Best of the Best

Written by Robert Hanly, picked by fans (poll results)

Best Episode goes to….
The Serpent and the Ice
I wasn’t surprised to find out The Serpent and the Ice had gotten Best Episode. I mean, it has both Scorpion AND Sub-Zero, what’s more, they fight each other – two of the biggest names in Mortal Kombat history going at it one on one.
The episode’s storyline might not have matched some of the others (Twisted Truths, The Master), but it was good enough to better some others I wouldn’t care to mention (The Essence, In Kold Blood). It is all about the discovery of Sub-Zero’s mysterious past, and how he grew up after being kidnapped from his family as a child. The acting is this episode is surprisingly good, as Sub-Zero shows deep emotion at some points. We have to give credit to the actor who played the ice ninja’s father, too, as he played his role very well.
‘But what about the fights?!’ I hear you cry. Well let’s see… the first fight of the episode, a brief appetizer between Sub-Zero and Scorpion, isn’t an overly astonshing one, as it is quite short and the choreography isn’t exactly top-notch. However, the episode makes up for this with the next two battles being absolute eye-candy for martial arts fans everywhere. Kung Lao goes against two of Scorpion’s goons, and the three of them manage to pull off a breathtaking encounter involving rhythmic double-team moves and handfuls of vicious weapons. But despite this work of art, the confrontation at the end completely steals the show. Scorpion and Sub-Zero meet again, but this time, they’re not holding back. Everything possible has been done to make this fight go down in TV show history, as the two enemies leap onto rooftops, break ornaments and get blasted through walls in full gravity-defying glory. Classical.Best Actor goes to…
Kung Lao - Paolo Montalban
The man who played Kung Lao would definetely have a huge burden on him, but Paolo Montalban dealt with it and gave it everything he had in every episode. Which was a lot.
Some of his best acting has been seen in the episodes Quan Chi and Unholy Alliance. He shows anger and hatred in Quan Chi extremely well, and makes his love for Jen more believable than some would expect in Unholy Alliance.
But there is a downside to his acting sometimes. This can be clearly seen in the Twisted Truths episode. At the end, he says the line ‘You’re not going anywhere, nor are you.’
He failed miserably to deliver this line properly. If you see it again, you’ll know what I mean.
He can act brilliantly in his fights though. He makes getting punched in the stomach seem  awfully sore, and he can put on a pretty good show when he gets injured, ‘Agggh!!! Graggh!!! Ooooeeeeaaahhh!!!’
Certainly, a person with talent for acting. He plays Kung Lao as well as anyone else would, and I’m sure most people would say he’s one of the best actors in all the Mortal Kombat TV adaptions.
BTW, I just want to mention that he co-starred in the Cinderalla movie with Moesha star and R&B sensation Brandy.
(Behind the scenes fact: My brother is sitting here next to me and says Paolo Montalban is a rubbish actor, and that Kristanna Loken (Taja) should have won it. He’s doing some pretty funny impressions of Paolo. Ahem…)

Best Fight goes to…
Kung Lao - Paolo Montalban
This is the fight everyone wants to see. Don’t mind your Liu Kang, and your Kung Lao, and all your sissies like Jax and Goro. This time, it’s two of the biggest non-existent celebrities clashing for the ultimate right to be called the icon of Mortal Kombat.
The fight starts off with some fast-paced kicking, but gradually starts to slow down with more impossibly powerful moves and amazingly high stunts. Basically, the two ninjas stick up two fingers to the laws of physics and biology when they leap high onto rooftops and survive falls of about 3 stories.
But what would a super-ninja fight be, without some super-ninja powers? Sub-Zero and Scorpion use their enhanced abilities to the limit by shooting spears, firing ice and teleporting here, there and everywhere. Extra touches have been added to the fight by having both combatants punched, kicked and thrown through all sorts of debris: walls, baskets, doors, hay-stacks, you name it. As well as all these, the producers have edited the fight to make it as fantastic as possible. They use slow motion, wirework, backward play – everything they can get their wealthy hands on.
After half the trading post has been torn apart, we find the two back to where they started in the middle of the courtyard where the final hand-to-hand match begins – no walls, rooftops, just a floor to fall onto. At this point, some handy choreography is used, and the fight becomes fast-moving once again.
Luckily for others, but disappointingly for some, it is Scorpion who comes out on top in the final section of the fight. But this is surprising, as Sub-Zero seemed to always be able to comeback after being hit.
The finish of the match, Scorpion harpoons the ice ninja up against a wall. Sub-Zero seems helpless now, but we know better. He grabs the dragon spear and freezes it until it reaches Scorpion’s hand. He then chops it and it falls down to pieces, which leaves Scorpion saying ‘ouch’ many times.

