'Mortal Kombat: Conquest - The Complete Series'
(Paolo Montalban, Daniel Bernhardt, Kristanna Loken, Tracy Douglas, Bruce Locke, et al / 4-DVD / NR / 2015 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: In this prequel to the critically-acclaimed movies, Kung Lao has triumphed in the Mortal Kombat tournament, defeating Shang Tsung and saving Earth Realm. Now, he must train a new generation of warriors for the next tournament. Meanwhile, an exiled Shang Tsung attempts to thwart Lao's efforts with the aid of supernatural warriors such as Scorpion and Sub-Zero.
DVD Verdict: Well, in truth, and as one might well have expected, 'Mortal Kombat: Conquest - The Complete Series' is a tad bit outdated, but I watched through the series to review this new DVD release - and fell back in love with it! Sure it was a bit slow to start, and I had my issues with Kung Lao's character, and didn't like Vorpax, but volumes 4-6 are great.
Costume-wise, the movie Sub-Zero (and the other ninja-appearance types) was clearly of better quality. Kung Lao should have kept his hat, and wore something else. Vorpax's outfit was trying too hard! Raiden was OK. Quan Chi was excellent! And Shao Kahn was OK too. Lots of eye candy for male viewers, I'm sure. Or anyone who likes to look at scantily clad women!
There were definitely places where they had to cut costs - reused footage was painfully obvious to me. And I never liked how the ground in Zhu Zin (sp?) was so perfectly smooth despite that camel walking across all the time, and the usual wear and tear a well-trodden marketplace would have to endure. But I keep reminding myself about the whole budget thing back then!
Siro and Taja were great characters, and I liked Raiden quite a lot. Quan Chi was great too, hehe. Omegis was interesting, as was Sub-Zero (who is cool, no matter what). They could have used taller characters though, for characters who are meant to be tall. Raiden being at 7 foot, Sub-Zero over 6 foot, and so forth would have given him that much more presence, you know? Much deception and backstabbing! And it's a delight to watch. My favorite parts are definitely anything to do with Raiden (who has a sense of humor, if lighter and less dry than the Christopher Lambert-Raiden humor), and the final fight in the final episode.
THAT fight was far too short, and that is the my main gripe about it - considering how arduously long some fight scenes are with the three main protagonists. I'm still ambivalent about the deception - I mean, how could Raiden have NOT known?! Aghhhh! So Shao Kahn is crafty and wise in his madness, but come on now, Raiden is a GOD, dammit!
Regardless, very, VERY big shame that it wasn't renewed. I guess my imagination can fill out how Raiden gets out of that situation, how Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, Kitana and Reptile deal with their situation as well, how Kung Lao survives to be beaten later by Goro. And, of course, what happened to Sub-Zero, Smoke, Noob-Saibot, that Black Dragon woman, Shang Tsung's master, Omegis!
Worst parts of the series were some of the unnecessarily long fight scenes and the slow-ish start. And the fact that they can't seem to find anything else to wear. Kung Lao should have kept his hat. And Raiden should have worn his a few times more just for variety. And the final fight was far too short - but at least Raiden was cool and used his warhammer! Featuring all 22 original episodes from the first, and only (as noted) season in this wondrous 4 disc DVD box-set, all you Mortal Kombat fans BETTER buy this today! No excuses, or Sub-Zero will come find you!! This is a Full Screen Presentation (4x3 Aspect Ratio) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
Own 'Mortal Kombat: Conquest - The Complete Series' on DVD March 31!