A more realistic take on Mortal Kombat. In Deacon City, crime is running rampant, forcing Police Captain Jackson Briggs (Michael Jai White) to reach out to assassin Hanzo Hasashi. Briggs informs Hasashi of the presence of two madmen, codenamed Reptile and Baraka, as well as the man believed to be employing them both, Shang Tsung. The plan to deal with these men is simple; Tsung is holding an underground fighting tournament where it is believed that they and other undesirables will gather. Hasashi is to enter the tournament and eliminate everyone involved. Initially, the assassin is uninterested in this plan, until Sonya Blade (Jeri Ryan) reveals to him that a man named Sub-Zero will be there as well. His curiosity piqued, as he believed Sub-Zero to be dead and buried, Hasashi agrees before dropping his old name in favor of a new one - Scorpion.
Originally a short film intended to generate interest in a version of Mortal Kombat not unlike Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Rebirth was greenlit to become a ten episode web series. The original short/trailer can be viewed here.
This work contains examples of:
- Adaptation Name Change: Baraka's true name is Alan Zane.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Baraka still has them, but this time they're telescopic and collapsible, making them a little less unrealistic. It's still not explained how he extends and retracts them.
- Body Horror: Reptile has harlequin ichthyosis, a real-life birth defect that causes, amongst other things, dry, diamond-shaped "scales" to form instead of healthy skin and his eyelids to be formed inside out. He's noted to be thirty years old despite most babies with the condition (a photo of one is shown) dying in days or weeks.
- Doing In the Wizard: The original games were set in a Fantasy Kitchen Sink multiverse with magic, mythical creatures, and alternate dimensions. This idea for the series? Not so much. Even the nickname "Jax" is too unrealistic for this series.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Reptile keeps the heads of his victims in his fridge and eats them when he's hungry.
- In Name Only: Several changes are in effect, and not just replacing fantasy and magic with science and technology. The most blatant of these are Reptile being portrayed as a human Serial Killer with harlequin ichthyosis who cannibalizes people's heads, and the bald light-skinned Outworld Tarkatan Baraka reimagined as "Alan Zane," a dark-skinned, dreadlocked, formerly handsome failed plastic surgeon who killed one patient by accident and two dozen on purpose, pierced his face, and implanted telescopic blades into his forearms.
- Killed Off for Real: Johnny Cage, via decapitation.
- Leave No Survivors: Sonya Blade says it word-for-word when ordering Scorpion to kill everyone in the tournament.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The video goes out of its way to provide realistic explanations for two of Mortal Kombat's most outlandish fighters, Reptile and Baraka. Instead of being a lizard man and Humanoid Abomination from alternate dimensions, they're explained as serial killers with a genetic disorder causing lizard-like appearance and a plastic surgeon who took body modification a bit too far respectively. Then we find out Jax has been explaining all this to Hanzo Hasashi, who turns to the camera, revealing his pure-white eyes, and says that Hasashi is dead, his name is Scorpion, with some subtle dialogue indicating that, perhaps, Hasashi really is dead.
- Meaningful Name: In this universe, Zane's alias "Baraka" makes more sense as he was originally a doctor who helps people.
- My Greatest Failure: Baraka is a former plastic surgeon who accidentally killed a patient. The next two dozen were not accidents.
- Mythology Gag:
- Reptile's penchant for eating heads is a reference to one of his Fatalities.
- The name on Capt. Briggs door has a few faded letters. The darker ones spell 'Jacks,' a play on his in-game name of Jax.
- Possibly Johnny's death, as it was a Running Gag in the games at the time to kill him off.
- The word "fatality" and the phrase "Finish him!" are both spoken.
- Sub-Zero having a brother, whom Hashashi has killed by mistake.
- "Get over here!"
- Off with His Head!: Baraka kills Johnny Cage this way.
- One Last Smoke: Johnny Cage, right before Baraka takes his head off.
- Play-Along Prisoner: Hasashi claims that he's in prison only because he wants to be and he can leave whenever he chooses. He proves this by casually removing his handcuffs without Briggs noticing.
- Prophet Eyes: Scorpion's eyes are milky-white without irises. Despite this, he can see just fine.
- Recruiting the Criminal: Briggs wants Hasashi, one of the world's top assassins, to do what he does best and kill those who've made Deacon City into a hellhole.
- Red Right Hand: Reptile is reimagined as a human Serial Killer with harlequin ichthyosis, the symptoms of which he manages to mostly cover with bandages.
- Serial Killer: Both Baraka and Reptile are re-imagined this way.
- That Man Is Dead: Scorpion, in regards to Hanzo Hasashi.