Greatest Warrior goes to…
At the release of the very first Mortal Kombat video game, Sub-Zero became the fan favourite, or the ‘face’ as some would call it. At the release of Mortal Kombat 2, he became even more favourable. The release of the Mortal Kombat movie put the character into real-life motion, and the fans ate up every bite.
But when Mortal Kombat 3 came, there was a confusion. A Sub-Zero without a mask? How could that be Sub-Zero? He doesn’t sound like Sub-Zero, he doesn’t feel like Sub-Zero and he sure as hell doesn’t look like him.
Then the release of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation came onto our screens. This mystery person was revealed in this movie: it isn’t Sub-Zero after all. It’s his younger brother. Despite this younger brother having skills obviously greater than his sibling’s, as shown in his amazing fight against Scorpion on the bridge (in which he lost), people were skeptical against him, because he wasn’t the Sub-Zero they knew.
But once again, Sub-Zero came back to life. Not in a movie, but in a new hit TV show – Mortal Kombat: Conquest. It was in this show that Sub-Zero was truly shown for who he really is. The warrior was portrayed even better than in the first movie, where he met his unfortunate end.
But what people didn’t realize or remember, is that Sub-Zero is not an immortal. He is mortal. So the Sub-Zero in the first movie, could not have been the Sub-Zero in the 500-years-ago show. But no-one seemed to notice. Why? Because he had a mask, that’s why. That IS the reason. THAT is why the Annihilation ninja was not accepted as a true Sub-Zero.
What we’re actaully seeing is that Sub-Zero is not one man. He is three, and will eventaully be four. Then five. The Sub-Zero name is being passed down through the generations, from father to son(s).
But, in the fans’ opinion, the best and purest Sub-Zero has been the man who starred in Conquest. After all, he is the man who started the whole thing. He is the ninja who began the legacy of Sub-Zero. His skills easily matched the now-that’s-impossible abilities of his Annihilation double-triple-great-grandson, and he actually said a few things. People actually got to see how HE would do against Scorpion. Not only did he fight as well as his Annihilation descendant, but he fought better. No he didn’t win, but he didn’t loose either. He… half won, let’s say.
Since Conquest, several new adaptions of Mortal Kombat came into play. The games of Mythologies, Trilogy, Gold, Special Forces, the official Mortal Kombat 4 game. Sub-Zero has been kept in almost all of the them, to keep the fans happy. He was even the star of Mythologies. There have also new TV ideas, such as the animated film and the kid’s TV show, Defenders of the Realm.
Now we hear news of a new movie, Mortal Kombat: Devastation. We hear talks of someone new taking the lead role. Who else… but Sub-Zero.
The release of the new game, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. The hero of the movies, Liu Kang, is gone in this installment. Why? With the coming of Devastation, one could only susprect: to make room for the rising star, Sub-Zero.
The ice ninja is truly a symbol of video gaming, right up there next to Lara Croft and Solid Snake. He is an ingenius creation, one which is powerful enough to last forever, and stay in the minds of video gamers and movie viewers. He is Hulk Hogan in sports-entertainment, he is Muhammed Ali in boxing, he is Michael Jackson in music, he is George Best in soccer, he is Babe Ruth in baseball and he is Jim Carrey in comedy.  If I were to describe Sub-Zero in three words, these would be them…
Icon………………………. Phenom……………………….. Legend.

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