Thursday, April 7, 2011

Michael Jai White Comes Out Swinging in the Teaser Trailer For "Mortal Kombat: Legacy"

The teaser trailer for Mortal Kombat: Legacy has arrived, and It focuses on the main asset of the property: well known characters facing off against each other.  Jax (Michael Jai White) is in hot pursuit of Kano (Darren Shahlavi) engaging him in a furious duel..  Gunfire ensues as Kano pops off a few rounds from his Desert Eagle.  When the two run out of ammunition, the inevitable fisticuffs commence.  The two face off mano-y-mano, Kano using a knife and Jax his bare hands. After a brief exchange of moves and counter moves, Kano gets a Grenade launcher.  The two fight over the weapon, which leads to a most unexpected result. 

The factory is perhaps the single most familiar setting in the history of action movie climaxes.  All of the expected cosmetic trimmings are present.  Sparks spew forth from corners and crevices that remain conveniently off camera.  Trashing and hissing noises makeup the ambient noise on the soundtrack.  I’m sure that other over analytical types such as myself will shoehorn some sort of subtext into the combination of sounds and images.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s just a time honored trope of the genre, a que to the audience that they are being guided through familiar territory by capable hands.     

Larnall Stovall’s choreography is as tight and precise as promised.  Thankfully, the cinematographer and editor seem to be working in cooperation with him and preserved his work.  There are medium shots, but nothing that renders the techniques incomprehensible.  The fixture from which Kano retrieves the grenade launcher has got to be the most conveniently placed gun rack ever.  Not to mention the fact that a grenade launcher seems like a decidedly inconvenient choice for a close quarters brawl.  The filmmakers seem to be aware of the absurdity of it all, and end the clip on an unexpectedly hilarious and self-aware note.

The short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth already had me sold on the potential of a new film or series, so I went into this expecting something good.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Though this new iteration of Mortal Kombat does appear to take itself seriously, it also seems to have a sense of humor about itself.  That is vital for the entertainment value of it all.   Hopefully these webisodes will be a tad bit more than just action vignettes featuring the various characters in their accompanying setting, but at the very least they seem capable of delivering on the bottom line.  Larnell Stovall and Micheal Jai White continue to impress, and Mortal Kombat’s legacy looks to be intact.  The series will premiere over at on April 12th.

Click here to read my interview with star Michael Jai White
Click here to read my interview with fight choreographer Larnall Stovall       


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