Writer: Kevin Tancharoen
Director: Kevin Tancharoen
In the latest episode of "Mortal Kombat: Legacy," the origin of Scorpion and Sub-Zero concludes… sort of.
Episode 7 introduced us to Hanzo Hasashi (Ian Anthony Dale), a warrior and a family man devoted to his son, Jubi (Brandon Nomura) and his wife, Kana (Maurussa Tacharoen). After receiving a faked summons from the Shogun, Hanzo suited up in his Scorpion gear and left his family behind before getting ambushed by Sub-Zero (Kevan Ohtsji). Of course, the episode ended before giving us the martial arts action we craved, saving that for this episode instead.
And it actually delivers on that promise… for about a minute.
The long awaited Scorpion and Sub-Zero fight was entertaining while it lasted and the biggest fan service moment of the entire series came when Hanzo used his spear and screamed "GET OVER HERE!" in Japanese. That was worth waiting for, as was Sub-Zero's first real use of his ice powers. One of my main complaints about this series has been the distinct lack of combat in this "Mortal Kombat" adaptation. But for the first two minutes of this episode, it really seemed to capture the original spirit of "MK."
The only downside to the duel was that the costumes worn by the actors didn't look nearly as good in motion as they appear when the actors are relatively still. In a way, the apparent hokiness of the whole thing gave it a greater old school kung-fu movie feel.
Hanzo is apparently victorious in his battle with Sub-Zero, but he finds himself too late the save the Shogun, his village or even his family before Sub-Zero reappears and murders him. To top it off, Sub-Zero freezes Hanzo's body.
The twist in this episode is that Sub-Zero might actually be innocent of all of these crimes, as the sorcerer Quan Chi (Michael Rogers) reveals that he was impersonating Sub-Zero. Rogers even gives one of the better performances in the entire series, with a really creepy delivery of his lines. His cohort, Shang Tsung (Johnson Phan) isn't quite as impressive, but he's been adequate so far. The problem is that the entire web series seems to be content with just being adequate instead of delivering a knock out… or dare I say a Fatality.
In the closing moments, Hanzo accepts Quan Chi's offer and becomes the nether realm empowered Scorpion we know and love. However, what should have been an epic moment comes off so flatly that it doesn't carry the weight that it should have. The onscreen action wasn't helped by some really unconvincing fire and ice CGI.
I know that a lot of "MK" fans have given this series a pass because Kevin Tancharoen seems to be passionate about the world and the characters. And some of his direction has been impressive. But the "Legacy" series seems to exist in a weird space between ambition and complacency. Tancharoen tried his hand at the fantasy side of the mythology with the Kitana and Mileena two parter and he was criticized (by myself included) for using animation to cover up the shortfalls in his budget for live action.
These Scorpion and Sub-Zero episodes were probably the best of the series to this point, but they still pale in comparison to the first "Mortal Kombat" movie. It was a mistake to try to make this series so cheaply. With an actual budget, I think that Tancharoen would have done a lot more with it.
The last episode of "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" is going to debut at Comic-Con, presumably during a panel and an announcement about either a second season of the web series or a possible movie.
Given the choice, I'd rather see "MK" go back to the big screen.
Crave Online Rating: 7.5 out of 10.