with an anticipated $80 million for opening
Labor Day weekend! Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
that is. Why the filmmakers decided to make the title a mouthful is either marketing genius or incredibly obnoxious, perhaps both. Maybe if someone commits to saying the full title aloud a few times, they feel so invested from the elocution exercise that they then need to purchase a ticket to justify it. Psychology? I don’t know. In any case, Shang-Chi
brings about SO MANY topics and themes to get into, even without the Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins. I’m not an expert Marvel fan, only a baby Marvel fan, so I’ll link in the MCU fun facts and sources accordingly.
It was refreshing to see a feature film focused on a platonic friendship without romance. The camaraderie and silliness between Shang-Chi and Katy was relatable for anyone. As always, I love Awkwafina, and she was so crucial in the film. Her comedic relief was necessary to break up the more heavy segments, including the part on the plane where a flight attendant interrupted Shang-Chi’s heartbreaking childhood story to ask which meal they wanted to choose, and Awkwafina as Katy bantered with such dry humor. I’m just going to say Awkwafina as Katy sometimes, because her persona seems larger than life. The scene was so stupid, yet hilarious. I probably laughed a little bit too much. That and the part where she trolls Shang-Chi (pronounced Shaun-Chi) about Americanizing his name to Shaun as an alias for hiding. Shang-Chi and Awkwafina as Katy trolled each other and had each other’s backs as true friends should.
The camaraderie is not to say that a future Marvel film won’t pair them up romantically, but at least in this film, it was really nice to see such a stellar example of a male-female buddyship.
Various themes of intergenerational mental health issues and pain were prevalent throughout the film. The themes reflected the dynamic of hurt and redemption. Here are a few that stood out.