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Koming To A Konklusion on Mortal Kombat Legacy: Part Nineteen?

June 1, 2011


Where the line between “determinedly completist” and “dementedly masochistic” doth blur, these reviews dare tread.

"I like my crisps like I like my demon sorcerers: Quan Chi (crunchy)". "You're reaching now, Scorpion."

Episode Nine

Spinny spinny spinny kicky spinny spinny knifey throwy freezy spinny kicky uppercutty family deady.


There was probably a germ of a good idea in Legacy’s inception. Somewhere. Buried deep beneath the vast mounds of awful rubbish they’ve tirelessly constructed on top of whatever that molecule of a good idea might have been. And now look: they’re exploding the rubbish. Now it’s just hot, fiery rubbish, raining down ON TOP OF YOUR HEAD. Is that what you wanted from your Mortal Kombat web series? Is it? Look at you: covered in melting detritus, like some kind of messy itinerant. And all because you didn’t demand better.

It tries so hard. I think. It tries to ground Scorpion in reality, because that’s what people want from Mortal Kombat (it says here). So they very carefully established in the first part that Scorpion’s just some dude in a funny costume with knives on ropes. With a family. Which is fine? I guess.

Except then he starts fighting Sub-Zero, and they’re spinning four hundred dozen billion times in the air just kick to the other guy in the face (which wasn’t all that hard to reach in the first place, certainly not requiring any such exhausting gymnastics) and doing it all inside picoseconds, with dizzying flash cuts preventing the headachey viewer from actually seeing anything happen. And then Sub-Zero starts sending ice projectiles and summoning ice spikes from out of the ground. And Scorpion’s face mask still looks silly.

“But wait!” you cry, in between bouts of violent diarrhea. “It’s not Sub-Zero at all! It’s Quan Chi, the dastardly demon sorcerer, framing Sub-Zero for some reason!”

“That certainly brings this episode more in line with the realism it established previously,” I sarcastically mutter as I do you in with an three iron.

It’s a question of tone, you see. It wavers uncomfortably between realism and fantasy, never really deciding on whether it wants to be – hnggggggghhhhh – “gritty”, or happily succumb to the silliness of the franchise of which it seems so ashamed. So it ends up in some disturbing no man’s land, where nothing really makes sense, and anyone trying to find any semblance of coherence between episodes inevitably dies of a massive brain haemorrhage. LIKE I JUST DID.

Also, I touched on this before, but the casting director really should be fired, possibly into the heart of the sun. Quan Chi looks like a frozen Richard O’Brien, and is only 13% as menacing, which is a catastrophic failure no matter how you look at it. (Probably through a pained wince.)

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