It’s crazy to think that I’ve been a fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise for nearly its entire existence. Although I admittedly didn’t hop aboard the bandwagon in 1992, I did so about a year or two after its debut. I’m actually not a fan of the fighting game genre, but this particular series has always drawn me in with its user-friendly gameplay and deep mythology. Having said that, I’ve made it a point to keep up with it over the decades, especially whenever a new movie drops.
Like some other folks I know, I too was disappointed in the live action reboot released in theaters last year. However, WB Animation have been putting out entries in the Mortal Kombat Legends line of animated films in recent years, those being Scorpion’s Revenge and Battle of the Realms. Long story short, those were adaptations of Mortal Kombat 1 and 2, respectively, but the filmmakers did put their own spins on each. Suffice it to say, these have been more satisfying than their aforementioned theatrical sibling.
Taking into account the narrative trajectory being charted, I really expected the third animated flick to adapt Mortal Kombat 4 – but that’s very much not the case. Instead, Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind expands upon a certain character’s ending in Mortal Kombat 11 and takes it to its logical conclusion (more on this later).
In a nutshell, this movie establishes a post-apocalyptic world wherein King Kano and his Black Dragon Clan rule with an iron fist. As expected, there is some resistance, mainly in the form of Kenshi. That’s right, Kenshi. He’s an odd choice for a lead protagonist, I know, but winds up working well with the story being told. There’s a master/apprentice relationship shared between he and Sub-Zero, so fans of that sort of martial arts movie will probably like what’s to offer.
You won’t venture far into the movie before drawing comparisons to Mad Max. At first, I became so frustrated with the Mad Max influence that I wondered why the filmmakers didn’t just opt to make a Mad Max animated movie. Plus, WB does happen to own the Mad Max franchise. But as I got further into my viewing experience, I kind of got used to it, and all made sense when the big twist was revealed within the last ten minutes. Really, you’re not going to see it coming, but everything will make sense in the end.
As expected, the fight scenes are brutal, violent, and executed well. What’s more is that lesser known characters are given time in the spotlight. Aside from familiar faces like Kenshi, Kano, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Kabal, and Shang Tsung putting in appearances, more obscure Kombatants such as Kira, Tremor, Kobra, Jarek, and Erron Black get their time in the sun. So, if you go off the beaten path when having to “choose your destiny,” then you’re going to want to check out this.
It’s at this point that I’m going to insist that you don’t overlook the bonus features. In addition to an audio commentary, the real supplemental highlight is the featurette titled “Adapting Evil: Building the Black Dragon Clan.” Not only does this delve into this unique iteration of Kano and his cohorts, but the purpose of the movie as a whole – and the big twist – are explained. In fact, it gives us an idea of what we could expect from future “Legends” movies. Aside from that, you can also sink your teeth into “Kenshi: From the Video Game to Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind,” and some deleted animatics.
So, if you don’t mind seeing the Mortal Kombat Legends series going in a completely unexpected direction – and taking generous influence from Mad Max, with a little bit from Daredevil – then you’re going to want to pick up a copy of Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind. I may be giving this picture a “7/10” ranking, but it’s a strong “7/10.” In other words, this isn’t my favorite MK flick by any stretch, but I enjoyed it more than expected and happen to be quite intrigued by what, shall we say, “worlds” can be explored in future installments. (Seriously, you need to watch the “Adapting Evil” featurette immediately following the movie itself.) Aside from the mentioned films or series, other binge-watchers may be seeking answers to questions like is santa clarita diet coming back.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind
The latest entry in the series of animated films sees underdog Kenshi seek to dethrone King Kano in a bloody extravaganza.
- Awesome action
- Huge, unexpected twist
- Lesser known characters get the spotlight
- Maybe a little too much Mad Max influence in a Mortal Kombat movie