Mortal Kombat: Legacy 2, the much awaited sequel season to Mortal Kombat: Legacy, was released in its entirety onto YouTube this past September.
The hit series continues with Kevin Tancharoen’s unique re-imagining of the series concept. However, some things are a little bit different in season 2.
For starters, just to address the obvious, a LOT of actors have been replaced. And we’re not talking like “Andy Whitfield died and they had to find a similar looking guy to play Spartacus” replaced, we’re talking full on different in every way replaced – some characters even switch ethnicity. At the end of the day it doesn’t make much difference, as we’re watching for the action. But if you’ve watched the first season immediately before diving into the second, it will be jarring.
Next up, the general structure of the season is very different than that of season 1. In the first season, each story was its own unique vignette, with practically no characters spilling over into each other’s episodes, and each was shot in its own unique way. In season 2 this is not the case. There’s a sort of half-assed attempt at forming a cohesive narrative between all of the different episodes; a noble effort that derails itself due to an unjustifiable number of jumps to different periods of time that just makes things flat out confusing. It got so bad that sometimes I couldn’t even tell whether or not a scene I was watching was at the tournament or not.
That said, Legacy 2 finally delivers on some of that sweet Mortal Kombat fight action that we were so heartlessly teased with at the end of season 1. Shit has gotten real now that everyone is gathered at the tournament, and main characters are already being killed off. This is something that was done very well, I must say. When two characters were fighting I genuinely couldn’t tell if or when one of them was going to die. It added a new dimension of excitement to watching – and the choreography was brilliant as fans have come to expect.
So the action was great, and that’s really why you watch a series like Mortal Kombat. But there was one issue I had with the story that I was so confused by that I was genuinely bothered. Liu Kang, who finally makes his appearance in the series in season 2, is all kinds of awesome in Legacy 2. However, following the murder of his beloved, Shang Tsung – who is played by the same dude who played Shang Tsung in the Mortal Kombat movies – appears before him to talk some Mortal Kombat turkey. They start talking about how Liu has participated in the Mortal Kombat series before, and how he defended the very people that had murdered his fiancé.
So… what does that mean exactly? We’ve got Shang Tsung from both movies talking to Liu Kang about previous tournaments he’s been in before… Does that mean this is a sequel to the movies? No, it can’t be, because Liu doesn’t recognize Johnny Cage when they run into one another at the tournament. So, in this alternate Mortal Kombat universe that Tancharoen has dreamt up, are we to assume that Liu Kang is coming into this tournament already as a vet? I don’t know. It was alluding to some stuff that had some seriously awesome potential, and so much of it was led unexplained. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to wait for season 3.
Also, it turns out that the series has been so successful that Tancharoen has also been signed on to make an all new Mortal Kombat movie. Whether or not it will tie into the series is still unclear.
Written by: Richard Reitzfeld
Photo credit: Kevin Tancharoen