From the start, this is clearly a Mortal Kombat product and ever faithful to the source material. The blood, gore and violence is right up there to satisfy your grizzly expectations. In just under two minutes before the opening titles, we have people decapitated, impaled and sliced to bits, bones crunched and eyeballs exploded. Warner Bros Animation once again continue to lead the way with creating fantastic animation inspired by source material, be it DC or Mortal Kombat, that doesn’t shy away from what makes it a memorable franchise.
Inspired by the new next-gen video games, the action is peppered with slow-motion x-ray fatalities where you see the internal damage caused on the victims. It does nothing but satisfy those who come looking for adult violence and badass attitude. Violence, foul language, innuendo; this is NOT family friendly material thankfully and looks and sounds brilliant.
As a direct sequel to Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, the talented voice cast return here to continue the evolution and journey of many characters including Joel McHale as Johnny Cage, Patrick Seitz as Scorpion, Ike Amadi as Jax Briggs and Dave B. Mitchell as Raiden. Many fan favourites are here as either main or secondary characters – don’t expect all to make it to the end – and we have new faces from the lore to add to the danger including Kurtis Stryker, Sektor and even Shaggy “Scooby-Doo” Rogers in an opening logo cameo. The voice talent is top tier here, all with the required level of gravel-laced threat, peppy energy or gentle emotion to give each character an identifiable image.
The story also retains the established lore of the MK series of games, such as the feud between the Lin Kuei and Shirai Ryu clans, the continued threat of Shao Khan and his warriors, and emerging sorcerer Shinnok and his desire for conquering all realms. It’s certainly one for the fans, but has so much more that casual gamers and audiences of the films will enjoy and understand in this adventure.
Battle Of The Realms focuses on split stories – Scorpion continues his quest to destroy Sub-Zero by seeking out a powerful artefact, and the warriors of Earth realm come together once more for the second major tournament at the request of Shao Khan to end the bloodshed once and for all. While it may be a familiar story, it still manages to find its own originality thanks to the character relationships and expanding on what has only been seen in the video games or graphic novels. Nothing is replicated or recycled from the live-action films or what has come before, a testament to the team behind the scenes who know their stuff.
There is plenty of cheeky humour (mostly from Johnny Cage as expected) and lots of signature fighting moves all stylised with a great blend of 2D and 3D animation to give things an extra sense of style. The fight sequences look stunning and have so much detail in both the foreground and background for great atmosphere. Same for the locations we visit; a mix of traditional and modern animation help to add real depth to the places we visit, and the colours are both rich and used to great effect to tell a story.
It’s a flawless victory for the Mortal Kombat franchise and for Warner Bros Animation once more, and this outing proves there is much more blood to be spilt and more stories to be told going forward.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms is now available on Blu-ray and Digital.