Directed by Ethan Spaulding
April 14, 2020
- Sonya Blade-Jennifer Carpenter
- Johnny Cage-Joel McHale
- Jax Briggs-Ike Amadi
- Sub-Zero-Steve Blum
- Shang Tsung-Artt Butler
- Quan Chi-Darin De Paul
- Kano / Shinnok-Robin Atkin Downes
- Satoshi Hasashi / Kitana-Grey Griffin
- Raiden-Dave B. Mitchell
- Goro-Kevin Michael Richardson
- Liu Kang-Jordan Rodrigues
- Hanzo Hasashi / Scorpion-Patrick Seitz
- Shao Kahn-Fred Tatasciore
It’s time for Mortal Kombat! Scorpion seeks revenge for the murder of his family.
I am not intimately or even casually acquainted with the mythology of the Mortal Kombat games. I have played the original games (poorly) a few times and enjoyed them. But they were nothing that made me a serious fan though I can easily see the appeal of making them into a film.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is perhaps one of the more violent and gore-soaked animated features you will come across. And that is just fine because this is based on the Mortal Kombat video game series and those were not family friendly games. They were gorefests that had people getting their spines ripped out!
One issue I draw with Scorpion’s Revenge is that the character of Scorpion is in the title but his story just does not feel to me like it is the focus of this direct to video animated film. There is plenty about the other characters of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade and Liu Kang to the point it feels like Scorpion’s revenge story gets a little crowded out. Not a lot but more than one would expect with a movie whose title contains the name of a character.
In Scorpion’s Revenge the character of Scorpion is seeking vengeance for the death of his son who appears to have met his death at the hands of Sub-Zero. Scorpion shows up at a few random points, but the character does not get too much of an arc. The narrative is not central and feels like it is either in addition to the narrative involving Blade, Cage, and Kang or that their particular story was beefed up when those making this felt they needed more story.
Speaking of the trio…
The character of Johnny Cage exists mostly to get his nuts kicked by Sonya Blade. I do not mind him being an entitled jerk, but the nut checks were just bad comedy. Were they aiming for a message of female empowerment by Sonya seriously escalating the situation? And why would any male put themselves in a position to get hit there more than once? And what dude becomes attracted to a person that crushes their genitalia? Raiden said he would fight to survive until he found something greater to fight for. A ball destroying woman was what made his heart flutter? Really?
Sonya Blade has had to confront men who doubted her apparently just because she was a woman. That apparently leads her to crushing Johnny Cage in the nuts a few times. I do not know but that seems like a real leap. Her times without Johnny were better though and she came off as a more interesting character.
All things considered I think Liu Kang probably should have been the main character. He was the one that took the tournament seriously and he just appeared more interesting. He was more filled out in general. He was constructed like you would construct the main character, but he was a sort of side character in favor of Scorpion.
I am not too keen on the animation style used here that uses the thick lines. I have not liked it since I was a little kid when I started noticing it. I am more of a thin line guy with the use of other techniques for shadow and depth. It leads to characters with odd proportions and weird faces. Having said that they did not go cheap. The style is polished even if I am not happy with it. It is smooth and is not choppy.
The script is okay, but it never quite comes into focus. It never finds its voice. They do not manage to make either an ensemble film or a film focusing on a single character with a supporting cast. They get the gore right but the rest wrong.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is an okay film. There are issues plenty of issues with it. I give this an if you want.