There have been a ton of Mortal Kombat media. Weirdly, for a series that’s known for its violence, it had cartoons, movies, web series and animated movies. Still, despite there being so many tries, none of them really managed to capture the essence of the games. The original Mortal Kombat movie was arguably the closest but it was let down by the craptastic sequel. So how is Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms?
The second entry in the Mortal Kombat Legends series isn’t going to set the world on fire. That’s a definite given.
However, is it still a good Mortal Kombat tale?
Read and be enlightened.
What is Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms?
Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms is the second entry in the Mortal Kombat Legends series. It continues directly from the events of the previous animated film (Scorpion’s Revenge) which ended on a cliffhanger as Shao Kahn readies his forces for an invasion of Earthrealm.
In this sequel, Shao Kahn has begun his invasion and it’s up to Earthrealm defenders (Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Jax, Kung Lao, Stryker, Raiden and Liu Kang) to stop them. On the flip side, Scorpion is back on Earthrealm and is being hunted by the Lin Kuei cyborgs (Smoke, Cyrax and Sektor) along with the new Sub-Zero (Kuai Liang) who blames the spectre for the death of his brother, Bi Han.
The two plots run parallel to one another and it’s only at the very end that they dovetail together.
The animated movie, which has a runtime of approximately 120 minutes, has some pretty recognizable voices behind it especially if you’re into video games. Ed Boon, one of the co-creators of the series, even has a Creative Consultation credit in the movie.
That should bode well for the movie, right?
Unfortunately for the movie (and for fans), Battle of the Realms is a tepid, yawn inducing affair with a wafer thin plot that is comparable to Mortal Kombat Annihilation. The core plot is interesting enough, taking bits and pieces from the games and assembling it into an original product.
Shao Kahn’s invasion gives the movie a ton chances for some truly cool kombat. Chances the movie doesn’t take. Yes, there is a ton of fighting in the movie and it’s as bloody as you’d expect, but the fights are just there for the sake of being there.
You’d think that when the whole gang moves to Outworld for the final Mortal Kombat tournament things would start to gel. You’d be wrong.
There’s little to no build up for the tournament matches and they’re over way too fast to be satisfying. Thankfully, the fights are brutal and with moves ripped right out of the games (complete with X-Ray sequences to show bones breaking).
I really enjoyed the Kung Lao vs Shao Kahn and the Shang Tsung vs Stryker fights for their full on violence and brutality. I’ll be first to admit that the animations and visuals are decent enough. In fact, some of the stages are ripped right out of Mortal Kombat X (such as the front of the Lin Kuei temple). So cool and a great easter egg for hardcore fans.
Speaking of easter eggs, the movie has an awesome one right off the bat.
As Scorpion prances around in front of the WB Animation logo, Super Shaggy (which is a meme) appears and manhandles him.
It’s damn cool and pretty unexpected. While just a few seconds long, the interaction between the two is gold!
Unfortunately, that pretty much every bit of character development in the movie. Most of the characters aren’t really fleshed out at all, giving you no reason to care whether they lived or died. It’s a damn shame seriously…I’d love for Shao Kahn’s minions (Kintaro and Reiko especially) to get more screen time other than as punching bags.
Apart from Johnny Cage, none of the other fighters even seem like they have a damn personality. Sub-Zero doesn’t even give a hoot that Smoke was converted into a robot when he saw him, despite the two being good friends and Smoke saving Sub-Zero’s life earlier in the film.
It doesn’t help matters that the movie tries to do two different plots simultaneously.
Scorpion and Sub-Zero’s story only detracts from the action of the Mortal Kombat tournament. Honestly, leave that story out for another time instead of trying to cram two mostly separate plots into a single movie.
Then again, Mortal Kombat: Battle of the Realms went full gonzo during the Liu Kang/ Shao Kahn fight anyway.
With no reason given other than he being the ‘Chosen One’, Liu Kang can suddenly go Super Saiyan and fly. He literally hits Shao Kahn into the sky, then flies up after him like Goku, before smashing Kahn back into the ground from the troposphere.
Yes, Mortal Kombat is over the top…but not this over the top!
That’s not the final fight though…Let’s just say the final battle wouldn’t look out of place in a Godzilla movie.
Suffice to say, everything went downhill fast in the last 1/3 of the movie.
The Bottom Line:
If you’re bored as hell or love Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, you might enjoy Battle of the Realms. The fights might be brief, but they’re pretty brutal and look appropriately nasty! The bad news is that apart from that, everything else about the movie is sub-par.
Decent fights but boring plot and nonsensical final act ruins it.
- Good art.
- Fluid animation.
- Some decent fights.
- Gory and violent.
- Decent voice acting.
- Fights are too short.
- Stupid final act.
- Nonsensical plot.