Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge Hits Like a Hard "R" G.I. Joe

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Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge

MORTAL KOMBAT LEGENDS: SCORPION'S REVENGE opens, as one would expect, by presenting itself as the origin of Hanzo Hasashi (voiced by Patrick Seitz), a great warrior who returns to his village to find it completely eradicated, including his wife. His final vision before his death is the brutal murder of his young son.

Hasashi awakens in the Netherrealm, where he is about to be tortured for all eternity by a demon. But Hasashi's will is indomitable, and he manages to fight his way through an army of demons, to the door of Quan Chi (Darin De Paul), who offers Hasashi an opportunity to get his life and family back -- by obtaining the key to unlock Quan Chi's imprisoned master through a competition held between the many realms. The competition comes with an opportunity for revenge against the man who killed Hasashi's family. And so Scorpion is born.

The competition is the ritual of Mortal Kombat, bringing together champions of the different realms to batle for supremacy -- and if any realm wins ten competitons, then they may merge with the other realms and reign over them. Shang Tsung (Artt Butler) is the warlord of the realm that has won the last nine tournaments, and Lord Raiden (Dave B. Mitchell) is determined that Earthrealm will not fall to him.

To that end, Raiden has assembled to represent Earthrealm a handful of talented fighters, with unique abilities and personalities. Sonya Blade (Jennifer Carpenter), a soldier with a chip on her shoulder to prove she's more than the match of any man; Liu Kang (Jordan Rodrigues), a young man full of hope who is the only one who understands what is at stake; and Johnny Cage (Joel McHale), a self-centered and washed-up actor who believes he's been cast into a martial arts movie.

Director Ethan Spaulding delivers a multi-layered story that engages the fans from start to finish. We learn the motivations of all the players, as the characters reveal hidden agendas and deceptions that have impacted the combatants in different ways. The Earthrealm's fate depends on the victory of the chosen warriors, and whether or not Scorpion will plow through them to get to his one, true goal.

MORTAL KOMBAT LEGENDS: SCORPION'S REVENGE lets the viewers know within the first few moments that it is a very hard R-rating for violence and language. There is a surfeit of blood as fights end with decapitations and mutilations. Often times the defeat of an opponent utilizes a sort of x-ray effect so that the viewer can see the blade slicing the meat to shatter and separate the bones beneath. It's action turned up to eleven, and exudes a sort of adult-oriented G.I. Joe vibe for those who were fans of that animated franchise.

The artwork and its animation are very nicely done, with very detailed linework that moves smoothly across the screen. There's no choppiness here, no Cal-Arts style, no eye-rolling slapstick, and no punches pulled. This is old-school animation at its best, made for the adult fans of the genre. A definite recommendation, and a nice back-story to the videogame upon which this is based.

4.5 / 5.0