TMP Reviews: Mortal Kombat: Legacy Episode 4

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Tancharoen has been on a roll with his new web-series Mortal Kombat: Legacy, the first three episodes detailing the origins of Jax, Sonya Blade, Stryker, Kano, Johnny Cage and delivering a first glimpse of Shang Tsung.  The action has been heavy, the fighting brutal, but all that changes with the arrival of Episode 4.

The realistic aspects of MK: Legacy were well maintained until the very end of Episode 3 when the first supernatural event occurred with the arrival of Tsung, and although very subtle, it marked the series departure from its highly anticipated realistic interpretations.

Episode 4 continues this trend by leaving the Earthrealm and arriving on Edenia, the home of King Jerod, his wife Sindel and their daughter Kitana.  Once a place of peace and prosperity, Edenia fell when the Emperor of Outworld, Shao Khan, won his 10th Mortal Kombat tournament against Edenia’s greatest warriors and invaded.

His Tarkatan warriors, grotesque humanoids with organic retractable arm blades, led by their general Baraka, laid waste to Edenia.

In the ensuing conflict, King Jerod was forced into hiding and the remaining royal family were subjugated.

Soon after, Shao Khan takes Sindel for his wife and Kitana as his daughter, setting the stage for Kitana’s eventual rise to power in the Mortal Kombat tournaments.

And when Shao Khan gives the order for a clone of Kitana to be created, his greatest sorcerer Shang Tsung, goes immediately to work.  But the clone is flawed, her Tarkatan blood soon giving away her secret dark lineage.  Thus is born, Mileena.

The episode itself is depicted in a decidedly Quentin Taratino style, combining sequences of Japanese Anime, pre-rendered CGI backgrounds, and live action.  The appearance of the new characters is a welcome sight, but the action heavy atmosphere is all but forgotten in this subdued and dreamlike flashback to the events surrounding the two new combatants.

It could be that this particular episode is intended merely to set the stage for Episode 5: Kitana and Mileena Part 2, but this is the first time something has seemed to be missing.  I for one am willing to accept one episode’s break in the natural flow if only to resume it in the concluding episode.

But like shifting in a standard, the vehicle doesn’t like it when you try and skip gears and Tancharoen may end up stalling out while trying to accomplish an apparent feature film pacing in a web-series.

Time will certainly tell as we eagerly await the second part of Kitana and Mileena in Episode 5 due out 5/10/11.

-Jarod