Mortal Kombat Legends continues to expand as a new story comes into the fold. In the latest installment Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind, follows pretty much the same formula as the last two films with the over-the-top violence and gore that fans appreciate from the video game franchise. The new film offers some of what fans are familiar with from the Mortal Kombat universe by showing the origin stories of well-known characters that they are familiar with. As with every installment in a film series, Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind faces the challenge of living up to the same level of excitement as the first film, Scorpion’s Revenge.
In Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind, we find Earthrealm in a very different state than we last saw it in Battle of the Realms. In this deserted wasteland, we find that most of Earthrealm have fallen under the leadership of King Kano (David Wenham) and his group of bandits known as the Black Dragon. This team consists of Kabal (Keith Silverstein), Kobra (Yuri Lowenthal), and Kira (Courtenay Taylor). In this dystopian world, we find an old and weary Sub-Zero (Ron Yuan) living in isolation from the rest of society and avoiding any conflict with the Black Dragon. Much focus in the film lands on a new fighter by the name of Kenshi Takahashi (Manny Jacinto), a traveler looking for a challenge who is about to face his destiny.
While the first two films focused on the tournament itself, Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind becomes more like a post-apocalyptic film in the style of Mad Max. It gives a different tone from the last two installments as we deal with a much smaller roster of fighters in a brand new territory that leaves a lot to be desired. With Kenshi as our main hero, it gives the film structure to focus on him as he grows from a cocky fighter into a strong warrior in his own right. Seeing him starts as an unabashed individual who gets a taste of defeat and suffers an affliction when he loses his sight. After being tricked by the conniving Shang Tsung, Kenshi’s ancestors help him retrieve the famed sword known as Sento. With his disability, Kenshi must learn to fight and it is a great experience to see how well he trains to regain his confidence back with some mentorship by Sub-Zero.
The latest film shows off a different animation style from the previous entries. It gives a new vibe to the characters in the way they fight and how the blood and gore pop out. The only issue with trying a new design is it can look a little weird, especially when you see how much of the background is stuck in limbo without any movement whatsoever while in the forefront we see most of the action. It gives a lack of detail to show how much of the world we are seeing in something as vast as Mortal Kombat. It seems as if the color doesn’t truly pop as much as in the other movies, especially with a film taking a dystopian look and having similar tones of color. The film ultimately suffers in quality in some scenes, but it doesn’t take away how well the fights are coordinated. The final showdown we get between Kano and Sub-Zero is nothing short of epic.
The script also suffers a bit with predictable storytelling when it comes to the other characters in the film. The film doesn’t spend enough of its time building up Kenshi as a character. The blind warrior is a journey that fans would probably love to see develop as he grows into a powerful fighter. The issue is with the juggling of other characters within Kano’s group like Torr and Erron Black. The film would’ve been a lot stronger if there was more focus on Kenshi learning as a fighter to overcome his blindness and defeat Kano. The battles also become very stale when we see lots of Kano’s minions being defeated one by one rather than showing how each of these individual fighters is strong in their own right.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind takes a chance with new animation and a new fighter to focus on, but it just doesn’t come off as a strong entry in the series, unfortunately. While we enjoy the amount of story given to Kenshi, it would’ve been great to have seen more of him as a character. It is a vastly different story from the other two films, but it doesn’t offer the same impact that they share for fans. Because of these shortcomings in story and animation, it’ll be difficult for fans to appreciate the world that the film has displayed here. Kenshi’s journey is probably the highlight of this installment, but what fans will get in the end is a Mad Max-style film that cuts itself dry and will perhaps have a difficult connection with fans of the franchise.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind releases on Blu-Ray and 4K on October 11th while it makes its way to digital and VOD platforms on October 26th.