It’s official: Mortal Kombat 2 is all systems go; in the interim, fans can whet their appetite for destruction with Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind. The brand-new animated film follows the journey of Kenshi as he battles Kano and the Black Dragon. It seems to be hitting all the right notes with the fans, too, as it sits on an 87% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Warner Bros. must be satisfied with its performance as well, since it has already greenlit the follow-up film titled Mortal Kombat Legends: Cage Match, which will centre on – you guessed it – Johnny Cage.
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While 2021’s Mortal Kombat movie roundhouse kicked its way into the hearts of many people, including this very website, it had its fair share of detractors, too. There were several complaints from the fan base and it wasn’t quite the flawless victory anticipated. The good news is, Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind already provides the template for success for Mortal Kombat 2. How, you may ask? Let’s take a closer look.
The use of legacy Mortal Kombat characters
Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind ignores a variety of Mortal Kombat characters, focusing on a select few to be part of this narrative – and this is something that Mortal Kombat 2 could do as well. The reality is, the more characters that are stuffed in a film, the more likely it is someone important will lose out on screen time or overall purpose. If a character doesn’t push the narrative forward, they are inessential to the storyline – simple.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind doesn’t try to include Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and others for the sake of it. Instead, it chooses a few legacy characters like Sub-Zero and Kano as the supporting cast, mainly to satisfy the fans, and keeps the story tight rather than tick every box. Everyone remembers how Mortal Kombat: Annihilation fell to pieces since it tried to include every single character from the first three games.
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A narrowed focus
Choosing the right legacy characters is the first step, but Mortal Kombat 2 needs to decide who is the lead of the story and follow that character’s journey, much like Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind did with Kenshi. The first film is considered Cole Young’s story, but it is clear the filmmakers had trepidation about the character as the subplots threaten to overpower the main narrative. Mortal Kombat 2 needs to commit to a central character and keep them as the focus.
Considering how the sequel appears to be teasing Johnny Cage’s arrival, it might not be a bad idea to tell the story through his eyes. Many fans were angered he didn’t show up in the first film, so this is an opportunity to right the wrongs and to ensure the star of Ninja Mime gets the time in the spotlight he deserves.
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Not trying to be everything for everyone
Whenever a film is about an ensemble, it’s inevitable someone will dislike who is the main character of the story. The Mortal Kombat franchise features more characters than anyone can imagine, and while Scorpion and Sub-Zero are the faces of the property, there are people out there who will stan for Stryker and Jarek. Regardless, this is where the Mortal Kombat 2 filmmakers need to be brave like the team behind Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind and stick to their guns. Kenshi might not be the first name that comes to mind when someone considers who should be the lead in an MK movie, but his story proves to be compelling and could turn more viewers into fans of the character as a result.
Ultimately, Mortal Kombat 2 doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel of filmmaking, but to hit the same notes as Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind. The film needs to be more focused, feature a few beloved legacy characters, and to deliver the kind of action that fans expect from the franchise. It’s that simple.
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