular characters of the series), he was changed from being a demon from another world to being turned into another homicidal maniac that surgically implanted blades into his skin to murder people. And, as I mentioned earlier, the short film was a monumental success.
Unfortunately, since his vision would involve making a "Mortal Kombat" reboot into an "R-rated" movie, and knowing how poorly the other two films did in the box office, this didn't exactly thrill Warner Bros. to green light his idea. However, they certainly weren't oblivious to the amount of hits the leaked movie got on youtube either; hence a compromise was forged. Although Warner Bros. didn't exactly agree to make Kevin Tancharoen's vision into a live action movie, but they did grant him permission to come up with nine online episodes of "Mortal Kombat."
Unlike his pitched short film, "Mortal Kombat: Rebirth", Kevin Tancharoen took more of a faithful approach to the series. Sticking closer to the original story line, while still making it every bit as violent and gory as the original games. How did the series turn out? Rather well actually. Although, I will admit that the online series wasn't as dark or as gritty as the leaked short film, "Mortal Kombat Rebirth", it was still a surprisingly good series that not only did justice to each portrayed character, but it also made each story significantly darker than the live action films ever did a few decades ago. However, that's not to say that this series was entirely perfect, as one can still tell that the production value for each episode wasn't that high. Then again, with the limited budget that Kevin had to work with for each episode, then you'd have to say he did a pretty good job with them.
As luck would have it, the online web series has been such a huge success on the internet that Warner Bros. has officially green lighted Kevin's proposal for his "R-rated" version of a "Mortal Kombat" reboot; along with a possible second season in the works for the online series. There's no official word what the exact plot of the film will be, or which characters will he choose to base the movie around. However, it should be interesting to see how well he'll do with an even larger budget to work with this time around. After all, if he was able to produce quality shorts with the limited budget for the online webisodes, then I shutter to think how well he'll do with an even more money to work with. Only time will tell if the new darker reboot movie will be a success or not. But, if the online short film and mini-series is any indication, then we should be in for one helluva a treat.
During this hub, we'll be looking at each of the online episodes, including the premiere short movie, as we'll be going over my thoughts on each one; while giving a brief plot summary for each episode.
Mortal Kombat Rebirth (Warning: Videos Contain Gore, Adult Language, Violence, and Graphic Images that might be inappropriate for younger viewers. Parental Dis
Mortal Kombat: Rebirth
Here's the short movie that started it all. Originally meant to be only seen by those of Warner Bros. top executive board, but somehow Kevin Tancharoen's short film was leaked online; where it would spawn over a million hits, and force WB's hand into at least considering his proposal with an online mini-series.
The story centers around popular characters such as Scorpion, Reptile, Baraka, Johnny Cage, Sub-Zero, Sonya, and Jax. Unlike the previous adaptations, this short film has a more grittier and darker feel to it, as Kevin tries to add more of a realistic approach to the Mortal Kombat universe. For example, Reptile was changed from a mutant from another dimension to insane cannibal with a rare skin disorder. As for Baraka, he was changed from being demon in the video games to being portrayed as an insane psychotic ex-plastic surgeon, who surgically implants blades into his own forearms to kill people. As the scene plays out, Scorpion is portrayed as an ex-hit man for the mafia, who's been incarcerated of his own free will. From here, we also meet Jax who tries to persuade Scorpion to come out of retirement to work with the police to end this endless onslaught of murders, who they believe Shang Tsung might be behind. Reluctant at first, Scorpion inevitably agrees once he learns of an old enemy has come back from the grave...
Sadly, a lot of purist fans were outright pissed about this new interpretation, but it was rather popular when it spawned online. Generating a series online episodes based around Kevin Tancharoen's vision. Although, the short film is rather graphic in it's obvious depiction of blood, gore and violence. However, it was certainly more entertaining than the last two feature length "Mortal Kombat" movies. Sure, it's story isn't that deep, but it does exactly what it was intended for...which is to make audiences yearn for more...
