Tuesday 21st September 2021

I went to the cinema for the first time in what felt like years. I’ve had a think back and I honestly can’t think what the last movie I saw in the cinema was. Probably Avengers Endgame in 2019.

I always said that when I moved I would go to the cinema all the time. I have no excuse, having not one but two cinemas in walking distance of my house, but I seem to only go when there’s a big Star Wars or Marvel release (and then I miss some of those). Maybe once the pandemic is properly over…

I went to see Shang Chi. I’d wanted to see it since it was announced as I’ve been on a big Marvel kick during the pandemic. But the idea of going to the cinema has filled me with dread. Even now I’ve been properly vaccinated, there was still some trepidation.

I chose a time when I expected the least number of people – afternoon showing, mid-week. As a result there were only 4 other people in the screening.

What did I think of the film? I really enjoyed it. I always think the secret to marvel success is that they don’t try and make a superhero movie. Instead, they make a spy thriller, or a comedy, or a fantasy story, and THEN add in the superhero element.

Shang Chi is a martial arts movie. The fight scenes were great, even if my vertigo seems to be now triggered by films.

I liked how they tied it into the existing mythos. Because it was talking about the ten rings, I expected it to tie into Iron Man 3. I didn’t expect it to tie in as heavily as it did. Anyone who’s seen the trailer has seen there’s a cameo with Wong and Abomination. That would have been nice to have had as a surprise.

And as always, I live for the post credits scenes. I’d thought I’d accidentally seen a spoiler about Maestro but thankfully I was wrong.

I think the pandemic will really help Marvel with phase 4. There’s very much a sense of distance to life before the pandemic and whereas I would have thought bringing in new heroes to fill in the gap left by Iron Man and Captain America would have made the new films feel somehow lesser, I think the pandemic and the snap seem to tie in, to give us a sense of a new normal, both inside the Marvel Universe and our own lives.

I’d never been a huge fan of Shang Chi in the comics. I got my martial arts fix from Snake Eyes or Quick Kick in GI Joe. However, in the MCU, I like how he’s been introduced and already tied into the main narrative.

In short, whereas I had worries that the glory days of the MCU might be behind us before the pandemic hit, I’m now very much looking forward to the future of the universe… although I think everyone will be disappointed they didn’t push it far enough when they do the multiverse in Spider-Man and Dr Strange.

There’s a busy schedule of Marvel the next six months with 3 more movies and at least 1 TV series. Bring it on I say.

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Past Years: 2020 – The Year of Being Fearsome | 2019 – The Year of Soldiering Through | 2018 – The Year of Priorities | 2017 – The Year Of The Offensive