Mortal Kombat Legacy Webseries (Episode 2): Jax, Sonya and Kano (Part 2)
A spoiler-free review is immediately below. Scroll down for the full recap.
The second episode of “Mortal Kombat: Legacy” could have easily been shortened and used as the conclusion of the previous installment. Painfully scarce on story and suspense, Part 2 of the Jax, Sonya and Kano plotline demands nowhere near the same attention or appreciation as its predecessor.
Picking up where it left off, Sonya joins the fight against the Black Dragon cartel while Jax and Kano continue to duke it out. While Sonya’s violent engagement with the cartel henchmen is a stylish display of her skills and a satisfying complement to her role of damsel in Part 1, Jax’s fight with Kano continues its trend of providing mediocre excitement. Although its decisive ending briefly spikes the “cool” factor, the blandness from Jax’s scuffle last week bleeds into this episode nearly wholesale.
The lack of white-knuckle energy during Jax’s struggle against Kano, as well as its absence in the movement of the overall story, is due in part to director Kevin Tancharoen’s indulgent reliance on slow motion. While used to exceptional dramatic and stylistic effect some of the time, Tancharoen’s insistence on it often drags dull moments to even duller depths and deflates narrative pressure when employed out of place. Tancharoen’s blind spot with this issue is surprising, given his more sparing approach to slow-mo in the short film from which this web series was inspired (including an urgent, fast-paced thriller of a throwdown that won him the high praise he got in the first place for his mastery of action).
Regardless, the story’s energy somewhat picks up again deep into the episode’s aftermath, which teases two major Mortal Kombat characters getting makeovers that match them more closely with their videogame counterparts. Yet these last-ditch winks at game fans don’t fully recover this flatlined addition to the series. They instead reek of a deflection from the installment’s lackluster quality in hopes that anticipation for future fan service will outweigh it. Overall, Part 2 fails as a dynamic progression of the groundwork laid last week.
Jax and Kano both get up, relatively unharmed by the blast.
During the shootout that continues between the Deacon City police and the Black Dragon cartel, Sonya sneaks behind enemy lines and singlehandedly kills a handful of shooters. She walks into the warehouse surveillance room and sees video feed of Jax chasing Kano, then leaves to back Jax up.
Jax and Kano fight once more, this time with Jax emerging the clear victor and permanently damaging Kano’s eye in the process. Sonya finds Jax just after their scrap ends, but a grenade is tossed to the ground nearby. Jax and Sonya begin to run.
Sonya wakes up in the ICU of a hospital, where Stryker informs her that she’s been unconscious for nearly a week, and that Kano was retrieved by the cartel before the police could find him. Stryker goes on to say that Jax saved her life by shielding her from the grenade blast with his body, which may have cost him the use of his arms. However, the DoD is hospitalizing Jax, and Stryker assures Sonya that they have some kind of plan for him.
A flashback reveals Kano being dragged unconscious from the warehouse. In an undisclosed location, he is propped on an operating table and worked on by surgeons, who remove his damaged eye and successfully replace it with a robotic one. Kano wakes up…
(To be continued.)
Photos Courtesy of IGN TV.
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