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Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms (2021)

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Released:  Tuesday, August 31, 2021  
Length:  80 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros.
Genre: Animation, Action/Adventure
Rating: Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaUnder 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Synopsis

Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms © Warner Bros.. All Rights Reserved.

When Shao Kahn’s Outworld barbarians terrorize Earthrealm, Lord Raiden is determined to put an end to the carnage once and for all. This leaves one option: a final Mortal Kombat Tournament for the future of Earthrealm – win it or lose everything. Raiden’s elite team of Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Liu Kang and a few new faces kick the action into the extreme as they go head-to-head with Outworld’s most bloodthirsty warriors. The stakes could not be higher. But deep in Netherrealm, the malevolent Shinnok is unfolding an unspeakable scheme which threatens to obliterate existence as we know it. The universe is watching, and it’s winner take all!

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Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms images are © Warner Bros.. All Rights Reserved.


Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms 4K Ultra HD Review


Fans of the popular video game, Mortal Kombat, have had quite a bit to talk about in the last few years.  Besides the extremely successful launch of Mortal Kombat 11, there have been two animated Mortal Kombat Legends films and a live-action movie that have come out in the past eighteen months. In April of 2020, during the height of Covid lockdown, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge was released and grossed over $2.5 million.  One year later, the live-action film debuted in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously.  Last week the second Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms hit stores on 4K, Blu-ray, and Digital HD.

When Liu Kang (Jordan Rodrigues; Lady Bird) was an infant, his parents were murdered by Tarkatans but Lord Raiden (voice Actor Dave B. Mitchell) saved Liu Kang and raised him to be a fighter in order to fulfill his destiny.  Years later, after the Earthrealm defeated the Outworld, Shao Kahn (Fred TataSciore; Kung Fu Panda II) declares war on the Earthrealm, and a new competition is created.  This one sees the members of the Earthrealm fighting the Outworld beings in one-on-one battles. After several contests, with multiple beings dying, Shinnok (Robin Atkins Downes; Suicide Squad) brings the "one being" to life and Liu Kang must use Sub-Zero's and Scorpion's power to defeat the Being.

Are you confused yet?... Because I am.  Having watched Scorpion's Revenge a year ago, one might think this next film would flow seamlessly but it doesn't. The story is muddled and much of it is simply an excuse to have bloody and violent battle scenes.  Perhaps if the viewer is familiar with the video games and the characters, the movie might make more sense but for someone who knows very little about the franchise, it is a mess.  From trying to figure out what "team" each character is on and which ones get defeated, I was lost in the first 20 minutes of the movie.

The voice talent is incredible though.  Joel McHale (Community) reprises his role as the cocky, wise-ass Johnny Cage and Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) bounces tit for tat off Cage as the voice of Sonya Blade.  Rodrigues brings maturity and seriousness to Liu Kang that helps with the character development.  The rest of the cast is solid making the overall film a little easier to swallow.  

Visually, Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms has a very similar look and feel like last year's Scorpion's Revenge.  The 2160p resolution offers great details, precise lines, and incredible colors (even in the moments that blood splatters everywhere as a being is killed).  The violent graphics are extremely well "drawn" and the background scenery is detailed without overtaking the action.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is strong on this release.  The bass tones are deep and resonate with the power one would expect from great warriors.  Ambient noises are slightly more subtle and make terrific use of the surround sound speakers.

Including the obligatory audio commentary usually found as part of the extras in the combo pack, this release only has 4 extras total.  The other three extras total approximately twenty minutes but don't offer a lot of insight into the process of making the movie or details regarding character development.  The extras are: The God and the Dragon: Battling for Earthrealm, Voices of Kombat, and Kombat Gags

Besides excellent visual and audio quality and a great group of actors portraying these characters, the movie isn't very good.  The plot is all over the place and the blood and gore are way over the top.

Mortal Kombat fans may understand more which would help them follow the characters and the story.  However, if you have never played Mortal Kombat you are at a disadvantage and, as I hinted to earlier, you will most likely not understand half of what is happening.

Grade: C

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