Mortal Marathon Part 3: Immortal Kombat

March 24th, 2011 by | Tags: ,

Guest article series by Gabriel “TheJoker138″ Coleman.

Let’s get right to it this time, shall we? We start off in Outworld, where Not-Jade is sitting around naked. This is the scene they took the shots of her for the opening credits from. She essentially has set up a sauna, and is using flowers as perfume. Shang comes in and implies that she must have whored herself out to get those flowers into the mines, which understandably pisses her off. He touches her hand, which causes it to wither and age, and then turns it back with a wave of his hand, saying that she hasn’t seen anything yet.

It cuts to the temple of the order of light, where Kung is meditating with the other monks. He has brought Taja and Siro with him, and she looks bored, while Siro is asleep and snoring loudly. She throws a pebble at him to wake him up, and then leaves. He follows, followed shortly by Kung. He asks them what’s wrong, and is actually quite understanding that they don’t feel the whole meditation and spiritual thing is for them. They decide to head back to the trading post, despite the fact that there is a heatwave going on, and it’s very, very hot out. Before they leave the head of the order of light, Master Wang, talks to both Kung Lao and them, saying that he’s sorry to see them leaving so soon and wishes them a good journey.

Heh heh… Wang…

Siro and Taja walk off, and Master Wang runs after them, giving them Kung Lao’s water bag to take with them. He’s out of breath from the run, and drinks from it as well. There is a person dressed in all black following him back to the temple. He rejoins Kung and the others in their meditation, but drops dead soon after, and his body decomposes into a shitty looking CGI skeleton and then to dust as Kung and the others watch. They figure it must be sorcery of some type, which causes the person in black earlier to run from the room, Kung giving chase. He catches up to the black clad figure, and pulls off their hood, revealing that it’s Not-Jade. She jumps through a portal back to the mines before he can do anything to her.

Shang is pissed that Kung saw her, and says that he’ll have to deal with the situation himself now. They also go on to explain why Shang doesn’t just use one of his portals to escape, by saying that there are guards and spies in the prison who would report back Shao Kahn if he was one day gone, and that they would track him and punish him wherever he went. I don’t quite buy this, but at least it’s something. Shang steals the soul of one of the other prisoners to make himself more powerful, and heads to Earthrealm despite Not-Jade warning him about the guards and spies.

Kung speaks to another of the monks about the situation with Master Wang and Shang Tsung, and they puzzle out that the potion that caused the aging must have been in Kung Lao’s water bag, which Siro and Taja have drained on their walk back to the city. The monk tells Kung of a powerful sorceress by the name of Omegis (Oh-Mee-Jis) who resides in the Living Forest to the East of Zhu Zin, and draws him a map of how to get there. Kung leaves to get Taja and Siro, and take them to her with hopes of being able to counteract Shang’s spell. Siro and Taja have already reached the trading post, where the potion has already started to age them. They’re both stiff, exhausted, and Taja’s hair has started to turn gray.

As Kung arrives in the city we get more shots of the marketplace, complete with women in skin tight outfits, as per usual. He comes in and finds Siro and Taja in their 40’s, and explains the situation to them. Taja freaks out over the whole thing. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they like Kristanna Loken as an actress ever since Terminator 3 came out, and some people express their surprise that she would seemingly be relegated to direct-to-DVD Uwe Boll movies since then. I have never understood what these people saw in her, and her acting in this episode further proves this point. She is really, really bad. She delivers all of her lines flat, and never actually comes across as being upset about the situation despite the words she’s saying.

We see Shang Tsung following the trio through the Living Forest, which doesn’t look at all like the Living Forest from the games. There aren’t even faces on the trees, and I haven’t seen Smoke popping out from behind any of them either. Two nameless henchmen materialize out of nothing, and Kung takes them both out easily. It’s a fairly generic fight scene, but at least these two aren’t attacking Kung one at a time like the Lin Kuei were last episode. After they’re defeated, they both vanish just as suddenly as they appeared, and our heroes continue on their trek.

It’s not long before Taja and Siro can’t go on though, due to having now aged into their 70’s or 80’s, and being too tired to continue. Even though they’re supposed to have aged more, their make up hasn’t changed since the scene where Kung first found them at the trading post earlier. Here, see for yourself:

Taja at the trading post

Taja now

It comes off as really cheap. Anyway, Kung runs out to find Omegis, which is intercut with Siro and Taja talking about how much it sucks that they’re dying like this. Loken’s acting is still really bad.

