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I watched Shang-Chi again Thanksgiving morning before 9 hours of football. It’s still really good. The one consistent criticism I’ve heard is that the final battle is CGI. I don’t have a problem with that at all. In fact, I think the MCU uses CGI battles in a powerful way.
Chinese mysticism is hokey nonsense, but so is Norse mysticism, Greek mysticism, etc. As an amateur student of mythology (and legacy D&D player), I may appreciate eastern mythology more than most Americans, and I can assure you that those stories are a generally untapped resource. The MCU is the perfect universe to capitalize on that resource. Shang-Chi was just the start. If you can suspend your disbelief with superheroes, you can accept giant dragons, hokey martial arts moves, and magic in general, and those things often require CGI.
Some of those stories involve creatures that simply don’t exist in the real world, and to do things as grandiose as the MCU does, CGI is a requirement. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, but you’re being a bit unfair if you claim that the CGI dominates the scene. As large as it was (spoiler alert!), the good dragon didn’t win the day. He was defeated. He was about to die. Human beings with whom we can relate, Shang-Chi and Katy, made the difference. If you want to criticize something, criticize that Katy managed an impossible shot with less than one day’s training with a longbow. Many of you have. I’m with you on that.
Side Note: I’d love it if Thor used the Bifrost to take Shang-Chi to visit Shang-Ti in later movies. We’re now dealing with celestial-level threats. We need an Odin equivalent. They should also use Black Panther to introduce Egyptian (Bast) and other African (Shango) mythology.
Tie in with the Eternals?
I had a thought. The ten rings looked remarkably similar (spoiler alert!) to what Phastos used in the climax of Eternals. Moreover, the mid-credits scene of Shang-Chi tells us that the ten rings are a lot older than 1,000 years, and the fact that the MCU has so far faced only titan-level threats, not celestial-level threats, is consistent with MCU characters having not yet dealt with that sort of energy signature. A quick search on Google reveals that my idea isn’t novel, <whining voice>but I wanted you all to know that I thought of it all on my own</whining voice>.
So when does Eternals come to Disney+? 🙂
Shang-Chi and the Eternals were fun. I have high hopes for the next few phases.