Review: Mortal Kombat Legends Battle of the Realms (2021)

The fate of the universe once again hangs in the balance as warriors come together for one final clash in Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms, an all-new, feature-length film produced by Warner Bros. Animation in coordination with NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The film arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on August 30, 2021 to Blu-ray™ and August 31, 2021 to Digital.

 SYNOPSIS 

Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms picks up shortly after the explosive finale of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, the 2020 blockbuster hit that initiated these animated films – which are based on one of the most popular videogame franchises in history. In Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms, our team of heroes are besieged by the enemy forces of Shao Kahn – forcing Raiden and his group of warriors into a deal to compete in a final Mortal Kombat that will determine the fate of the realms. Now our heroes must travel to Outworld in order to defend Earthrealm and, simultaneously, Scorpion must find the ancient Kamidogu before it’s used to resurrect the One Being – which would mean certain destruction of all things in the universe. Time is short and the stakes are high in this action-packed continuation of the Mortal Kombat journey.

REVIEW

This movie kicks ass, literally. Just like its predecessor, Battle of the Realms is a whirlwind of a ride full of over the top, blood thirsty action, funny one liners and a well balanced story of heroes overcoming perilous odds to save the day.

Joel McHale as Johnny Cage completely steals the show with his light hearted humour and relentless pursuit of Sonya Blade. I love the way his arrogance is delivered in such a way to make him a lovable character rather than an A-Hole and he treads that line very closely at times but every time ends up on the right side. The rest of the cast come together to complete a mixed group of personalities in a way I feel can only work in the animated world. 

The excessive blood and extreme fatalities play homage to the brutality of the video games and is a perfect example as to why this animated universe works so well and can easily exist alongside the new live action movie(s). Battle of the Realms just like Scorpions Revenge can tell stories and show things that just isn’t possible in live action. What I think was crafted perfectly with this movie is the way it understands how it can push boundaries you can’t in live action and it embraces that as much as possible. This is an animated movie that knows exactly what it is and without the shackles of trying to be something it’s not, it is able to deliver a very entertaining movie for an adult audience.

 CAST

Joel McHale (Community, Stargirl) and Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) return to their lead roles as Hollywood star-turned-fighter Johnny Cage and all-business warrior Sonya Blade, respectively. Also returning for the sequel are Jordan Rodrigues (Lady Bird, The Fosters) as Liu Kang; Patrick Seitz (Mortal Kombat X, Aggretsuko, Naruto: Shippuden) as Scorpion & Hanzo Hasashi; Artt Butler (Her, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Shang Tsung & Cyrax; Robin Atkin Downes (The Strain, Batman: The Killing Joke) as Shinnok & Reiko; Dave B. Mitchell (Mortal Kombat 11, Call of Duty franchise) as Raiden, Kintaro & Sektor; Ikè Amadi (Mass Effect 3, Mortal Kombat 11) as Jax Briggs & One Being; Grey Griffin (The Loud House, Young Justice, Scooby-Doo franchise) as Kitana, Satoshi Hasashi & Mileena; and Fred Tatasciore (Robot Chicken, Family Guy) as Shao Kahn.

New to the Mortal Kombat Legends voice cast are Matthew Mercer (Critical Role, Justice Society: World War II) as Stryker & Smoke; Bayardo De Murguia (Tiny Pretty Things) as Sub-Zero/Kuai Liang; Matt Yang King (Mortal Kombat 11 video game, Justice League vs. The Fatal Five) as Kung Lao; Paul Nakauchi (Carmen Sandiego, Overwatch) as Lin Kuei Grandmaster; Emily O’Brien (Days of Our Lives, Constantine: City of Demons) as Jade; Debra Wilson (World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, MADtv) as D’Vorah.

 CREW

Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms is directed by Ethan Spaulding (Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, Batman: Assault on Arkham) from a script by Jeremy Adams (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II) and based on the videogame created by Ed Boon and John Tobias. Rick Morales (Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, Batman vs. Two-Face) is Producer. Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) is Producer. Executive Producer is Sam Register. Ed Boon (NetherRealm Studios) is Creative Consultant.

Thanks to Warner Bros UK for the review copy and use of images.

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