The hero’s journey is a classic trope in all of the writing. It involves a call to action and ends with the realization of shortcomings and effective growth for everyone in the story. That is the essence of all storytelling, to pick a bunch of characters and have them grow. But first, the movie has to make us relate to the characters. This is something that Shang-Chi accomplishes beautifully. We start off with the protagonist in hiding but by the end of the movie, the protagonist is riding dragons and killing dark beasts with a new weapon. The growth is complete to raise the stakes we believe Shang-Chi should let go of the 10 Rings.
Now, what do we mean by that, exactly? We don’t think that the 10 rings should be abandoned but rather put in stasis. There are two reasons for this suggestion. The first is the obvious one. The 10 rings are ancient artifacts that predate mostly everything in the Marvel Universe. Moreover, they come from unknown extraterrestrial sources. The technology is unknown and the consequences of continuous use are dangerous.
Although the rings grant their wearer energy manipulation powers and prolonged life. They also open them up to new vulnerabilities. Like the voices of dark dwellers and susceptibility to mind manipulation by other dark creatures. The fact is that we do not have a lot of information about them and continuing to use these vague artifacts may only to chaos in the future as it has in the past.
Shang-Chi should let go of the 10 rings
We still don’t their origin and hence it follows that we don’t know what they are capable of or what destruction they could bring to their wearer. After all, we cannot be sure that the chaos caused by Wenwu was not in part due to the rings he was wearing. Another theory is that the rings take up the mental persona of the person controlling them and that is why their color changes went the wearer changes. If that is true then the destructive nature of the rings is readily apparent due to Wenwu’s grand ambitions.
The second reason for letting go of the rings is to allow Shang-Chi to grow beyond conventional capabilities. In the first movie, we have seen the character go from a child in hiding to a hero of the mystic realm. From the residents of Ta Lao to the mystic beasts that dwell within, everyone recognized the protagonist’s powers and vigor. This goes to show just how strong he becomes. But a large part of this strength comes from the rings.
As the iron man says to Spider-Man, “ if you are nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it”. Similarly, we believe that the Shang-Chi franchise needs more hand-to-hand combat and fewer CGI fights. Don’t get us wrong, the CGI is amazing and exceeds Marvel standards but it is important to mention that Shang-Chi is at its best during hand-to-hand combat. One of the most chilling moments in the movie comes from the death dealer making an entrance in the Macau fight scene.
The scene scared us as it should and acted as pure nightmare fuel. The point of the scene was to emphasize the prowess of Wenwu’s army and it did just that. This movie displays some of the most iconic battle scenes in the entire MCU. Some have also compared it to Captain America: The Winter Soldier but that is a conversation for another time. For now, we believe giving the rings to Shang-Chi would dissipate the tension needed for these scenes.
The fighting in Shang-Chi is almost akin to a dance. It is technical and reminiscent of old Kung Fu movies. But as soon as you add on superpowers to this fight it becomes more surreal than it needs to be. It is imperative for the franchise’s success to keep the narrative tight and the choreography tighter. The ultimate selling point of the movie is its well-crafted battle scenes and legacy factor from Chinese Kenpo. It would be a shame to replace that with over-the-top CGI battles.
What do you think of our analysis of the situation? Do you think Marvel will make the right decision with the sequel? Let us know in the comments below and keep watching this space for everything Marvel, DC, and Hollywood.