Writers: Kevin Tancharoen, Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing
Director: Kevin Tancharoen
Last week, I was impressed by the initial installment of "Mortal Kombat: Legacy," which was largely well done despite some obvious budget limitations. But unfortunately, this week's episode shined a light on those limitations again.
When "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" was announced, I believe that we were promised something along the lines of 9 or 10 episodes which would be about 10 minutes long. But for episode 2, we've got just under six minutes total not counting over a minute to recap the previous episode and 90 seconds of credits!
Now, I understand the need to keep the audience up to speed, but when the recap is about a fifth of the live action footage then that's inexcusable padding.
The kicker is that I really like most of what I'm seeing onscreen. Kevin Tancharoen seems to have a good sense for filming the fight sequences and the way he places the camera really does give it a cinematic feel. The continuation of the fight between Jax (Michael Jai White) and Kano (Darren Shahlavi) is genuinely exciting, with great choreography between White and Shahlavi.
On first viewing, there was a graphic sequence in which Jax literally punched out Kano's eye, but when I rewatch the clip now, the screen cuts to black where that scene used to be. And I'm not sure if that's a glitch or some last minute censorship from the powers that be. Either way, it worked best as it was originally released.
Sonya Blade (Jeri Ryan) finally got a little of action this week through some terrific gunplay. It was even fun to watch "Seven of Sonya" kick ass even though her hands were still chained up. But it was a bit of a disappointment that we didn't get a Sonya vs. Kano fight in either episode.
Where "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" tends to fail is in the special effects department. The explosions look undeniably cheesy and low rent. It was a smart move to not show the final explosion that injures Jax and Sonya, but if the FX team can't even make the explosions look convincing then I have less confidence that they can pull off some of the more fantastical elements of "Mortal Kombat."
Weirdly, the stage seems to have been set for the "Robot Arms" Jax despite the relatively more "real" take on the concept. Kano even gets fitted for his artificial eye in the climactic scene of the episode, making him finally look like the classic character from the first arcade game.
So far, "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" has been fun to watch, but it's short comings are beginning to be more obvious. Hopefully the rest of the installments will manage to work around those problems.
Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.