This is not Mortal Kombat’s first venture into animation, but it may be their best. “Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge” is a treat for longtime fans of the franchise while giving newcomers a taste of why people love “Mortal Kombat,” one of the franchises that led to the creation of age ratings on video games.
While it’s called “Scorpion’s Revenge,” Scorpion stops feeling like the main character as they begin to remake the first Mortal Kombat tournament. The scenes that he appears in are amazing for his character. Still, he mainly seems to play a backseat to other characters once they are all on the island that hosts the Mortal Kombat tournament, the franchise’s namesake.
The characters that Scorpion plays second fiddle to lack the characterization that he got within the first few minutes of the movie. You get a barebones look at the personalities of the additional characters, the stoic monk Lui Kang, the perfect soldier Sonya Blade, and the cocky movie star Johnny Cage. It doesn’t give you much reason to root for them in the tournament.
Speaking of the tournament, this is where the fights kick it up a notch. Bloody, gore-filled fights are the bread and butter of the “Mortal Kombat” franchise, with this movie being no exception. It shows off literal eye-popping visuals that definitely won’t disappoint longtime fans and lets parents known that this movie isn’t for kids. Each bone-shattering blow serves as a callback to the video games. X-ray visuals show the damage to combatants and those same combatants still fighting with all of their ribs broken.
The sound design in the movie can sometimes make you cringe, an expectation considering the context. You hear the metal twang of blades clashing, the sickening, meaty sounds of impact, and skulls crunching as they’re caved in by a kick. It’s all so horribly amazing.
Overall, “Mortal Kombat Legends” is a movie that, where it lacks in newcomer-friendly storytelling, it makes up for in well-animated action scenes and Easter eggs for fans of the source material. It could have used a slightly longer runtime to build characters for newcomers. Still, for those looking for a gorefest, this may be worth putting on their watchlist.