Mortal Kombat is the long-awaited remake of the 1997 classic about the legendary protectors who’ve been chosen as worthy champions to represent Earthrealm in a fight against the Outworld warriors.
We know what’s at stake moments after Hazo/Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada) leans over to tell his wife, Harumi (Yukiko Shinohara), “I am grateful… and blessed to be with you.” That idyllic setting is immediately shattered, and the evolution in the role of the women of Mortal Kombat becomes clearer.
@MKMovie first 7 minutes…wow…just wow. Love, tragedy, vengeance. #HiroyukiSanada I hope you finally get the recognition you deserve as a leading man from western audiences. @Joe_Taslim pure villain energy! And props to Yukiko Shinohara & Ren Miyagawa for heartbreaking realism
— 🐝🍯Gold in the Veins… 🌊💙 (@MythicJess) April 20, 2021
Harumi is a wife and mother, but she’s also a brave and resourceful woman. She hides her baby daughter under the floorboards and then turns to flee with her young son. Bi-Han/SubZero (Joe Taslim) freezes the pair as she holds her son in her arms. Then, he leaves them as a message to Hazo, who follows SubZero to avenge his family’s death. Harumi’s sacrifice assures the continuation of Hazo’s family line, which will ultimately assure the fulfillment of the prophecy.
The fate of the Earthrealm world and all civilization hangs in the balance, and this first heart-wrenching scene is just the first sacrifice.
The First Female Warrior of Mortal Kombat
Sonya Blade was a last-minute, token-female addition in the original 1992 video game, where she’s a lieutenant pursuing Kano and his Black Dragon international crime organization. Compared to the other original characters, she’s a “normal” female warrior, not a super-ninja. She’s been a damsel in distress who breaks the mold by kicking ass. Later video games paint her as a general in the Outer World Investigation Agency (OIC), as she defends the Earthrealm from threats.
jessica mcnamee sonya blade mortal kombat fancam pic.twitter.com/ShtT6vvCEv
— serenas media (@cleosnefertiti) April 25, 2021
In the new movie, Sonya (Jessica McNamee) is the archetypal Watcher, Recruiter and Historian, although she’s not immediately accepted as a worthy champion. Even without superpowers, Sonya is the glue that holds the Earthrealm team together. She earns her dragon mark and manifests her arcana pink energy blast in defense of Cole Young (Lewis Tan).
Sonya Blade is a no-nonsense badass chick with the courage and tenacity to demand respect.
The Female Super Villains of Mortal Kombat
Mileena (Sisi Stringer) and Nitara (Mel Jarnson) are the female super villains of Mortal Kombat. They’re both knockouts with special powers, but the new movie lends horrific dimensions that jump off the screen. A dual sai-wielding assassin, Mileena first appeared as Katana‘s evil twin in the 1993 video game.
— Lord Pretty ⚔️ (@remileena) April 25, 2021
Mileena is an Edenian/Tarkatan clone of Katana and the sole surviving heir/adopted daughter of Shao Kahn. In the movie, Mileena has razor-sharp fangs and teleporting ability. She’s also in line for the throne, which may explain her dedication to destroying all the Earthrealm champions. Sonya refers to her as the “bitch with teeth,” and later takes her out by blasting her in the chest.
Compared to Mileena’s fangs, Nitara first swoops in with vicious grace, as part of Mortal Kombat: Deception video game in 2004. She’s a vampire and winged hunter. As one of Shang Tsung’s enforcers, she still bursts upon the movie screen with what seems to be so much potential, but her appearance is short-lived.
Final Thoughts: A New Age
Have a blast with #MortalKombatMovie – in theaters and streaming on HBO Max* NOW!
— Mortal Kombat Movie (@MKMovie) April 25, 2021
Good and bad, the women of Mortal Kombat are all markedly different from their previous video game and movie origins. Even though Harumi is a new addition to the storyline, her courage and sacrifice set the stage for her husband’s resurrection and the Earthrealm team’s victory. But all the female characters are different, more well-rounded with an intensity that’s not built up by skimpy outfits or provocative moves.
This is a whole new age of female warriors, even though it’s still evolving. With rumors of a sequel, Sonya may revisit the silver screen with an appearance by Johnny Cage and maybe even her daughter. I enjoyed the movie. I loved the new Sonya I saw on screen, and I’m eager to see what the next chapter will hold.
Have you watched the Mortal Kombat reboot yet? Are you looking forward to the next sequel? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking For More Female-Focused Movie Exposés? Read These: