While I need my antagonists to be as strong or stronger than my protagonists when it comes to characters, at most, I love me some reluctant heroes.
So there’s a lot of pressure on Wah Sing Ku, the vicious high-ranking Chinese Triad negotiator from the 1998 film, Lethal Weapon 4. I loved that he was motivated by a love for his older brother, Michael Sing Ku, one of the 4 Fathers he is trying to get released from prison.
Can you believe Wah Sing Ku is one of only two villains highlighted in my A to Z challenge? Neither can I.
A villain moves us the strongest though when he has a bit of heart in him. We become conflicted as to whether our hero’s own actions really are needed. This struggle to come to terms with the right answer is at the heart of life. We are most touched by a story when we feel it’s ties in our own lives. And who wouldn’t want to save an older sibling? Who wouldn’t do anything?
Jet Li made Wah Sing Ku. His stoic expressions even in the face of Riggs taunts, the sudden smiles and humor inspiring fear instead of relief, and the simply beautiful fight sequences. Even if you are totally against violence you can see the craft and technique in his movements – they take your breath away.
Many villains have been made to mimic if not wholly impersonate Wah Sing Ku for just this effect.
I love though when villains inspire me. And boy does Wah Sing Ku inspire me. Hidden in plain sight, right there in his hand is a wire cloaked as rosary beads. A formidable weapon used to strangle opponents after he wows us subduing them with his martial arts skills. Really the only way Riggs and Murtaugh could defeat Wah Sing Ku / Jet Li was by riddling him with holes from a AK-47 machine-gun. What does that tell you?
Pretty indefeatable if you ask me…just the way a villain should be.
This month I’m participating in a writing challenge to post everyday in April (except Sundays) called the A to Z Challenge. I’m exploring my love of characters, find the full list here. Read some of my other writing posts here. What characters do you love?