Author: Ninjetta Kage
Hey there United Comics Universe fam. Ninjetta here, and this is my take on the MCU film Shang Chi. Given that martial arts play a big role in this film, I thought it was a good one for me to do.
At the beginning of the movie, when they were talking about Wenwu and his past with the rings, I kinda started to get the impression that his thirst for power might have been hiding some emotional damage he was taking out on the world. One of the things that contributed to this was the fact that he chilled out when he fell in love with Li. Or he could have just been super narcissistic, then Li was able to enlighten him.
The style he is using with the rings is a hard style that looked like a mix of Hung Gar and some fist style…maybe Iron Fist, but it definitely looked like it was based out of southern Shaolin styles. Li looked to be using a mix of Tai Chi Chuan and Ba Gua Zhang, which are both soft styles (but Tai Chi can become hard if necessary). A soft style will beat a hard style any day of the week, that’s why Wenwu couldn’t beat Li. He was a fast learner though because it looked like he was trying to pick up on her moves when he realized he couldn’t do anything with her.
I think Li gave Shang Chi and Xialing the pendants because she realized that their idyllic life would not last forever with all of the enemies that Wenwu made. I think she wanted the kids to be able to find their way to the village in case anything happened to her. This also makes me think she set things up with her sister Nan so that if anything happened to her Nan would send the little furry winged creature Morris to them so it would be able to guide them to the village.
Katy is a little kunoichi! Using the art of confusion is a Ninjutsu tactic, and she picked the pocket of the guy that was threatening Shang Chi on top of it! In case you are trying to remember that scene, it was in the story they were telling their friend Sue. Sue doesn’t seem to be able to think outside the box enough to understand that just because Shang Chi and Katy are very intelligent, doesn’t mean they have to do a job they don’t enjoy just because they can and that’s what people expect them to do. That’s the problem with what is considered “normal” these days, it suppresses people from being themselves. Makes me glad I didn’t care about the opinion of my old friends and family and became a Ninja anyway.
I think it’s great how Katy’s family just adopted Shang Chi and treat him like he was one of their own. They became the closest thing he had to a real family since his mom was killed. Katy was actually one of my favorite characters, because she had such a strong personality, but was still loyal to Shang Chi and stuck it through with him even after the fight on the bus when she found out he hadn’t told her everything about himself. Speaking of the fight on the bus…
I loved the opening moves of the bus fight. That punch Shang Chi did would have actually crushed that guy’s rib cage in real life. All those guys were totally outclassed. They are actually lucky Shang Chi was not a person that enjoyed hurting people, or some of them would have died. It was funny how the big guy was just chillin in the back until he was sure the other guys couldn’t handle Shang Chi, then he comes out to fight. I really didn’t see any real skill like the other guys had with him, his main advantage seemed to be the machete arm and his size/strength. Makes me wonder if the big guy had any other enhancements besides the arm because he didn’t seem to be trying to protect himself at all.
That youtuber guy was ridiculous. He was going to try and rate the fight…just because he played around with martial arts as a kid. That would have been like a kindergartner trying to judge a debate between an Engineer and a Mathematician. Absolutely ridiculous. Then he is going to say that the bus driver is down, but he is not going to try and drive the bus because every time he does he gets yelled at…really dude? First off, how many buses have you actually tried to drive? And secondly, the bus is going to crash without a driver so I really don’t think anyone was going to mind if you tried to drive. That is a perfect example of a person that is trying to act like they can talk about something they don’t know anything about.
I love how Katy just jumped in to drive the bus while Shang Chi was fighting. She had no idea what was going on with the fight, but she knew she could drive that bus to help her friend out and save everybody.
It was messed up that Wenwu refuse to teach Xialing any martial arts. Even though he lived a thousand years, he was still stuck on some ancient bullshit about women not being fighters. That notion was bullshit even back then because women have always had the capability to be fighters. Just look at the Kunoichi, they were some of the most feared warriors of the Ninja (and still are). Even after Li kept kicking his butt…he still refused to change his mind about women.
On the plane, the flight attendant was killing me with the vegetarian and beef meals. Shang Chi and Katy had more patience with her than I think I would have. I have a lot of patience, but I if I see someone being ignorant on purpose I usually do something about it.
