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Just saw the first 3 episodes of the new Mortal Kombat series, and I
must say it appears to uphold the quality we first saw with the Mortal
Kombat Rebirth short. I think my only criticism is that it's just too
short !! I'd like to see a feature film made by this guy, because he
definitely knows what he's doing. Strong acting, good action/Martial
arts sequences... what more do you want ??
And these are just the character introduction episodes (Kano, Jax, etc) so it can only get better from here on out.
Great job by Kevin Tancharoen and I hope he gets rewarded for his work.
Best regards, Raf
This Mortal Kombat Legacy Web Series is pretty good so far, the only
problem is that I wish it was a little longer, but its still decent. I
like how they are showing stuff like how Kano lost his eye and they
eventually mention that Jax's arms are bad after saving Sonya from the
explosion. So if anyone sees a Character like if they had Kabal or
Cyrax, you'll see them before they became who we all remember from the
The Johnny Cage episode was pretty funny since they gave Ed Boon a cameo appearances. Mat Mullins does an OK job for acting but he is a good martial artist. The episode at least stays true to Johnny Cage's character and story.
This is a great Series to the fans who love the series. I believe that they keep up the good work.
P.S. (Kabal has not been confirmed for the series so far)
Despite of people pointing out flaws and goofs in Kevin's work, I'm really becoming a fan of his takes on characters. Although, the franchisee meddled with his work regarding the outworld episodes, he reclaimed and kept his work as he liked. And this is good. I was in awe, completely for the last episode of season 1. Cyrax and Sektor were just terrific. How Hydro was pulled off the stream in just one episode was meticulous. I'm just looking forward for the next season and hope the seasons continue, to include all characters that were never touched aptly in movies and games, like Noob Saibot. After the 'Cyber Initiative' episode, I'd really like the story of Smoke to screen. Great work done by the whole team. Just, please, keep 'em coming.
I don't understand why people are so easy to criticise this film, at
the time of writing this review, only 2 episodes have been aired. It is
petty and immoral to slate a film that they have not fully seen. E.G "I
didn't like the first ten minutes of the film, therefore, the rest of
the film is crap." So hear is some advice for those who want to slate
this series, YOU MUST VIEW SOMETHING FIRST BEFORE YOU CAN REVIEW IT!
Since the Rebirth trailer in 2010, a division has been made between the fans of Mortal Kombat; those who are for the remake and those who are against. Now the series has begun, this still seems to be the case. Fans of the "Rebirth" trailer, i believe, will enjoy this thoroughly, and those that did not, have already convinced themselves that the series is a failure, straying too far away from the source material.
There are many fans who refer to this reinvention as the "End of Mortal Kombat," Curiously, the same thing was said about Batman in 1989 AND Batman Begins in 2005. It deserves a chance. Fans have to ask themselves if they would want something fresh or, another Mortal Kombat Annihilation? Even if you enjoyed the Rebirth trailer or not, its worth a watch, if you still don't like it, don't be a bitch about it, just go play Mortal Kombat 9!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have been a fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise since MK2 and have
watched and enjoyed both the live actions films and the animated
series. While the films were entertaining to watch (for simply being MK
films) they were far from being exceptional...especially Annihilation.
However, I really think that Legacy is bringing the live action MK
universe back to life. I have read mixed reviews but cannot see why
fans are opposed to the show...it is Mortal Kombat. The shorts keep
leaving me wanting more and more, the back stories are a great way of
starting the show off and combined with the fantastic fight scenes it
actually looks like a well put together mini-series. Sure there are
going to be some comedic and cliché moments cuz this is the MK universe
after all. I read somewhere that a fan was annoyed that Jax didn't
follow protocol when Sonya's life was in danger and reacted
'emotionally'....did you even play the games or follow the story? If
you did then you might have understood the relationship between Sonya
Anyways...the series is good. It really does leave me wanting to see more and more and I am especially looking forward to seeing some of the other characters. This is the best installation of Mortal Kombat we have ever seen on screen so don't hate it =] One negative point - Make the shows longer. Want. More.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Don't get me wrong - it's a well-made series, rather entertaining and
enjoyable to watch. It would just be better off if wasn't a Mortal
Kevin Tancharoen got carried away and went too far from the MK universe in many ways. First thing that strikes your eye is the cast. They look and act so different from the characters in games, movies and earlier series that it's impossible to believe that you're actually looking at Sonya, Johnny Cage and the rest of the gang. In fact I think Legacy has the worst cast possible for an MK series (except for Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa - he's the best Shang Tsung ever!).
