Anyway, Mortal Kombat - Defenders of the Realm (released as Mortal Kombat - The Animated Series in everywhere that isn't America) centres around various characters from the video game as they stand about arguing until some baddies show up and then they fight them in as violent a way as they can get away with in a late 90s cartoon intended to sell toys (i.e. not very, lots of robots and lasers, but hey, it's better than He-Man's endless muddy puddles) and stars a wealth of voice talent dug up from what's that guy's name I'm sure he was in that thing, including Ron Perlman, Luke Perry, Clancy Brown and Olivia d'Abo.
There's Liu Kang, a topless man in pyjamas; Princess Kitana, who has some fans; Sub Zero, who has Elsa from Frozen powers; Jax, who punches stuff; Sonya Blade, who does backflips and a pink magic circle that she blows at the camera; Nightwolf and Kiva, a Native American stereotype who has a wolf that goes into his tummy which means he can throw fire and Stryker, who is dressed as a policeman and throws a truncheon. They're bound by honour and such, Raiden says, which leads to the title screen, and you realise that's the opening credits, and then you're disappointed because you wanted a theme song, or at least better-than-usual animation.
We open with Kiva the wolf, looking mean, sneaking up and pouncing on Nightwolf, but actually just for a cuddle, which would have been a good trick to play on the audience, had the credits not shown they were already bessie mates 45 seconds ago.
So, it turns out Nightwolf is the secretary of the Defenders of the Realm team, sat mucking about on the computer, waiting for phone calls and imminent danger and such. Imminent danger arrives soon enough when Liu Kang calls up on the video screen, to point out that there are some robot baddies causing a to do.
"Mortal Kombat begins again." He says to nobody in particular, and you consider drinking a shot of tequila for every time they say 'Mortal Kombat', but decide against it because you know that you'd be needing a stomach pump by the end of this 20 minute episode.
We cut to Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, Stryker and Jax, hiding behind a wall as a bunch of robots shoot lasers at them. The robots are apparently drones sent by Sektor and Cyrax, and have the laser aiming skills of a Stormtrooper with an itchy crotch.
Sonya Blade shouts something and then jumps over a wall. She does this a lot in this episode. Liu Kang meets up with Kitana, who is ok, much to Liu Kang's surprise. I can only imagine she was dead or something in the last film, or maybe she just was poorly.
Meanwhile, hiding behind another wall, Sonya talks patronisingly to Jax and Stryker before jumping over the wall and punching some baddies. Everyone else joins in, and each performs what I can imagine are signature moves from the game.
Kitana watches from on top of a rock, and encounders Sektor, some sort of Bionicle baddy with a kind of inaudible Bane voice. She wafts her fans at him a bit but is surprised when Sektor fires off his tummy missile and we cut to back because 5 minutes of cartoon is too much for Americans, who need their adverts.
It's a terrible cliffhanger, of course, as Kitana just twats the missile away with her fans, waggles her fans in Sektor's face, and then pushes him off a wall. She jumps down to join Liu Kang and they stare at each other for a moment as stuff explodes behind them, because romance. It's only about 5 or 6 seconds, but it's incredibly uncomfortable.
Sonya, Jax and Stryker jump for cover behind a giant anchor that is there for a reason, as the robots continue to shoot lots and lots of lasers; Liu Kang and Kitana just wander across to join them, like they don't give a shit.
Cyrax orders the robots to finish them off, like they weren't trying, only for them all to get frozen in ice by the sudden appearance of Queen Elsa Iceman Sub Zero. Sonya doesnt trust him for some reason, and makes her feelings incredibly clear. Everyone ignores her rantings though and vote to back Sub Zero up, not that he needs any help. Sonya shouts something with a K then jumps over a wall.
Someone or other shouts "Sonya, Finish Them" and she performs her magic death wiggly laser kiss fatality from the game, exploding some kind of portal that the baddies are legging it through.
Sub Zero then has a chat with the team, and has a bit of a tense moment with Liu Kang. He then goes and ruins it by talking in Luke Perry's voice, which doesn't sound anything like you'd expect. It's kind of like if Arnold Schwarzenegger started talking like Elmo.