Wong is an attention hog. He didn’t need to be fighting in underground fights to train. He could have found other mystic artists to fight. Or, if he really felt like he needed to fight someone like Abomination, he could have brought him to someplace that is isolated to spar with him. I think he did the underground fighting because he liked people cheering him on and he wanted the money from the bets. Also, it was totally irresponsible of him to be taking Abomination out of his cell. If for no other reason, than the chaos it would cause if they went to check on him and he wasn’t in his cell.
I think the reason Xailing wanted to fight Shang Chi was a combo of a little sister tantrum for him leaving, and she wanted to test her skills against him. She was mad because he wouldn’t fight her for real, so she knocked him out with a sucker kick. I call it a sucker kick because she made him think she was going to stop fighting, then kicked him. She was still having a temper tantrum when she rolled out through the hidden door and made Shang Chi think she was leaving him. That seemed to get it out of her system though since she came back to help him.
I just want to say…this movie would make an epic video game. The fight on the scaffolding could be a timed fight that leads up to a boss fight against Wenwu’s assassin. It would be game over or a restart at the very least if you don’t save Katy, or if Xialing dies. Plus there is so much potential in the rest of the movie, it would definitely be epic in the hands of the right game-maker.
Speaking of the fight on the scaffolding, Xialing was too impulsive. Shang Chi was trying to get information from the guy he had hanging off the scaffolding, but she knocked him down before he could answer the question. I personally don’t think the guy would have told Shang Chi anything, but the point is that he didn’t even get a chance to.
When it came to Shang Chi’s flashbacks to his training when the assassin was being harsh on him…I think the majority of people just don’t understand real martial training. Shang Chi took it personally, but from the scenes, they showed it just looked to me like Shaolin temple training. When you train in a hard style of martial arts (and I mean really train as a lifetime dedication) then you do a lot of physical conditioning. All the beatings while Shang Chi was standing with his arms out, and when he was getting the switch for showing weakness, that’s all part of martial training. They did take it too far when his knuckles were all torn up and he still had to hit the beam. The body needs some time to heal in between conditioning sessions, or you just end up with a permanent injury, but some bruising and a little blood is fine during training. It would make sense for Shang Chi to have harder training than everyone else because of the culture he was surrounded by. If he was weaker than the fighters they would not have respected him.
I think Wenwu was watching the fight between Shang Chi and the head assassin the whole time, just to see if Shang Chi would be willing to kill the assassin. He wouldn’t let him do it though, because the assassin is still too useful. Shang Chi should have realized that his father would have been keeping tabs on him since he was trained by him and should have known what kind of person he was.
They were vague on what happened with Li’s powers. Young Shang Chi mentioned that she didn’t have her powers anymore when she was about to fight the guys, and yet she had to have been the one that made the clue for them to get to Ta Lo. I’m thinking she used the last of her mystic power to make the clue to get to the village, and that is why she had no power to use against the attackers. Those guys were just a bunch of punks. If it was the original size group, she could have taken them all out even without her powers. Then those other guys showed up, and I think she got overwhelmed by sheer numbers. They probably had weapons hidden in their clothes or something too.
The whole thing with Morris was hilarious. The mandarin probably thought he had gone crazy and Morris was a figment of his imagination. I was wondering how they were communicating…maybe the mandarin had some latent psychic abilities and Morris was able to bring them out so they could talk. I’m sure if Wenwu realized that the mandarin and Morris could communicate he would have been used them to get to the village.
The drive through the enchanted forest was crazy! Yet another reason this movie would make a great video game. On a side note…that car must have been built like a tank to be able to get through the forest and crash through the trees and still not have a mark on it or any flat tires. I mean, it should have had at least one flat tire and a bunch of scratches.
They went through a portal to get to Ta Lo, and Nan said they are in a different universe. I was wondering if everyone in their universe has the type of mystic powers the villagers have, but I’m thinking not. I think the great protector granted them their special powers to help them protect the portal. Like the way he gave them the dragon scales to make weapons and armor.