The other disappointing thing is the spirit of the series. For some reason Tancharoen laid emphasis on gore while MK has always focused on mystery and darkness, and the whole MK world would give you the chills. Gore has always been a secondary thing that just added to the whole dark spirit of the story.
Random stupid jokes don't help building the right spirit either (a drunk bum sees a man disappear and looks at his bottle of booze in astonishment? come on! this joke stopped being funny about 100 stupid movies ago!). They just make you miss Christopher Lambert's outstanding performance.
And the story itself got transformed beyond recognition. Why Tancharoen decided to make Liu Kang and Kung Lao best buddies instead of distant relatives is beyond my understanding. It's a great idea to shed light on the characters' backgrounds but the stories this series tells are just too far-fetched and unbelievable.
Of course all the above might concern you if you used to love the games or MK movies. Otherwise you're just about to watch an entertaining series that will give you a distant idea of what Mortal Kombat is all about.
Well I wouldn't really call myself a huge fan of the "Mortal Kombat"
franchise, but I did play the games when I was younger, even got a
couple of them for my PS3 today, and have watched the older movies,
series and even read some of the comic books. I like "Mortal Kombat"
for what it is, martial arts fighting without the need to implement a
deeper understanding for the reason behind it.
However, I will say that this "Legacy" series is impressive. Especially compared to the older movies and the earlier "Conquest" series. Why? Well simply put because of the production value behind it. It outshines the previous stuff by a mile and a half. There is just a heavier and better feel to this series, it is more in the spirit of "Mortal Kombat", if you will.
I like how it takes each character and gives you some background behind who they are and what drives them. It is all done in a relatively short period of time in each episode, so of course it is limited just how much background story you get about each character. But so far it has been great entertainment and added some nice details to the characters portrayed so far.
As for the acting, well I have been content with the people they have cast for the various roles. People have been doing great jobs bringing the characters alive and believable on the screen. My personal favorites are Scorpion and Sub-Zero, always have and always will be.
I find "Legacy" to be a well worthy addition to the "Mortal Kombat" universe, and it is well worth watching just for the production value behind the series alone. It is really, really great.
I sort of gave up on this franchise as a plausible rendering on the screen after the "Conquest" series, so it was just by sheer random luck that I came across "Legacy", and it was just out of boredom that I sat down to watch it. But after the first episode, I just kept going watching it all, it was just that good. So perhaps "Mortal Kombat" can have a glorious comeback on the screen and justify itself after some questionable previous movies and an even less so series. I am excited to find out...
I have been accused of putting way too much thought into Mortal Kombat.
In college, when we were tasked to write our 100+ page papers on movies
of (then) the last 20 years, I was told I was stupid to choose Mortal
Kombat as my film; and even though I got an A+, they were correct. But
still, I love this series.
From the Fan made trailer, to the completed project, this has been wonderful.
I have gotten so many jaded skeptics of this franchise to be close to tears, or just gushing with admiration over the Season 1 Johnny Cage or Raiden episodes alone.
The Liu Kang episodes from Season 2 are heart breaking.
Seeing Cary Tagawa BLEW MY MIND.
The Scorpion/Sub Zero stuff was worthy of so many lauded Japanese films.
This is why independent, and internet films matter.
The famous ultra-violent video game franchise gets a "Dark Knight"
styled make-over. This is Mortal Kombat revised. Mortal Kombat
redone.......as yet another live action iteration of the fantasy
fighting game. Originally conceived to be realistic remake which
cleverly replacing the more out-of-this-world concepts with gritty real
world explanations, MORTAL KOMBAT LEGACY drops that ball right into its
second episode where we have mercenaries firing plasma weapons. Two
episodes later, we are right back in familiar fantasy territory of
other realms, monsters and magic. This is Mortal Kombat rehashed,
Mortal Kombat repeated with merely cosmetic changes, and Mortal Kombat
recast in such a haphazard way between its two seasons.
This web series, originally debuting on the Machinima youtube channel, consists of 6 story arcs over 9 episodes for season one. Season two comprises an ongoing story arc of the tournament plus three origin stories told in flashbacks for a total of 10 episodes. Each episode is so distinct in tone, style and entertainment value that they are almost like mini- movies unto themselves. Two things that permeate the both seasons seems to be director Kevin Tancheroen's indecisive directing style and the annoying music. Tancheroen seems to be copying the style of other directors like Zack Snyder's slow motion speed ramping, Neveldine and Tylor's high speed shaky cam digital photography, and Luc Besson / Paul Greengrass's hyper fast cuts. All these stylistic touches seem thrown in at random and overdone in many instances. Much of the fight choreography for season one is fantastic. But it is done great injustice by Tancharoen's quick cuts, extreme close ups and shaky camera.