Anyway, it seems that Sub Zero and his lucious lips had issues with Liu Kang having a fight with his brother ages ago. This was probably in the film, which I haven't watched since it was on video, and even then I wasn't bothered. It turns out that Liu Kang defeated him using a handily placed bucket of water, that left his opponent frozen. Liu Kang ponders if he'd have been able to throw the bucket of water on him, had Kitana not told him to throw the bucket of water on him.
Everyone seems to have got bored of Liu Kang staring off into the distance, having a flashback so they all bugger off. Sub Zero explains that he is definitely a goodie now for some reason, because his brother was a baddie and other reasons, probably they had a bad dental insurance scheme or whatnot. He warns that Scorpion is on his way from Outworld and Sonya shouts something patronising at him.
Liu Kang expresses unhappiness at having to drive a jet, but Kitana tells him to stop whining because just shut up Liu Kang shut up nobody likes you shut up. They then fly the jets into the sea, on purpose, turning the jets into submarines or whatever. Stryker crashes into the one stalagtite that isn't a painted background element and chunters a bit and then they arrive in their base.
Nightwolf says hello and tries to be relevant, Sonya shouts patronisingly at everyone and Jax apologises on her behalf, which is probably how he lost his first lot of arms. Nightwolf explains that Sonya doesn't mean to be a bitch, she just is because (slow zoom into face, sad music) she lost her last two partners in fights with baddies and she hasn't gotten over it. Sub Zero walks off and it's at this point that we realise that Nightwolf doesn't have a belly button.
Sub Zero questions Nightwolf, saying he thought he was all mystical and that, when in fact he's just a massive computer nerrrrrd. Nightwolf utterly blanks him and changes the subject, but no doubt he'll be crying himself to sleep later. Kitana stares into a puddle of lava that is there for some reason, and Raiden raises his voice to sound important, and his eyes flash a bit.
A red honker goes off, and it turns out that the secret base isn't a secret at all, and a bunch of baddies in spaceships (The Nomad, who Raiden explains are just shit) are shooting at it with the kind of useless lasers that don't do any damage because cartoons are hard. Everyone blames Sub Zero for the baddies finding them, and Sonya calls him out and points at him and then it's time for more adverts.
Raiden tells her to chill the fuck out and sends everyone out in their dragon jets to fight the baddies, which everyone gets bored with almost straight away, so they land their jets and, following Sonya as she jumps over a wall, they go and fight the baddies hand to hand.
Meanwhile, back in the base, Sub Zero explains that the baddies probably put a tracker on him so they could find the base, and Raiden buggers off to do something or other, he just sounds bored by this point. Nightwolf senses some baddies in the base (because the computer thing didn't) and realises it's Karbrac, the Nomads' new leader. (Apparently the Nomad are based on the character Baraka from Mortal Kombat II, I don't know where he is. He's probably in hospital or something, as he doesn't show up in this series at all)
Nightwolf asks Liu Kang for help, but he's do busy jumping about outside. Sub Zero offers to help, and Nightwolf tells Kiva to jump into his tummy like in the credits. This makes his eyes go white and gives him a magic bow and arrow, it also makes him shout and run away a lot.
With all the excitement out of the way, Raiden shows up and sends all the baddies off to somewhere or other using magic. Everyone comes back in, Sonya continues to be a bitch, and everyone welcomes Sub Zero onto the team.
Raiden finds the tracking device on Sub Zero, and Sonya apologises, says a bitchy remark, then says sorry again. Fortunately for her, a big red honker goes off and everyone gets excited because Scorpion is coming. Raiden looks to the camera and says "Mortal Kombat Continues". Or "Kontinues". Actually it's almost definitely Kontinues, in fact I'm almost tempted to go through this write-up and replace all the curly c's with kicking k's, just to keep with the theme. Utter kunts.
So, that's it for the first episode, we're left with the credits and the theme tune which is the kind of terrible noise that you'd find in your head if you ate too much beef jerky and fell down a well.
All in all, this introduces all the characters well enough, drawn in crayon and hateful as they are. Sonya is an unlikeable bitch, her only saving grace being that she's wearing yoga pants. Sub Zero's voice just sounds wrong, but everyone else sounds about right.
I will rate this episode K- with the kind of fatality that is me closing this laptop and going for a cry in the kitchen.
Al "@Fudgecrumpet" Terry has been casuing fear far and wide wherever photos can be shared. He updates www.fudgecrumpet.com where possible, and may well be hiding under your bed right now.
With this very cartoon......