If you’re a Mortal Kombat fan (which you probably are if you’re reading Mortal Monday) then there’s a good chance that you remember the two movies based on the series. While they may not have been Oscar material, they were fun in their over-the-top, campy sort of way. The first movie in particular brings back some fond memories. Christopher Lambert as Raiden, that one Asian dude with the really angry face as Shang Tsung, it was good times. That’s not the only choice you have when it comes to Mortal Kombat in film form though.
A few years ago, a director and Mortal Kombat fan by the name of Kevin Tancharoen decided to reboot the franchise. Initially, he put together a short film, showcasing his vision for more gritty, realistic version of the MK universe. The film is called Mortal Kombat: Rebirth and runs about 8 minutes. Combined with some great storytelling and special effects, the cast featuring Michael Jai White as Jax and Jeri Ryan as Sonya Blade turned out to be enough to make Hollywood take notice.
Based on the success of Rebirth, Tancharoen was given the green light to begin production on Mortal Kombat: Legacy, a web-series that continues his vision of the MK universe with much of the same realism that Rebirth introduced. Each episode of Legacy is about ten minutes in length and each tends to focus on an individual character, giving some background on them.
Mortal Kombat: Legacy is by far the best written, and most well produced piece of Mortal Kombat content one can find outside of the actual games. Running two seasons, the show gives a fantastic view of the MK universe, maintaining much of the supernatural elements of Outworld, while seamlessly melding them with every-day realism of Earthrealm. Watched in its entirety, Mortal Kombat: Legacy can be marathoned in an evening and it’s well worth the time investment.
There are a lot of great game series out there, and its about time that things like Mortal Kombat: Legacy and Halo: Forward Unto Dawn paving the way for game series to move beyond the controller. For a long time now, game franchises have either been passed up as movie properties, or given a treatment that doesn’t serve the source material very well. Hopefully, that stigma can begin to change. As a viewer, Mortal Kombat: Legacy is a great place for that to start.