So, as many of my friends are aware, I have been looking forward to the first episode of the new web series, Mortal Kombat: Legacy. First off, I want to say that I have had a total girl-crush on Jeri Ryan for some time (Voyager brought that on, of course), and while I thought that she might be a little too “mature” to be playing a 20-something Sonya Blade, I thought that she filled the role nicely based on the first episode and she’s as beautiful and intense as ever. Michael Jai White fills the role of Jax near perfection. I was ecstatic to see Tahmoh Panikett (Helo in Battlestar Gallactica) as Stryker. I have to say, I wasn’t super impressed with the choice of Kano for an antagonist, and I was equally turned off by Darren Shahlavi’s (Watchmen) acting, but I’m not blaming him, they couldn’t have picked a worse bad guy to start the series. What an uninteresting choice?!?!
The episode starts the series much the same way as one of the earlier much more crap-tastic Mortal Kombat films, but is carried out much better than any previous attempt at live action MK. The costuming, effects and acting is much better than many web-series have to offer as the roles are filled with some big TV names, so I expect the budget was probably a pretty decent some (at least in comparison to the shit storm that was the original MK movie). I thought that the fight choreography was good enough, with lots of slow-down effects and stylized blasts, but I was really disappointed to see that there wasn’t any fight sequence that was anything like one of the games. I know, I know… it’s too soon for that and they really needed something to keep you wondering what happens next week… but part of me really wanted to see an over-the-top display of “special moves” and gore, like what was seen in the trailer.
I’m sad to say that the silliness factor is probably where the other films went wrong (okay, I guess I’m not really sad about it). While the original movie did force you to look with a mixture of disgust and shock, it could only be described as the same way that you’d watch a train wreck… or a ship going down… there was some charm for the “nerd crowd” to watch the movie over and over again for the hilarity of the absolute mess that it was. I know that I’m not the only dork who enjoys a terrible movie. Raise your hand if you’ve ever see “The Room.” Of course, if they want to keep this thing serious, which it seems to be the route Tancheroen has decided to take, then I assume something really big had better happen in the next episode if they want to keep the interest of the dork demographic…or a boob… or a decapitation… or both. Honestly, though, what I expect the nerds might be missing (like myself) is the appearance of some of the more popular characters such as Sub Zero (Kevan Osthji) or Raiden (Ryan Robbins) but it appears that they have held these characters back for later. I hope they’ve saved them for something truly awesome so they get the recognition they deserve. I think that what the true MK fans will really be waiting for is some REAL fight scenes and seeing some of those signature moves with a nice, bloody, gore-splattering fatality. I can see it being tough to keep out the camp factor with some of the costumes I expect to see on Sindel (Beatrice Ilg) and Kitana (Sam Tjhia) and some of the fight moves.
I did think that the episode was well-crafted and I am still looking forward to seeing the next installment. As always, watch the video and make your own assessment before taking mine to heart. Here it is: