Mortal Kombat (2021) set up its sequel to include the fighter Johnny Cage, which could bring a powerful emotional core to the film.
Mortal Kombat (2021) set up the upcoming tournament for its sequel. However, with the heroes shorthanded in the battle to save Earthrealm, Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) tasked them with finding new champions. The film closed with newcomer Cole Young (Lewis Tan) traveling to Hollywood to recruit the action star and martial arts master, Johnny Cage. In the Mortal Kombat franchise, Cage has always been an immature and self-centered character, but with his appearance in the sequel, he has the chance to be the film’s emotional center.
In the video game’s storyline, Cage joined the Mortal Kombat tournament to regain his reputation, respect and prove to his critics and fans that he was doing his own stunts. However, once he met the heroes of Earthrealm and saw how serious they took the competition, it awakened a desire to be a better fighter and person. That desire grew and evolved Cage into the hero of the later games.
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In the sequel, Cage would undoubtedly be the hot-headed and self-centered Hollywood star that he was in Mortal Kombat‘s earlier installments. But rather than focusing only on his vanity, the film could spend time delving into the character’s personal feelings of inadequacy as his martial arts skills are judged and considered fake in his films. For Cage, there is nothing more important than his career and his reputation. This is the main reason he wants to compete, to seek validation from his fanbase and, most importantly, himself.
His attitude and cockiness are his character’s signature, with only Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) able to cut through it by rejecting Cage’s advances. Once Cage sees how deadly the competition is, he gradually cares less about proving something to his critics and focuses on himself, as he feels like he has no place fighting in the tournament due to his severe lack of self-worth.
By the sequel’s climax, Cage proves to himself, by surviving the tournament, that he is a capable fighter thanks to the discovery of his arcana. Before the credits roll, Cage would wrestle with if he is ready to go back to his life of action star fame or stay and fight with his new friends against Outworld’s threats. In the end, Cage’s newfound self-confidence and sense of duty see him stay and continue fighting to protect his realm.
Mortal Kombat fans hotly anticipate Cage’s inclusion in the sequel. Since most of the world has dealt with self-doubt or inadequacy, he serves as a relatable example and inspiration. By pulling himself up and recognizing his self-worth, Cage could show others that no matter what anyone says, they’re a star and deserve to keep fighting.
Directed by Simon McQuoid and produced by James Wan, Mortal Kombat stars Lewis Tan as Cole Young, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson as Kano, Tadanobu Asano as Lord Raiden, Mehcad Brooks as Jackson “Jax” Bridges, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Joe Taslim as Bi-Han and Sub-Zero, Hiroyuki Sanada as Hanzo Hasashi and Scorpion, Max Huang as Kung Lao, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, Matilda Kimber as Emily Young and Laura Brent as Allison Young. The film is now in theaters and available to stream on HBO Max.
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