Warning: Spoilers ahead
The new Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings debuted in theaters on September 3rd, and we’re all raving about it. This movie centered around the backstory of main character, Shaun (aka Shang-Chi). I’m always wary when the MCU adds a new hero to its ranks, but Shang-Chi far surpassed my expectations. The plot was interesting, the fight scenes were incredible, and the humor was top-notch. I am excited to see where we next get to see the dynamic duo of Shaun (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina). While plans for a sequel seem definite, fans believe they will see Shang-Chi return to their screens sooner, either in the next Avengers movie or as a cameo in another MCU film. No matter what, Shaun is here to stay, as evidenced by Bruce Banner’s “welcome to the circus” comment.
I cannot stress enough how well the fight scenes were choreographed. I’ve taken ten years of karate lessons, and I know I will never be able to fight as cool as they pretended to in the film. Even during those serious action-packed moments, they still tried to infuse humor, like the blogger during the bus fight or Katy bursting into “Hotel California” on the scaffolding to confuse the members of the Ten Rings. This movie found a way to walk the line between action and comedy in a way that all fans enjoyed.
Despite Shang-Chi being a backstory movie for Marvel fans to get to know Shaun’s origin, there were cameos from other beloved MCU characters sprinkled throughout the film. One person who kept popping up was Wong, sidekick of Dr. Strange. Wong is a Master of the Mystic Arts, keeper of the ancient books, and now, apparently, a badass cage fighter. In a meeting in the mid-credit scene at the end of the movie, Wong is examining the ten rings and is unable to determine where they are from. They keep records of all of the magical artifacts, so the fact that they can’t figure out what they are or where they come from says something about their origin. The rings likely came from another dimension, like the dimension where Ta Lo is perhaps? It was clear that Shaun’s aunt knew more about the rings than she was letting on. Maybe she knew where they came from and how they got to Shaun’s father.
This mid-credit scene also gave us more questions regarding other Avengers’ storylines. Bruce Banner was in the meeting as his human self. This is something that should not have been possible since he had completely transformed into the Hulk and couldn’t turn back. Once Banner found a way to keep his mind intact, he seemed fairly content being one with the Hulk, no longer feeling split. MCU fans question how the return of Banner happened and think it has to do with the new She-Hulk series coming to Disney+ in 2022. In the show, Banner gives his cousin a life-saving blood transfusion, and as a result, she becomes the She-Hulk. Not only do we want to see Jennifer Walters turn green, but now we hope that we will see Banners transformation back to himself.
There are many things in store for Marvel fans over the next year, and Shang-Chi was an excellent addition to the team. We look forward to all the possibilities and karaoke nights we’ll see Shaun and Katy in. At the end of the film, their character arcs were examined during dinner with friends who the week before told them they were wasting their potential. In such a short time they had changed so much, but you will still find them singing the night away knowing full well they have things to do in the morning. I think we all find this relatable when it’s late at night and that “next episode” loading button pops up, and you let it keep going despite your early alarm. Still, I think we all can’t wait for their next “Hotel California” performance.