Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Turnaround, Aug 20, 2021.
When W.C. Fields Joined Groucho Marx in Teaming Up With Shang-Chi
is she included along with Shang chi when Wong comes to the bar at the end to continue their further adventures if she’s just a common person who got lucky with an arrow shot? Wouldn’t the reasonable thing be to leave normal humans out of it to avoid their getting hurt?
One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
Regarding Katy (Awkwafina) in the third act:
It's a storytelling convention that a main character like Katy needs to be included in the final adventure and battle, to resolve her character storyline and keep the main characters together. They do establish that Katy is an excellent driver at the beginning of the film, so her driving skills are needed to get them through the forest to Ta Lo (sort of a Chekhov's gun screenwriting principle). And they wouldn't leave her alone as a prisoner at Wenwu's compound, which would be dangerous for her. I realize these are not the most satisfactory answers, but screenwriters follow these conventions to get the characters where they need.
Shang-Chi use other tropes in the third act, like the incompetent main character who uses a weapon herself, instead of calling on the experts around them to use the weapon. Because of course the story needs to resolve with a main character being the hero, not some nameless extra. Katy in the big battle was not as bad as, "Oh no, this dragon can only be stopped by someone who can do karaoke! Do we have anyone who can do that?!?" But it wasn't the most seamless way of handling it. It did make the third act a bit too Hollywood predictable, as I mentioned in my post earlier.
You could also question why Wenwu also took Katy along when he was collecting his son and daughter. Or why Katy also goes through the portal when Wong shows up at the end of the movie. Technically unnecessary in both situations, except that she's a main character.
These storytelling conventions appear in all MCU movies. Like in Endgame, why do Hawkeye and Black Widow happen to be the two who collect the soul stone? Well, it turns out the soul stone requires sacrificing someone you love, so it conveniently works out in the narrative that Hawkeye and Black Widow, who have a special relationship, got that assignment.
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Yes, agree with your analysis. I just wish they could be a little more creative within their own reality to avoid those tropes, because ultimately it seems a little lazy and convenient to the point of being groan-worthy.
The karaoke option would be nice as an outtake /extra feature though.
I'm guessing that Marvel cast Simu Liu for his comedic acting and comedic chemistry with Awkwafina, and decided it was better to cast a comedic actor and teach them to fight onscreen, rather than cast a martial arts fighter and coach them through comedic acting. I assume they cast to make sure the lead character could come across as funny and likeable. It's like when Tim Burton cast Michael Keaton for Batman, he said he aimed to cast the right actor to play Bruce Wayne, rather than Batman, as he could also costume up an actor to give him a square jaw. Looking at Wikipedia, the other actors in the running for Shang-Chi are people I've seen with good fighting skills onscreen (like Lewis Tan, in the recent Mortal Combat movie), but not ones I ever remember seeing do comedy.
All movies follow tropes to some degree, but when a movie is really well-done, the audience gets caught up in the story and doesn't notice them. Otherwise, the audience will see all the loose threads. It's like no one really complains about the mechanical shark in Jaws, but when you watch the lesser sequels, you just notice, "Oh man, that shark looks so fake!"
There is a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode where Worf, the Klingon, goes on a dangerous mission to make sure his deceased spouse enters Sto-vo-kor, the Klingon heaven. The other characters, Miles O'Brien, Julian Bashir and Quark, are sitting around the bar drinking and talking about the mission. Miles says he needs to join the mission because he was close to Worf's wife. Then Julian says he can't let his best buddy Miles go on his own, so he'll join the mission too. I remember thinking, "Well, I don't see how the writers can possibly write Quark into this mission just so all the characters can be together!" Then when the mission is about to launch, Quark suddenly shows unannounced up on the ship and says, "Hey guys, I couldn't let all of my friends do this themselves!" So now all these main characters are together on the mission for flimsy reasons. Of course, Quark had no business being on the dangerous mission, except to stand around the ship's bridge commenting on the situation or being the character they explain things to, to clue in the audience on what's happening.
Mystery Men, the 1999 movie, has a character called Invisible Boy, whose superhero talent is being invisible ... but only if no one is looking. Most of the movie makes fun of his useless talent. Until they need to penetrate the villain's lair which is guarded by motion detectors. Then his talent is useful, because he can enter the room alone being invisible!
Simu Liu had martial arts training and worked as a stuntman earlier in his career, so it's not like they were starting from scratch with him. In reality, he was hired because he was everything they needed for the character.
As I noted earlier in the thread, he also publicly lobbied for the role, and that likely was a factor in his casting.
Plus, the actor seemingly born for the role, Jackie Chan, is 67 years old, a little too old to be believable now.
I would prefer Stephen Chow over Jackie Chan, but even he is almost 60.
I had to go back and investigate the origins of Shang Chi. I see he’s Bruce Lee/ “Kung fu” inspired . How depressing that the 70s are now the golden age. 50 years!!!
