Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge (Spaulding, 2020) – Movie Review

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge Details

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Production Companies: Warner Bros. Animation & Studio Mir (Animation Services)
Director: Ethan Spaulding
Producers: Jim Krieg & Rick Morales
Scriptwriters: Jeremy Adams (Based on characters created by Ed Boon & John Tobias
Main Cast: Patrick Seitz, Steve Blum, Jordan Rodrigues, Joel Mchale, Jennifer Carpenter, Darin De Paul, Artt Butler, & Dave B. Mitchell
Released: 14th April 2020
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Certificate: 18

Image Source: Daily Star

Story of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge

The story of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge follows a new retelling of both Mortal Kombat 1 as well as Scorpions back story. It starts with Hanzo being killed and getting turned into the specter Scorpion. Fighters from Earthrealm and Outworld face off under the leaderships of Raiden (Earthrealm) and Shang Tsung (Outworld). With the film having some differences from both the original, NeverRealm, and live action movie timelines, with a heavier focus on Scorpion with him being the saving Liu Kang from Goro. Before the Specter chases off Shang Tsung forcing the sorcerer to retreat his island.

Analysis of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge

The animation is superbly done. With Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge containing more than a handful of entertaining as well as creative fight scenes. The radian and Liu Kang fighting scene particularly stood out to me. As well as creatively designing the fights and the gorgeous backdrops, the boat they travel to Shang’s island really stood out for me. The Asian inspired aesthetic of the boat and the buildings of the island really stood out as an iconic location in the movie. The vast fog that surrounds or heroes as they head to the island sets the mood of mystery and dread perfectly.

Image Source: Prime Video

For character design the films animators choose to stay close to the more simplistic, yet iconic original trilogy looks for most characters. Characters that’s designs stood out to me were Scorpion, Reptile, Raiden, Sonya Blade, the Lin Kuai, and Lui  Kang. I did find preferring the Shang Tsung that appears in Snow Blind rather than the one shown in this film. Both the character design and voice acting in Snow Blind is miles better and you really notice the difference if you decide to rewatch the trilogy after Snow Blind like I did.

On the other hand, Joe McHale as Johnny Cage is perfect casting. The actor brings the self-obnoxious ego from Jeff (community) and brings in more heart to really bring Johnny alive. I really liked this depiction of the character yet couldn’t help but feel he got an abused a bit too much by Sonya just to be an easy crotch-punch joke that often fell flat.

Image Source: Geekfeed

Analysis of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge – 2

Quan Chi’s character design was nice, but his voice felt a bit off. Yet the writing for his dialogue was iconic, his deadpan humor really set up his character well for people not already familiar with the sorcerer. His mischievous plans do make an interesting movie and its good to finally see Quan Chi be somewhat the focus of an MK film, even if it’s an animated one.

Image Source: IMDB

Goro is menacing as ever. With his full body reveal, when he unveils his cloak, being one of the more shocking moments of the movie. His overwhelming physical appearance is enough to make seasoned fighters tremble and gasp at the mere sight of him. The scene where he rips Jak’s arms off is a brutal new take on the characters origin for his iconic metal arms. I preferred this over to Ermac taking Jak’s arms, as it gave the new Earthrealm warriors, particularly the special forces, a much-needed reality check that these opponents are like none they have ever faced before.

There was many scenes that stood out. One was the scorpion vs ants scene where Hanzo uses the opportunity to teach his child a lesson about the animal. Which has bigger meaning later when he chooses the name Scorpion when he becomes a Specter. Another is the scene in which Scorpion is getting tortured. The Demon Torturer is amusing and breathes a bit of fresh air into the fast-paced flow of the movie allowing the audience to catch their breath. Allowing a bit of a comedic break before eventually getting brutally killed by Scorpion. The X-Ray/red background/slow motion is really well used and emulates the games special moves well.

Image Source: Animation Magazine

Summary of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge

To summarize Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge was a great start to the Mortal Kombat animated universe. The potential to allow writers explore different aspects of the Mortal Kombat lore without having to tie into the ever-complicated canon of the games. Banking hard on the franchises mascot (Scorpion) the film brings us another depiction of his origin story. Something we would see yet again the following year in Mortal Kombat (2021). Which is an entertaining story but was one already told and retold, yet the writers managed to weave in enough new details and side stories to make it worth watching. Even if you already have a good idea of how it will all play out. Yet the animation style and well animated fighting scenes, paired with outstanding sound effects makes this film a must watch!

Overall Rating: 8 – Very Good!

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