A note to the legions of readers who avidly follow our reviews of Kevin Tancharoen's Mortal Kombat: Legacy. Machinima.com posted the new episode today instead of Tuesday as it usually does, we assume due to the Memorial Day weekend.
We withheld final judgment on the two-part story arc dealing with Scorpion (Ian Anthony Dale) and Sub-Zero (Kevin Ohtsji) until episode 8 was released today, and here is our doom: Scorpion's family totally deserved to die.
They do a recap, we do a recap. Scorpion was lured away from his village by the simplest trick in the ninja handbook, basically just telling him the Shogun wants to see him, was waylaid on the path to the Shogun by Sub-Zero, who then taunts Scorpion that Sub-Zero's Lin Kuei ninjas are now murdering everyone he has ever loved.
First off, let's talk about the fight. That's what we were all waiting for, the classic match-up between Mortal Kombat's original palette swaps. Well, that's the first step we took on the road to condemning Scorpion's family. Sub-Zero dominates the fight with moves even more awesome than what he usually displays in the games. Despite the fact that Tancharoen has outfitted him in what we swear is just a black vest over a gray sweat suit and a mask that doesn't fit, Sub-Zero uses an incredible array of spin kicks, leaps, and mind-boggling acrobatics that leave Scorpion flailing like Jim Carrey taking on Jackie Chan.
That's not even taking into account that Sub-Zero utilizes his trademark cryokinesis with great style and deadly intent, creating spiked traps that Scorpion just barely evades. In fact, Scorpion is completely outclassed in the fight, only gaining the upper hand with a lucky shot of his kunai - yes, he screams, "get over here" and yes, it's pretty damn cool - leading to a rather weak uppercut.
Scorpion is supposed to be this legendary badass, a hero known far and wide. So far, he's completely failed to deliver. With Sub-Zero not even down for a 10 count, Scorpion runs back to his village to find his wife, son, and all their neighbors have met an icy death by the Lin Kuei.
That's reason number two why we're siding with Sub-Zero here. Scorpion is allegedly the general of a ninja army clan, the brightest and the best of the brightest and the best. Yet in his absence apparently not one person in the entire clan was capable of even bruising a Lin Kuei fist with his face.
Sure, the Lin Kuei are ninjas. They snuck up on people and pulled dirty tricks, but Scorpion's clan are freakin' ninjas too! Just as Scorpion comes across his dead family and sinks to the ground in despair, Sub-Zero comes from behind and impales him with an icicle. His last words to Scorpion are, "I told you your clan was inferior." He's right, he's totally right.
Look, if you're going to walk around saying you're the baddest ninja, you had better be the baddest ninja. That's all we're saying here. Scorpion was obviously in way over his head as a fighter.
Want more proof? It wasn't even Sub-Zero doing the killing. The whole thing was a plot by the wizard Shang Tsung (Johnson Phan) and the shape shifter Quan Chi (Michael Rogers) to get Scorpion killed just so they could resurrect him as a vengeful wraith to compete in Mortal Kombat.
Why? You want to recruit someone who was just duped by the 16th century version of a Paypal scam and totally lost a fight even when everything he loved was on the line? Seems like a crap draft pick to us, but, hey, we're not transdimensional conquerors.
Rogers as Quan Chi probably delivers the best performance in the whole episode with just a minute or so of screen time. He easily pulls off the evil amusement that always made Richard O'Brien such a stellar bad guy. Plus, he just out-ninja-ed a ninja and brought a guy back from the dead. It's kind of like if Jesus was Chuck Norris and he had an evil shadow twin negative version... who also is a wizard. Man, why isn't the whole series about this guy?
How this is all going to come together in the last two episodes we can't say. So far most of the series has taken place in the modern world, with brief excursions to a crap feudal Japanese fantasy land and a slightly less crap feudal Japanese fantasy land. The only constants have been Shang Tsung making cameos and mention of the Mortal Kombat tournament. Where the final battles will take place is anyone's guess.
By our count Tancharoen has lost a round, and barely won one. Round three is next, and someone is getting a fatality.
Read our reviews of previous episodes.