The first two episodes of season one go into the back story of Sonya Blade, Jax and crime boss Kano presented in a familiar "Cops and Crime boss" setting. Sonya is taken prisoner and Jax leads a special forces team to take down Kano's gang. This is a strong start, with a look not unlike modern Hollywood action movies and a realistic gritty tone. Next we get the tale of washed up action star Johnny Cage trying to pitch his latest production. Again, realistic and right in place in our real world, done very creatively in the form of a TV documentary.
Now after that, in comes some hokey fantasy. Kitanna and Mileena: a tale of sibling rivalry and teenage identity set among the CGI mountains of Edeina and the dark Canadian- looking woods of Outworld? Our first dud of season one, the Kitanna / Mileena arc spans two episodes but half of the second episode in this arc is a flashback to events in the preceding episode, making the actual runtime of content a lot shorter. Flash animation is used to pad out the story almost like a motion comic.
Thankfully the subsequent episodes return to the more realistic setting and more ambiguous fantasy. Take Raiden for instance. How would people, realistically in today's world, react to some dude claiming to be a thunder god? The highlights of the season are of course Scorpion Vs Sub-Zero arc and the final episode about the Lin Kuei Cyborgs. Scorpion's backstory and ensuing vendetta against ninja leader Sub Zero is explained via a beautifully shot period piece, seemingly set in feudal Japan. Characters speak Japanese, authentic Asian actors play the roles, even the costumes seem true to the feudal period. Lastly, the Lin Kuei cyborg segment. This is real eye candy here, featuring cutting edge CGI and motion capture work, creating one of the more brutal bouts in the series.
So after a generally enjoyable season one, disregarding some missteps here and there, season two comes around. Season two showcases a little more backstory of other characters like Kung Lao and Liu Kang, as well as finally showing the start of the titular Mortal Kombat Tournament.
It may have well been a completely new show altogether as only a couple of returning faces and story elements bear a resemblance to season one. More than half of the roles have been recast with new actors, there are many continuity inconsistencies, the special effects look cheaper, and so do the costumes.
For an example of cheapskate costumes and inconsistencies just compare the stories of Scorpion and Sub Zero across the seasons. Season one was simple yet effective, giving a production design of outfits that may have been plausible during feudal Japan. Season 2 reveals that our feudal japan period piece actually takes place in modern day; a modern day where Japan never outgrew its swords, samurais and shoguns and everyone suddenly speaks American English! Season 2 also downgraded the ninja outfits from realistically plausible to ripoff Power Rangers and pyjamas. Lacklustre fights which lack the gritty brutality of the previous season lead up to one disappointing conclusion that is all build up without any payoff.
With season three set to veer off into adapting characters and concepts from the recent Mortal Kombat X video game, MORTAL KOMBAT LEGACY's first two seasons ends off on a low note. The episodes of Sonya/Jax/Kano, Johnny Cage, Raiden, Scorpion/Sub-Zero and the Lin Kuei Cyborgs Cyrax and Sektor stand as true gems. Featuring feature film-like production quality and design, brutal fight choreography, as well as cleverly reinterpreting the established mythos in a fresh manner. Downer episodes include the Kitanna/Mileena and most of season two (except perhaps the Kenshi Vs Ermac episodes).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm generally enjoying the overall feel of these series (i'm halfway
through season 2) in that the acting is OK, the script isn't terrible
and the fight scenes are half decent... but i'm getting a little lost
with the whole thing. It's nice to see the character's back stories and
I understand that the whole Mortal Kombat universe is a bit of a mixed
bag anyway, but I was expecting this series to bring a bit of
continuity to it all. Would that really be that hard?
Instead we get changing actors from season 1 to season 2, the timelines are all over the place and the back stories get changed from one minute to the next: they completely did a 360 from Rebirth to the Kitana/Mileena story with regards to Baraka - Raiden jumps from being in an insane asylum with no powers (and being white) to being Asian and all powerful...
What I was really hoping for after watching the first few episodes was a linear plot with continuity. I mean, what's the point in making the universe more gritty and realistic if the whole things all over the place? The whole project seems futile. I'll see it through to the end of the series but I have little hope now that any kind of decent movie will emerge from this if they can't keep the main actors.
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