Mortal Kombat: Legacy: Chinese Democracy Plus Robots

Art Attack has covered the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series from its very beginning because our hopes were high. First, Kevin Tancharoen's self-made short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth broke all the rules. Second, we had never heard of such a high-profile entertainment franchise being adapted to a strictly web-based format, and the idea made us giddy.

The series has had its ups, like the phenomenal episode focusing on Raiden's incarceration in a mental institute. It's had its downs, like the epic failure of style and substance that was the two-part awkwardathon that was Kitana and Mileena's feature.

Now, we come to the long-awaited final episode of the first season. The series has been on hold for months now since Tancharoen wished to debut the finale at the San Diego Comic Con. Seemed a cheap move in our eyes, but we understand the reasoning behind it.

So we waited, and the only thing we knew about the episode is that it was to feature the cyborg ninjas Cyrax and Sektor. Our anticipation built. Tancharoen stated in a few interviews that the series was not meant to be considered a linear progression so much as a series of individual parts like Animatrix. What that said to us was that he had surely saved the best for last.

He didn't. He so, so didn't.

The episode chronicles the transformation of two ninjas into cyborgs, and their battle testing. Absolutely no character buildup is used for the two main players. In fact, aside from some screaming, we're pretty sure that each only has one line of dialogue each. Instead, all the effort has been spent on painful footage of bonding metal to flesh, and the final fight scene between three fully roboticized kombatants.

Here's the rub... why should we care?

Seriously, who are these guys? Why are they being turned into robots? Why is one of them bleeding in the beginning? Did he try to run away? It's like they tried to make an action movie with just the money shots, and that does not work. You have to make the audience feel at least something for the characters, otherwise it all seems pointless.

This is doubly sad because Cyrax and Sektor are two of our favorite characters. However, their best moments are post-augmentation. Not the augmentation itself. Cyraz spends his robotic life in an effort to regain his humanity, joining the U.S. Special Forces and turning against the ninja clan that attempted to rob him of it. He's a tragic figure, like Ben Grimm as the Thing, and his struggles with the abomination he has become make for some of our favorite moments in the game series.

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this guy has no idea what he is talking about this was a great first season with more to come every episode was done excellent. really you need to stop posting crap like this this is a great series.


You missed the entire point of the series. Which is sad, because reviews like this will actually prevent it from reaching the potential that it promises, and that's what it's about: promising something. It's not designed to have an in-depth story yet. It can't, they're only ten minutes long. It's not designed to flesh out entire character arcs, television shows take multiple episode arcs to do that. Yet, if you actually delved deeper, it has character development, and it has stories. Your criticism of the Mileena/Kitana episodes makes no sense because that actually has the most story. And your acknowledgement of the Johnny Cage and Raiden episodes proves character development is there. Nevertheless, I think your article has more holes than you think the series has (not the least of which is your criticism of the name Hydro, which was a name the game creators came up with for a new character in the latest video game installment, not something the Legacy writers came up with) but what's worse is that you point out how in-depth the Cyrax story is in the franchise, and you point out that you're aware Tancharoen is trying to earn a series or film deal, yet you don't realise that a web series like this is clearly too short to include everything you want to be included. All he can do for now is introduce the characters and the stories, especially because he has the balancing act of bringing in new MK fans as well as satisfying the old ones. As for this episode, what you must have missed is that Cyrax and Sektor clearly have a disagreement about where the clan is headed. Sektor will do what he's told, but you can see in his eyes he doubts that. Cyrax doesn't want to be automated and was forced into submission (you said yourself that you wanted to know how and why that happened, that's what a TV series would tell us. You can't give the back story to why he was bloodied when the episode is ten minutes long!). Not only was he forced to participate, but he struggled with his emotions, during the emotional recalibration phase, not to mention his show of frustration at the security camera. Yet, the one who found it most difficult to conform, actually ended up initiating the gruesome, emotionless fatality on Hydro. It was no coincidence that Tanch chose Cyrax to be the one to finish him off. What this episode was all about was emotion. The direct contrast of beliefs between Sektor and Cyrax in the van, the obvious doubt behind Sektor's apparent, Cyrax's several emotional outbursts, the fact that the two robots, despite their previous differences as humans, actually worked together in order to stun Hydro. And it certainly was no coincidence that the writers wanted the doctor to talk specifically about "emotional recalibration" and cerebral responses instead of visceral ones. Emotion, emotion, emotion. It was littered throughout the episode, one only ten minutes long. There's your character development. If there was that much in just ten minutes, imagine what he can do with a series that includes all of the other plot points you mentioned as unanswered questions.Maybe you missed it all trying to pick apart which punches were fake, something to be expected when it's a production and not a real fight... And then you called wrestling fun, the biggest fakeout of entertainment anyone has ever seen. That was enough to wreck your credibility altogether. I sincerely hope Warner Bros. and Netherrealm Studios choose to focus on the positives, rather than the negatives when they discuss whether to take Legacy to TV where it belongs, preferably on a cable channel and not one of the commercial networks who would surely cancel it for not pulling in the ridiculous numbers they need to satisfy the advertisers.


You're kidding right? This was definitely the best episode by far. Sure the story details weren't present, but it never has been. How can they make this in a real world setting? They really can't without upsetting the hardcore fanbase. This was an episode that showcased the skills of Tancharoen, as well as the skills of the cyborgs, and ultimately, Tancharoen's vision of a serious Mortal Kombat series.

Jef With One F
Jef With One F

My problem with your analysis is the same problem I pointed out in the Kitana/Mileena reviews. Namely, I HATE that apparently Tancharoen and WB are considering the web series merely a means to an end instead of an artistic medium itself. I was hoping that something this big could change that perception of web content as a toy and bring it more towards a mainstream forum. It's predictable, small-minded thinking, and I expected better.

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