In this movie, they really show the martial applications of the soft styles of Tai Chi that most people don’t get to see, especially in western schools. Tai Chi is marketed as an exercise routine, but it really is a very good martial art when taught by someone who knows the combat applications. Soft styles aren’t flashy or anything, so a lot of people think they aren’t as good as the harder styles that have a lot of powerful kicks and punches. Soft styles use the other person’s strength against them and flow like water.
Nan teaches Shang Chi an excellent life lesson while she is training him. She said “You are a product of all who come before you. The legacy of the family, the good and the bad. It is all a part of who you are. Stop hiding Nephew, it only prolongs the pain.” She is telling him you have to accept yourself and decide who you want to be. You are the only one who can decide who you are, no one else can do it, and the things that happen in your life do not decide who you are as a person (especially when you had no real control over them).
When Shang Chi was remembering what had happened to his mom you can clearly see that those gangsters were a bunch of cowards. Their issue was with Wengwu, but they went after his wife instead when he wasn’t even home. They didn’t even wait for him to come home after killing her either, they just rolled out. I think they would have done it in front of the kids, or even killed the kids too if Li hadn’t said something first.
I don’t think kid Shang Chi was expecting so much violence when the dad went off on the gangsters. He probably thought it would look more like his mom’s style. I’m thinking Shang Chi probably felt guilty because he watched his mom die and didn’t save her, even though he would have probably been killed if he had tried. I think Wenwu was holding it against him too, at least a little bit. The guy he was sent after might not have even been the one responsible for Li’s death, he could have just been a dude that Wenwu wanted taken out. I find it hard to believe that with all of the Wenwu connections it took him that many years to find the guy that killed Li. I think it was just a test to see if Shang Chi would complete the mission, and would also give Wenwu some leverage over Shang Chi later if he told him about it.
I laughed out loud when, in the village battle scene, one of the soldiers tried to hit the lion dog and it just looked at him and then sent him flying. Wenwu knew that Shang Chi would come after him, he wasn’t the least bit surprised when Shang Chi showed up behind him at the shrine to Li. When they were getting set up to fight, Wenwu knew that Shang Chi was afraid of him because Shang Chi made a point to say that he was not afraid of him. Wenwu hadn’t said anything to him about being afraid, he just blurted it out. Wenwu revealed that he had been holding the mom’s death against Shang Chi the whole time when he said he had stood at the window and watched her die. During the fight, Shang Chi was lucky he had that dragon scale armor on when the Wenwu did that double punch with the rings then his fist because that would have caved his chest in if he didn’t have any protection.
I’m thinking Li’s lineage might have some kind of special connection with the protector and that is why they had such high status. I mean, when the kids got to the village Nan just walked up and told them to stand down like she was the highest authority in the village. That would also explain why she told Shang Chi he had the heart of the dragon, and why the dragon saved him when he went into the water after his dad knocked the shit out of him. That also explains how Xialing was able to make that super long shot with her hammer rope and javelin to clean the creatures off of the dragon’s eyes.
I noticed that when Shang Chi was controlling the rings, the color turned to gold. I’m thinking either the color changed because he was more of a good person than his father, or because of his bloodline being mixed with human and the people from Ta Lo. He was also firstborn, so that would make him the heir in that bloodline and might have given him a higher connection with the dragon.
I was noticing that there were no scenes of kids in the village. That makes me wonder if people from the rest of their universe sometimes travel to the village to volunteer to be protectors, and they don’t ever have kids. Or maybe the people of the village are immortal, and those are the original people that help imprison the evil creature in the first place. Either way, I don’t know why Shang Chi, Xailing, and Katy wanted to leave the village. Especially Shang Chi. He seemed to just want peace after he left his father and he could have had that in the village. Katy could have kept working on her archery skills, and Xailing could have actually been accepted like she always wanted to be.
Wong said as soon as Shang Chi used the rings they felt in Kamar-Taj, it probably created some kind of mystic ripple that crossed the barrier between the universe Ta Lo was in and our universe. Maybe his bloodline activated something in the rings when he used them since he is of both universes and they changed color. This looks like it is building up to whatever they are going to do as a follow-up for the Infinity Stones in the MCU.
What are your thoughts on my review? Do you have a different perspective? I want to hear it! Drop it in the comments! “We Are Comics”