Looking back, a late 1970s Jackie Chan, would be perfect. Stephen Chow? The guy is a comedian, not a martial artist.
But funny you mentioned Stephen Chow....because both he and Tony Leung (The Mandarin, or Wenwu, in "Shang-Chi") started their respective careers as host of the same children's program (but not at the same time).
Is it worth seeing in IMAX?
That's it, though the book had fallen away somewhat from the greatness of yesteryear.
I have just watched this film and found it highly entertaining, including good acting and lots of interesting Chinese mythology. Little pearls of wisdom too: "if you aim at nothing, you hit nothing".
The fighting scenes were nicely choreographed, almost like a ballet sometimes. I especially liked the one during which a couple began falling in love.
The main character's father had a "noble" reason (from his point of view) to do the "evil" things he did in the third act, which was a nice change.
I liked that he had a change of heart at the last moment and saved his son's life, which sadly cost him his own. While slowly dying from having his soul extracted, his last thoughts looking at his son were memories of him as a baby in his arms. That was a heartbreaking death scene.
The mid-credits scene was quite unexpected and the post-credits scene was intriguing. Perhaps someone here can provide further context to both of them?
I'm glad to be wrong on this one: Shang-Chi is a pretty big hit, and was #1 again this weekend at the box office...
'Shang-Chi' Set to Sweep Box Office in Second Weekend - Variety
As I always say, good movies becoming successful help everybody: it's good for the studios, good for the actors, good for the filmmakers, good for theaters, and good for the fans. There's no downside to a decent film making a big profit.
Didn’t like it myself. The fight scene in the bus .. reminded of the bus/ fight scene in “ Nobody “which was a better ( call Saul ) film.
I really enjoyed Nobody, but it was completely different type of film, and the two fight scenes had no connection other than venue.
One of the reasons I enjoyed Shang-Chi so much was all the callbacks to classic Chinese cinema, especially the Wuxia films and all those ones by the Shaw Brothers. Nobody would have never existed without those films dating back to the '70s.
My wife made me laugh out loud when she read me a bit about Michelle Yeoh being asked if she had a preferred stunt woman early in the production of the film; that the question was completely ridiculous from her point of view, having done her our own stunts in all those classic films like the Police Story series.
I'm pretty sure that the more you are familiar with Chinese cinema, the more you'll like this film.
Shaw Brothers / Bruce Lee films.
Excellent!!! Seen them in the cinema in the early seventies. Shang - Chi failed to rattle my bird cage. Just couldn’t wait till it finished god damn awful, left way before the credits. Regards to martial art/ Asian films.. the last good one I seen was the Thai effort Chocolate.
I felt a bit let down by it. The Marvel branding in particular was wasted with this film. It was pure Disney, right down to those cutesy, bleating animals. The Chinese elements were westernized by design, and felt like a fortune cookie.
I liked it too, but it's been done (much) better and more majestically without so much camp (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero, House of Flying Daggers). Yes, the effects were more seamless and had that CGI wow factor in Shang-Chi, but to my eye it just made the effects from the older martial arts movies more endearing and classic.
I felt thoroughly let down by the story of the mother's death and the father's motivation to do evil. But maybe that's just me. It seemed to be missing an important secret or reveal that never came, and it played out just like they'd been saying throughout the third act. When they finally showed the flash-back of exactly what happened to the mother, it felt like nothing important was revealed whatsoever.
I just didn't connect with the emotions of this. The children were already estranged from the father and had come to terms with this. They tried to cheat and get more mileage out of it, but that emotional well ran dry, I thought. It seemed strained and exhausting, and ultimately pointless, to keep going back to it.
You could interpret the epilogue with the sister reestablishing the fighting contests as taking the father's place as a sort of force for evil, suggesting that she will maintain a bit of animosity against her brother that will come into play in the sequel. Most Marvel films have a supplemental scene during the credits and another at the end of the credits, but this felt obligatory rather than anything that really tied it to the MCU. I thought the final karaoke scene with the three heroes might as well have been an epilogue scene, and it made the other epilogues seem excessive and lose their punch.
I should probably see this again before writing it off altogether, though I'm tempted to just avoid seeing it again. I actually fell asleep during the movie. When I woke up Ben Kingsley was in a bizarre role that I didn't find at all compelling. The East-meets-West elements could have been elevated to something meaningful, I thought. Instead it was handled in a juvenile way. It consistently felt like a let-down. Then when the mythological elements of ancient Chinese culture were intro'ed, it felt false and Disneyfied.
...and if they're not on Disney Plus at the same time, people will go to the theaters and Disney will actually make a lot more money.
I'm still annoyed that I never got to see Mulan and Soul in the theater
Full height, beautifully rehearsed, not one of those fight scenes made in the editing room (like the Bourne films.)
That was wonderful! Very subtly played, it was more apparent on the second viewing.
No matter what you do, you just can't please some people!
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