Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is Marvel’s latest attempt at taking a comic book character and making it part of the MCU. As Marvel prepares for a new phase after Avengers Endgame, they kicked it off with Shang-Chi.
The film is also, according to both fans and critics alike, a step in the right direction. To understand how that is, we must understand the pattern of Marvel’s attempts at humor in various movies. With Iron Man, the MCU kicked off and created a character who was capable of being unflinchingly funny. Comic relief characters were largely absent from the movie.
It was in Marvel’s Avengers when they brought a combination of both tension and humor. The characters became wittier while facing unprecedented dangers to humanity. This slowly devolved into the MCU relying on comic relief characters. Ant-Man & Spiderman both held plenty of comic-relief characters for example. Thor Ragnarok & Avengers: Endgame were two movies which were entirely based on many characters taking a comic-relief roles, but the absurdism of the otherwise serious and dramatic flicks was almost too contradictory to go unnoticed.
Shang-Chi radically fixes this problem through the introduction of Awkwafina. The character is smart, down-to-Earth and almost entirely relatable. A character grounded in reality, as opposed to characters which exist as fodder for laughter, is the best balance MCU has managed so far. Katy, not only has a consistent character arc, she goes through own heroes journey and proves to be a greater archer against the Dweller-in-Darkness.
The latest installment in the MCU released on September 2nd. With a mammoth budget of $150-200 million, the movie features the adventures of Shang-Chi and his rekindling of the path to greatness.
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