Scorpion's Revenge is a great entry point for those new to Mortal Kombat
Scorpion's Revenge is a great entry point for those new to Mortal Kombat ⚡⚡⚡ Esports news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!
I have to confess; I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about the animated movie, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge. It was sort of refreshing that it wasn't going to be an anime (I know, sounds like a betrayal), but I still wasn't a fan of the art direction.
Watching the red band trailer did put it on my radar, though, but it just hung somewhere on my periphery. That's why I didn't notice when the movie was released, but my friends did, and they made sure I watched it. Good thing too, because it was better than I expected. Much better.
I've probably said this a couple of times, but I'm not really a Mortal Kombat fan. I've played most of the numbered titles and even some of the spin-offs, but I've never gone out of my way for the series. I did love the first live-action movie (don't judge me), and I consider it one of the better video game movie adaptations made so far. I had fun with the games, but they never became a staple of my fighting game diet. However, I did take a particular looking to the Injustice series of games, which, if we're being honest, feels like a reskinned Mortal Kombat game based on the DC Universe (I can just picture the outrage my friends are feeling right now).
But I digress. I went into Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge expecting a modernized animated version of the 1995 movie with a focus on the Shirai Ryu ninja and was pleasantly surprised. The introduction to how Hanzo Hasashi became Scorpion was a treat and set the tone for the entire movie. I won't go into details, but the film takes cues from 2011's Mortal Kombat game, which was a retelling of the first three titles. However, the movie does things its own way.
Of particular note is the violence featured in the movie, something that's been long absent from Mortal Kombat adaptations, which is funny because that's one of the things the franchise is known for. Scorpion's Revenge stuck to the series' bloody roots, with its characters (especially the titular anti-hero) leaving dismembered bodies and broken bones lying everywhere. The R rating is well deserved and fits into the narrative, with the addition of "X-Ray attacks" (Krushing Blows in Mortal Kombat 11), making fans feel right at home.
The movie's pacing is fast and intense a lot of the time, like an adrenaline rush. Yet, the revenge story also feels a bit rushed and weird at specific points, leaving a couple of plot threads hanging. For example, Kitana was conspicuously absent through most of the movie and could have just been cut entirely from it. There's also the circumstances surrounding a certain medallion, the lack of a proper tournament structure, and the lack of Fatalities. Nevertheless, it's still a fun and entertaining experience that's accentuated by great voice acting.
Speaking of which, most of the cast are no strangers to voicing Mortal Kombat characters, like Kevin Michael Richardson, who last lent his talents to Goro in the first live-action movie. Among the new voice actors, Joel McHale from Community fame did an excellent job voicing the Martial Arts movie superstar, Johnny Cage. I also think Artt Butler made a nice Shang Tsung simply because I didn't find myself missing Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa's voice too much.
Warner Bros. Animation and Studio Mir did a superb job, as Scorpion's Revenge ticks all the right boxes. It's got Familiar characters, new scenarios, excellent voice acting, lots of Easter eggs, iconic moves, and the game's hallmark violence. Plus, it helps that the movie doesn't take itself too seriously. Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge was released digitally on April 12, with its 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD launch following on April 28.
If you're interested in even more Mortal Kombat, check out my impression of the newly released expansion, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath. Although all three new DLC characters don't feature in the movie's story, they are loads of fun, and you get to see Shang Tsung in all his scheming glory.