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.
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.