Writing Movie “WRONGS”
By Jim West
Directed by Simon McQuoid
Written by Greg Russo, Dave Callaham, and Oren Uziel,
It was 1992 when Midway Games unleashed a video game that would become a multi-million dollar media franchise. The characters of Sub-Zero, Scorpion, etc would become part of mainstream culture. Three writer’s on this film based upon long standing well established characters should be a walk in the park. This should be an easy to write task to pull together a story that has been told and retold multiple times across many films and media.
Here comes the spoilers.
In ancient Japan, assassins led by Bi-Han kill the warriors of the rival ninja clan led by Hanzo Hasashi, including Hanzo’s wife and son. Hanzo kills the attackers before being killed by Bi-Han, resulting in his soul being condemned to the Netherrealm. Raiden, god of thunder, arrives and takes Hanzo’s surviving infant daughter to safety. This opening scene is perhaps the best part of the film, and definitely the best in any Mortal Kombat film.
We jump to modern day with new character, Cole Young, who is rather….meh. He is the modern descendant of Hanzo’s bloodline and his destiny is tied to the Mortal Kombat tournament. He is shown as a fighter who has lost his edge and lacks confidence. Jax and Sonja Blade get their introductions and we get a great take on Kano performed flawlessly by Joshua Lawson. He perhaps may be the most interesting character in the entire film. Unfortunate given that Cole and Hanzo were supposed to be the heart of this film. In fact the film lacks both heart and a soul. Quite frankly the film needed more Hanzo in it. The most exciting parts are the face-offs between Sub-Zero and Scorpion.
Sub-Zero versus Scorpion ramp up could have been much better. More brutal and vicious. The end of the film should have shown Sub-Zero being resurrected by Shang Tsung so their battle can rage on for eternity. I think a sequel film should explore Sub-Zero’s backstory to show his side of their lifelong battle as a way to split the audience on which character they root for. This film clearly establishes Sub-Zero as a nonredeemable bad guy from the opening scenes and throughout the film. If they showed a flashback of what he lost and went through in his life that brought him to Shang Tsung would have given us some insight to what is driving him to destroy earth. Sometimes having two characters who in their respective ways and perspectives are right, but also wrong is a delicate balance to write. Yet that is the very thing this film needed to elevate it beyond just CGI and action spectacle and into a film that causes debate among audience goers long after the end credits roll.
Thanks for reading Writing Movie ‘WRONGS’.