It’s been some time after the Avengers: End Game events, and being able to watch a phase 4 movie felt exciting.
Shang-Chi brought loads of fun, and it’s great to be able to see new characters in the expansion of the Multiverse.
I love how Shang-Chi sneaked in some decade-old references from The Hulk and Iron Man that left me wanting to know more of their sophisticated phase 4 stories ahead.
Like a little kid, I screamed when I saw Abomination and Wong’s appearance, even if it’s a brief moment. Not to mention the incredible feeling when Shang-Chi and Katy were introduced to both Captain Marvel and Dr Banner, on the mysterious signalling beacon activated within the ten rings. Though the movie didn’t give us a clue what those ten rings are, the dragon’s appearance gave comic fans some theory that they are the Makluans, the alien dragon species that invented those rings. The beacon perhaps signalling other Makluans that a unique and worthy person finally inherited the ten rings? Unsure what the beacon means for the Avengers, so I think we’re gonna find out more in Eternals, Spiderman or Doctor Strange.
And that’s it, I’m just happy to see old characters connecting to new ones.
So what do I think of Shang-Chi’s story on the big screen? Well, I can just say it’s like Mulan and that repetitive Asian storytelling formula of Family. Not gonna lie; I felt like Kevin Feige and his producers are trying to play safe with China’s government so that they can enter their market.
I have never read the comic books, but I believe Shang-Chi’s origin story could have been more sophisticated than putting Iron Man’s Archenemy, The Mandarin, as a loving family man to a revengeful and aimless husband.
Then Shang-Chi, a clueless and misguided young assassin after the murder of his mother, found revenge isn’t the answer as he has maybe done the deed of killing his mother’s killer.
As a Chinese Malaysian, the story is mehhh.. but brilliant for traditional or local audiences who may want to try a Western film with an East Asian face as the main character. Perhaps this was Kevin Feige’s primary goal, create a familiar formula, hoping it will penetrate into larger territories for Marvel.
I’m disappointed that a film is politically influenced. Still, hey, I’m proud to see a great collaboration between East and West talents happen, especially in a blockbuster superhero Marvel film.
Perhaps Kevin Feige has something more in Phase 4’s future, and we get to see more of Simu Liu, Awkwafina and Benedict Wong in action with the Avengers.