Episode 1- Sonya, Jax, and Kano part 1
Mortal Kombat: Legacy- Kano, Jax and Sonya part 1
Sonya and Jax get caught up in a ruthless stolen robot parts smuggling ring led by Kano, leader of the infamous Black Dragon crime syndicate. Sonya leads the mission solo, but finds herself in a jam; which forces Jax to come in to try to rescue her. Will he be able to rescue her in time? Or will he be too late? Although, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed that Kevin Tancharoen didn't stick with his gritty realistic approach to "Mortal Kombat" that looked promising in the online short film, "Mortal Kombat Rebirth", I have to say for what he tries to establish in this first episode still isn't half bad. If anything, I thought it was a surprisingly great action packed short episode to give fans a taste of what's to come from this series. Granted, it's nothing more than a tease, at this point, it still provides enough action to satisfy it's fan's cravings.
Episode 2- Sonya, Jax, and Kano part 2
Mortal Kombat: Legacy- Kano, Jax and Sonya part 2
Continuing our adventure from part 1, where Sonya gets captured by Kano, as she tries to foil his underground robot smuggling ring. However, Jax swoops in to try to rescue his partner by any means necessary. Will he save her just in time? Or will he be too late? Only you can find out if you watch the online short. Like the last one, I thought this one served as nothing more than a tease of what Kevin's vision could potentially be in a live action feature film. Granted, the series does seem to go in a bit of an over the top action movie route with the first two episodes, versus it's grittier and realistic approach of it's pilot, but it's really not half bad at all. The story moves at a decent pace for short amount of time span that Kevin Tancharoen has to work with, and it features quite a good lead up into what fans can expect to see in the coming episodes.
Episode 3- Johnny Cage
Mortal Kombat: Legacy- Johnny Cage
Former star of the Power Rangers tv show, Johnny Cage is a struggling actor that's hit on some hard times. Now, pitching a reality tv show to studio execs in hopes of revitalizing his acting career, but he's turned down unfairly by his former colleagues. With nowhere to go, Shang Tsung makes his move to recruit Johnny Cage into the Mortal Kombat tournament.
To be honest, this is probably the weakest episode of the series thus far, but it's still fairly decent for what it is. Although, I will admit it was rather interesting to see how they tied Johnny Cage's acting career into being a former Power Rangers star, but his story still pales in comparison to the rest marked in this series.
Episode 4- Kitana & Mileena part 1
Mortal Kombat: Legacy- Kitana and Mileena part 1
Over the years, Kitana and Mileena have grown up thinking that they are sisters. Shao Kahn, Emperor of the Outworld, has tricked Shang Tsung into becoming his servant for Mortal Kombat by making him clone Mileena as a Tarkatan clone of Kitana. Shao Kahn's fears that Kitana won't love him enough if she ever found out the truth about her Mother and Father, so he prepares a daughter in her likeness that will. Although most of this story is told through animation, I have to say this is arguably the best two part episode of this series. Not only does it give fans insight on how Shao Kahn inevitably took over Outworld, but it shows the dark origins of Kitana and Mileena. Both suffering their own tragic history, as one can't help but wonder the depths of their sibling rivalry.
Episode 5- Kitana & Mileena part 2
Mortal Kombat: Legacy- Kitana and Mileena part 2
Over time, Kitana and Mileena train together vigorously thinking they are sisters, but their sibling rivalry forces them to grow further apart. It's during this episode that Kitana realizes that her entire past could be nothing more than an elaborate lie constructed by her father, Shao Kahn. Confused about her past, as she soon finds out that her entire life isn't all that it seems.
As I stated before, this is definitely the best two part episode of this series, as I have to say it was very interesting to learn the origins of Shao Kahn's reign of Outworld. Plus, the original never bothered to explain Kitana's back story too well that you can really appreciate this two part episode in the series. Although, some people will argue saying it's lame because it's done mostly in animation, I actually thought the animation was both tasteful and colorful; reminiscent of the anime scenes in the "Kill Bill" series.
