Mortal Kombat 2 must fix Sonya Blade after the failure of the first movie


Since the portrayal of Sony Blade in Mortal Kombat was flawed, Mortal Kombat 2 is tasked with restoring the meaning of perhaps the most important female character in the franchise. Although the changes made by the 2021 adaptation were successful in some cases, some characters were seen as overdue. In particular, in the case of Sonya, the entire legacy of the character was forgotten.

Like Bridget Wilson before her, Jessica McNamee played Sonya Blade in the 2021 version with enviable intensity and skill. Unfortunately for McNamee, the script gave her only a fraction of the respect she deserved. Sometimes the narration even interfered with McNamee’s performance. Throughout the history of Mortal Kombat, Sonya was famous not only for her aesthetics. She was one of the first portrayals of a powerful female character in a video game, different from the likes of Chun-li from Street Fighter, thanks to Sony’s realistic proportions and convincing resilience. Sonya even beat the performance of Lara Croft, a female icon, by almost four years. Mortal Kombat 2021 didn’t try to admit it. While some of the changes made by Mortal Kombat to Sonya were reasonable, most of them were not.

The first of these errors was quickly recognized when Sonya appeared on the screen. A member of the special forces had her own military influence, and her motives were diluted for the sake of demonstration. Instead of being portrayed as an important and powerful symbol of pop culture, she became the mouthpiece of the film’s biggest deviations from the video game canon. The energy that made her feud with Kano so palpable in video games was then written off and replaced only by the mercenary’s youthful commentary. Somehow, the script treated Kano favorably throughout the film, despite the fact that Sony’s opportunities for representation were much more important than the opportunities of a foul-mouthed Australian. Thanks to the retcon made in the Mortal Kombat story by Sony and Kano, their roles in Mortal Kombat 2021 were respectively forgettable and fatal.

By reducing the importance of Sony’s military past to her limited interaction with Jackson Briggs, Mortal Kombat created another obstacle to the development of Mortal Kombat 2. One of Blade’s strongest strengths throughout the history of Mortal Kombat has been her close association with the Armed Forces. She acted as the face of the soldiers who meet and repel the invasions of the Outside World. The foundation she laid for the military in the world of these games also provided an opportunity for Johnny Cage to become a significant figure, as he worked closely with Sony’s special forces. Mortal Kombat 2 has already let Johnny Cage down in many ways. Neglecting to lay the foundation that would eventually unite him and Sonya Blade was a mistake made by both characters, as their relationship began to define the human side of the later parts of the game.

These changes might make sense if the reimagined portrayal of Sony in the 2021 adaptation provided a unique perspective on the history of Mortal Kombat. Although she first appeared as the main source of the actors’ exposure, she was then pushed even further away from the central conflict. Since Sonya was the only participant without the dragon mark, she was forced to observe the training of the men in preparation for the tournament, from which Raiden warned her. This could have allowed Blade to act as an outsider who first learned about Mortal Kombat (as an audience representative), but franchise newcomer Cole Young has already filled this role. Aside from killing Cole Young in Mortal Kombat 2, there aren’t many ways to change Sony’s redundant position when the next movie comes out.

In the end, Mortal Kombat 2021 hid its disastrous disservice to Sonya Blade under the bloody spectacle that the franchise is known for. In the next movie, this is unacceptable. Sonya Blade has been a hallmark of the female image since her debut in 1992, and she deserves to be treated as such in Mortal Kombat 2.