Sunday 27 October 2013

Kevin Tancharoen leaves Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat Rebirth and Legacy Season 1 & 2 Director, Kevin Tancharoen has tweeted that he will be moving on to other creative opportunities, after 3 years with Mortal Kombat.

To be honest, this came as a shock. Even before Legacy Season 2 was out, there was lots of talk of KT to direct Season 3 as well as a full-length movie. So it was a given that Kevin will be with Mortal Kombat for years to come.

So what happened? Why is he leaving? All the questions started to appear.. It was no secret that Season 2 wasn't as well-received as the previous season. His own creative aspect in reinventing the characters seemed to clash with the original source.

I was among those who found Season 2 disappointing. There were awesome moments, some really good stuff but there were a couple of disappointments as well. It just didn't live up to the hype for me.

There's going to be some plot spoilers from now, so if you haven't watched Season 2, it's best if you scroll down to the bottom first.

Kenshi's battle with Ermac was good, had some action with a nice fatality at the end. They also showed some of his moves from the game. A little too short but was good.

Kitana and Mileena had a good battle scene as well and finished off with another fatality. Both actresses played their roles, with Michelle Lee especially, doing a very convincing role as Mileena. I actually pitied her at the end.

Then there's Johnny Cage, Casper Van Dien did well but there was something lacking to convince me that he is Johnny Cage.

Raiden & Kurtis Stryker were forgettable. Very small roles, due to lack of time perhaps. Hardly enough time to convince me they should return for the 3rd season, if there is one.

Mark Dacascos, as Kung Lao was decent. Didn't really like his role though, but I can't blame him for that.

Then there is Liu Kang, played by Brian Tee... I don't really know where to start.. I was highly anticipating to watch his story. The very first trailer of Season 2 already revealed that Liu Kang was gonna be a bad guy.. Liu Kang? Mr Good Guy. EarthRealm's best kombatant as a baddie? Crazy but ok... I was open to the idea as KT had done well so far. So let's see why Liu Kang is bad guy..

But the story we see in Season 2 was largely confusing. With scenes being all over the place, jumping from past to present, it was hard to follow the order of the sequences took place. Coupled with a very unconvincing performance about why he wants to take revenge on Earth.. I really felt his story sucked.. No disrespect to the actor, I have seen some of his work before and I think he's a good actor, but the attempt at making Liu Kang a bad guy, just flopped. Liu Kang was supposed to be the main highlight after Scorpion & SubZero, so it was no wonder, the reviews were bad.

But the highlight of the 2nd Season was Scorpion and Sub-Zero, their story was absolutely fantastic. KT went with a different approach on their back-stories showing that as kids the 2 ninjas were actually friends before their rival clans forces them to hate each other. Agreeing to a truce, which ultimately ended in Scorpion killing Sub-Zero due to Shang Tsung's trickery. Their story was by far the best. KT seems to be inconsistent, where some stories are masterpieces while others are not as good, to say the least.

The friendship between the Scorpion and Sub-Zero was very believable and the emotions felt, when Scorpion believed that Sub-Zero betrayed him and killed his family were very very real. It was really tense at the end when Sub-Zero tried, in vain, to reason with Scorpion... and that fatality.. that scream.. my oh my.. it will go down for me as THE best scene in Mortal Kombat across all media, games or live-action for me. I watched the final battle over a dozen times, from the part where SubZero hears of the tragedy to having his.. you know what happened.. That will remain in my memory for a long, long time.

Ian Anthony Dale has portrayed Scorpion very well in the 2 seasons. Very pleased as Scorpion is my favourite Mortal Kombat character after all. I really felt his emotions when he learnt of his family's death and his lust of revenge. Without a doubt, he's my top pick to portray Scorpion in the movie.

Eric Steinburg was also a good Sub-Zero but his outfit is questionable.

His MK Outfit.. Mortal Kombat or Moto-Kross??
Really disappointed in the choice of outfit for Sub-Zero.. Another strange decision was to kill off Kuai Liang, the younger brother of the Sub-Zero, who was to be the next Sub-Zero. So what now for Season 3 with both Sub-Zeros dead?

But there are bigger problems to worry about than that.. With KT leaving the franchise, will there even be a Season 3 or more importantly, a movie?

Season 2 ended in a cliff-hanger which was disappointing as I felt the episodes in general were way too short. With a bigger budget and higher expectations, I expected it to be longer and covering more of the tournament itself but there were plenty of flashbacks to the 1st season which made the 2nd Season even shorter. So will we see a 3rd season with a different director?

What about the movie then? It is highly possible that someone else can come in to fill the void as the Legacy Seasons were not meant to be canon to the movie, from what Kevin has been saying. Mortal Kombat fans have waited too long for it, that it has become a dream. Just when finally, it was all coming to reality, this happens..

Another question was if Kevin Tancharoen knew that he was departing after the 2nd season. As recent as Sep 27, 2013, he was talking about his future plans with Season 3 and the movie in this interview. So did Season 2 disappoint that made him or maybe even Warner Bros. change their opinion? I hope to know the real reason soon.

I'm still very 50/50 about his departure. It was great seeing Mortal Kombat return to the big screen with his new vision, even though some of his decisions seem to stray away too much from the source material which I didn't really like. The modern take was ok but some of the decisions as mentioned above were confusing. A little disappointing as he seemed really passionate about Mortal Kombat, which was evident in him funding Mortal Kombat: Rebirth which was his very own project. 

Anyway, here's the Season 2. Watch it and tell me if you like it or not in the comments below..

Whatever it is, I have to say a big Thank You to Kevin Tancharoen and his team for reviving the dream.