Kung finally does find Omegis’ outside of a weird little tree hut thing that she lives in. She tells him that the two henchmen he fought earlier were her guards, and tells him to leave. He doesn’t listen, and instead follows her into her house. This whole time she’s been wearing a hooded robe, by the way, so neither Kung nor the audience has seen her, but her voice is that of an old woman. Inside, he tells her that he’s dealt with other sorcerers, and even defeated Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat. She figures out that he’s Kung Lao from this, and her mood immediately changes. She strips off the cloak, showing that she’s actually a beautiful young woman, wearing nothing but your standard cheesy fantasy book cover metal bikini.

This is exactly the kind of outfit I’d wear if I lived out in the woods.

It seems like they hired a model for this role, instead of an actress, because she makes Loken look like Marlon Brando by comparison (Gavok note: I honestly can’t tell if you’re talking about her appearance or acting with this). She tries to seduce Kung, who isn’t interested. She tells him that she moved to the woods because she grew tired of seeing everyone she cared about age and die, while she stayed young, and gives him the cure for his friends not to help him, but as punishment for his rejection. She says that it will save them, but all that will accomplish is making Kung grow closer to them so that when they do die, the pain will be even worse for him.

Kung rushes back to Siro and Taja, and finds them being held captive by Shang. At the very least they have put some more old age make up on them, and they actually do look to be older now than they were when Kung left them, having gray hair and more wrinkles. Shang says that if Kung won’t waive the rules of Mortal Kombat and face him in a rematch now, he’ll kill the two of them right then and there. Kung accepts the challenge, and says that this time he’s not going to let Shang live. Shang says that he’s going to not only kill Kung, but then kills Taja and Siro anyway, and then find and kill any other friends Kung has. Shang Tsung is kind of a dick.

This fight is the best since the first episode, easily. Once again, it really helps that we have two named characters, who are both important to the show as a whole, involved in it instead of just one of the main three protagonists beating up some nameless, faceless henchmen. There’s a little bit of back and forth at the beginning, but the majority of this is just Kung, fueled by anger, beating the shit out of Shang. Every time he hits Shang, green smoke flies out of his body, showing that he’s quickly losing souls and power. Kung stops short of following through on his promise of killing Shang though, as he gets distracted by Taja and Siro, who are both close to death. While he’s giving them the potion, Shang runs off with his tail between his legs. After it’s clear that Taja and Siro are going to be okay, Kung follows Shang, saying he’s going to “finish him,” but loses him in the forest.

Back at the mines, one of the guards is looking for Shang, having been given special orders to check on him by Shao Kahn. Not-Jade is trying to distract him, knowing that he isn’t back yet. Right before she has to have sex with the guard to get him to stop looking, Shang shows up, and she knocks the guard out, calling him a disgusting pig. Shang then steals the poor guys soul to get his power back, and tells Not-Jade they need to find another way to deal with Kung Lao.

Back in the forest, Kung gets back to find that Taja and Siro are both young again. Then Raiden shows up, looking very, very angry.

Shit just got real up in here.

He throws lighting from his hands, knocks Kung Lao on his ass and then goes on to berate him for putting all of Earthrealm on the line for two people, and threatens to kill Taja and Siro himself just to make sure Kung never pulls anything like that again. He calls Kung a coward, saying he only accepted Shang’s challenge because he was afraid of being alone, and reiterates on Omegis’ earlier statement that Kung is going to have to watch them get old and die anyway, due to not aging in between tournaments.

This interpretation of Raiden as kind of an asshole who gets sick of the bullshit caused by humans who constantly put their own dimension at risk would actually be brought into the canon of the games in MK: Deception, and I wonder if they took any inspiration from this series for it. If they did, it’s certainly not the only time, but I’ll address that in greater detail when we get around to episode 10.

This episode was actually much better than I was expecting going into it. It’s not great, by any means, but I was expecting a train wreck when I saw that we were getting a character made up for the show, who had never been in any of the games, in Omegis. And yeah, Omegis was pretty bad, but she played a very small part in it, with the main focus being the Shang vs Kung rematch. His plot to get him into that situation was a bit generic, but none of this was as painful to watch as Cold Reality was. I actually hope we get more of Shang and Not-Jade in future episodes, because those two and their weird relationship are infinitely more interesting than the actual protagonists. All in all, it just seemed mostly like a filler episode.

Up Next: Episode 5- The Essence… featuring Princess Kitana!

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4 comments to “Mortal Marathon Part 3: Immortal Kombat”

  1. What the hell is Claire Danes doing in Mortal Kombat?

  2. @Gavok: It’s a Temple Grandin prequel.

  3. @Gavok : On your note re: Loken/Brando…both, now that I think about it.

  4. I used to love this show. I have no idea why. I was just looking for it on Netflix the other day.