Episode 6- Raiden
Mortal Kombat: Legacy- Raiden
In this episode, Kevin takes the series back to it's gritty realistic elements of the original "Mortal Kombat Rebirth"; while ingenuously combining elements of mysticism to appease die hard fans of the series. As most fans know, Raiden lands on Earth to compete in the Mortal Kombat tournament to defend our world from Shao Kahn. Unfortunately, Raiden finds himself inside a mental institution when he lands, as he's put under constant sedation. To make matters worse, the psychiatrists believe that Raiden is delusional beyond normal means of therapy, so they resort to more archaic means of therapy such as using an ECT machine and ice picks. Trapped inside this prison, as his only hope lies in a young beautiful girl named Blue, who is also a troubled patient residing in the hospital. Will she be able to save Lord Raiden, so he can compete in the Mortal Kombat tournament? Or will the god of thunder be forced to spend the rest of his life inside a mental correctional facility?
Next to the two part episode involving Kitana and Mileena, this is probably my favorite episode of this series. Not only does it somehow remain faithful to the original Mortal Kombat source, but it manages to combine that gritty realism that I loved in the original "Mortal Kombat Rebirth."
Episode 7- Sub-Zero vs. Scorpion part 1
Mortal Kombat: Legacy- Scorpion and Sub-Zero part 1
Infamous warrior Hanzo Hasashi aka Scorpion is summoned to meet up with the Shogun of Kumamoto Castle. Along the way, he encounters an old nemesis in Sub-Zero that not only has led him into an elaborate trap, but now Scorpion must vanquish his long time enemy before his family is endangered by Sub-Zero's nefarious plans.
Although I still consider the Raiden episode my favorite one thus far in this series, I have to say that this two part series with Sub Zero and Scorpion comes awfully close; as I'd dare even say that it's just as good as the two part series with Mileena and Kitana.
Episode 8- Sub-Zero vs. Scorpion part 2
Mortal Kombat: Legacy- Scorpion and Sub-Zero part 2
With the Shirai Ryu clan murdered by the hands of Sub-Zero and the Lin Kuei, Hanzo Hasashi has failed to protect his village. With his eternal soul destined to rot in the depths of hell, he is visited by a mysterious sorcerer that not only offers him a chance at redemption, but a chance to avenge the death of his family against the infamous Sub-Zero. However, can this sorcerer be trusted? And will vengeance be enough to force Scorpion's hand into the Mortal Kombat tournament? I guess we'll have to wait and see to find out.
As I mentioned earlier, I think this is probably one of the more interesting stories that's told throughout the web series. Not only does it remain surprisingly faithful to the original story, but it does show fans an in depth look into Scorpion's history, as well as arguably the greatest fight scene presented throughout this entire web series.
Episode 9- Cyrax & Sektor
Mortal Kombat: Legacy- Cyrax and Sektor
Cyrax and Sektor are chosen to be the future of the Lin Kuei by the Grand Master, but Cyrax is less than enthusiastic about giving his life over to a cybernetic transformation that will erase his memories and his humanity, to turn him into the ultimate fighting machine. When he discovers that the cyborg he is fighting seems closely familiar, Sektor must keep Cyrax focused on destroying Hydro, and not himself, or their mysterious future...
Unlike the previous episodes, this one combines the element of Mortal Kombat with science fiction. Sure, one can say that the first two episodes had a science fiction vibe to it as well, but it wasn't as deep as this episode was, as it seems Kevin Tanchoreon found a strong balance by this point in the series to appease both fans of the "Mortal Kombat Rebirth" and die hard fanatics alike.
Out of all the episodes this web series has, I have to say the special effects are very impressive. Granted, to the trained eye, one can still tell it's plainly CGI in some of these scenes, but considering the budget that Kevin Tanchoreon was forced to work with in this series, it's really not half bad. If anything, I would have to almost applaud him for making the CGI Sektor and Cyrax as realistic as he did in this episode. Granted, I won't go on a limb to say this is one of my favorite episodes, but it's definitely one of the more interesting ones.