Mortal Kombat Legacy Episode 1 Impressions

I know it’s a little late to the game, but my cousin just showed me this tonight while at the family Passover Sedar, which sort of relates to the brutal murder and violence that characterizes the Mortal Kombat franchise, as God did allegedly slaughter the first-born of every Egyptian citizen after all. I had heard of plans to make the Mortal Kombat: Rebirth movie, but I didn’t realize that this was re-imagined into the webseries Mortal Kombat: Legacy. The first episode was released last week on April 12th.

The premier episode introduces us to a few mainstays of the series, and sets up a sort of alternative universe to the MK mythos. It’s a lot more gritty and realistic than the source material, and for an websiode that is only meant to set up a conflict, that’s not a bad thing at all.

Apparently Ed Boon himself didn’t even know about this until it, when it was supposed to be the feature film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth hit the web, as he stated on his Twitter account

But I was just as surprised to see it as everyone else. I had no idea it was being made until it showed up on the internets. All 3 internets

Boon has since praised the series in an interview with Gamasutra.

So I thought it was incredibly well done, and a great re-imagining of MK — kind of like they do with some of these alternate universes of Batman and Superman and all that. I think it’s a very legitimate alternate universe Mortal Kombat, and so I was excited about it.

The episode introduces the conflict, which has Kano (Darren Shalavi) and the Black Dragon holding Sonya Blade (Jeri Ryan) hostage in the middle of an illegal robotics smuggling ring, creating a trap for a SWAT team led by Jax (Michael Jai White) and Stryker (Tahmoh Penikett). In terms of action, there are plenty of fights (mostly gun based) and only one short hand-to-hand scene between Jax and Kano, but so far the plot has set up more foreshadowing than a full-blown shadow and a whole slew of shout-outs and references to the universe. Director Kevin Tanchareon, the former choreographer for Madonna and director of Brittney Spears’ The Onyx Hotel Tour, obviously knows how to choreograph a fight scene.

It’s still to early to tell where the series is going, but so far I thought that this twelve minute episode was well-paced and full of action, if a little low on the plot and character development. The webisode is actually not meant to be a direct marketing ploy for the release of Mortal Kombat, which should be out as I’m writing this, but is hoped to lead into a full-blown third feature film, with a possible second season in the works.

So far there’s been no mention of the tournament itself, but these twelve minuites have already been more professionally created than other modern re-imagings such as the Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li or Dragonball movies.

Check back for my upcoming review of Mortal Kombat, as well as my impressions of episode 2 of the Mortal Kombat Legacy series when it releases later this week. For now, check out the episode now and enjoy.

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