Is this the new Mortal Kombat?

by: Jeremy -
Ok, I don’t even know where to begin here... I have about a million thoughts running through my head at the moment after watching the clip posted below. This clip, entitled Mortal Kombat Rebirth, appeared on Youtube last night. There is just too much to cover, from analysis to skepticism, just watch the clip and then read my thoughts and lets have some discussion after the jump...

I really, really think that this video is legit... for a number of reasons. First off, the production quality is incredible, which pretty much eliminates any possibility of this being a fan film. I have seen some really well-done fan-fics in my life, but NOTHING that is even close to the quality of this clip. There are also some familiar faces in the film, notably Jai White and Jeri Ryan. This could possibly be the opening cinema or set up for Warner’ Bros. next installment in the Mortal Kombat series.

A lot of various sites around the net are noting the possibility that this may be the new (reboot) movie, but I do not think that is possible. The movie is very, very early in production and I find it hard to believe that they would release something this “polished” before primary shooting has even begun, let alone complete casting. I would put money on this leading to the new game...

Ed Boon said numerous times in various interviews that Mortal Kombat Armageddon was the end of Mortal Kombat as it was known. Perhaps this is where his crew are heading: a complete re-envisioning of the title. If this is the new vision of Mortal Kombat, count me in...

Let’s go with the assumption that this is the new Mortal Kombat, which will serve as the ninth game in the series. It appears as though the new installment will serve as a reset to the entire franchise. The new version is taking a more horrific, real-life approach and focusing more on the brutal reality of violent crimes rather than focusing on Asian mythology and lore. Let’s take a look at how some of the familiar faces were now presented:

Captain Jackson Briggs: Out with Jax and in with Jacks. Jax, as we knew him, was a biologically enhanced military man... but he is now presented as a street smart detective and head of the violent crimes unit in (fictitious) Deacon City. The version shown in the preview trailer seems to have more of a non-playable role rather than being a participant in the tournament. I would bet that he will be included as more of a side character, pertinent top the story progression, than an actual kombatant in Mortal Kombat. He still likes like he could throw a punch or two... and maybe he will.

Sonya Blade: Just like Jacks, Sonya has ditched the military for a role on the police force. She doesn’t look like much of a fighter now and I would imagine her role being very similar to what I mentioned for Jacks, more ancillary to the story.

Reptile- Formerly a mutant from the Outworld, Reptile is now a medical mystery in the real world. The individual known as Reptile was born with a rare disorder known as harlequin ikneosis (sp?) which causes the inflicted person to grow scales; the life expectancy for individuals with the disorder is noted as being 2 weeks, but Reptile has survived to become a full-grown man. Now a cannibalistic murderer who likes to take the heads of his victims, he sits a top Jacks’ most wanted list.

Baraka aka Dr. Alan Zane- Barak is now depicted as a failed surgeon who went on a homicidal rampage. Following the loss of a patient under the knife by accident, Zane went on to purposely kill two dozen more in the process of losing his mind. Dr. Zane mutilated himself by piercing his face, sharpening his teeth into fangs, and surgically implanted two 10-inch blades to his forearms.

Johnny Cage- Cage is perhaps the one character who retains his identity from the previous MK lore. Once again, Johnny is a former action star on the back end of his career. This time around though, he ended up being utilized as an undercover agent by Jack’s violent task force. Cage was ultimately murdered and decapitated by Baraka in the line of duty.

Shang Tsung- It is hard to tell exactly what Shang Tsung is in the new vision, but he isn’t a thousand year old sorcerer, that is for sure. From the looks of the surveillance pictures shown by Jacks, he appears to be a high powered business man, perhaps involved in organized crime. It is believed that he is the man pulling the strings behind such killers as Reptile and Baraka. The intel that the Deacon City Police Force has received indicates that Shang Tsung is in the process of organizing a underground deathmatch tournament for the world’s top fighters. Can we say: Mortal Kombat?

Scorpion aka Hanzo Hasashi- Oh yes, what would a Mortal Kombat game be without Scorpion? We actually get to witness the birth of Scorpion in the trailer (sorry if I ruined the ending for you). Hanzo is an infamous assassin in the custody of Jacks’ department after he voluntarily surrendered to the police; the Violent Crimes Unit wants to set him free and use him as an undercover operative in Shag Tsung’s tournament. As an assassin, he used his famous spear as one of his favorite tools of death. Hanzo has no interest in helping them out until they notify him of one of the entrants in the tournament...

Sub-Zero: We don’t get much, if any, information about the new vision of Sub-Zero aside from the mention of his name. Jacks and Sonya make reference to this being the real Sub-Zero, and not the brother that Hanzo assassinated under the belief that he was the original. When Hanzo learns that Sub-Zero is still  alive and entering the tournament, he agrees to go...

As a long time fan of the Mortal Kombat series, there isn’t a single liberty taken in this trailer that I cannot get behind. I love the new takes on every single character that they presented. It will be interesting to see how some of the other classic characters, particularly Raiden and Liu Kang are handled, if they are even included at all. Hopefully we can get some more light shed on this trailer before next week because I don’t know if I can wait for E3 to get more of this story...
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