Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduced a brand new hero to the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe in the form of Simu Liu's Master of Kung Fu Shang-Chi.
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the Phase 4 entry follows the origins of Liu's MCU hero as he tries to escape the shadow of his father, Xu Wenwu a.k.a. the Mandarin.
In the months leading to its release, marketing for Shang-Chi made it clear that the father-son conflict would be the main focus of the film. However, the movie's third act surprised everyone when the conflict shifted into new territory when two kaiju-like creatures entered the fight.
The first half of the final battle started between Shang-Chi and Wenwu, but the fight was thwarted due to the arrival of the Dweller-in-Darkness. After proving that Shang-Chi could master the Ten Rings, Wenwu decided to give it up so that his son could have it, effectively sacrificing himself to the soul-eating kaiju.
After Wenwu died, the clash between the Great Protector and the Dweller-in-Darkness took center stage. While a good chunk of the Marvel fanbase is pleased with the ending, there are still those who criticize the big CGI battle of the film.
Now, the film's lead star has opened up about the aforementioned criticisms.
Simu Liu Reacts to Shang-Chi's Ending
Shang-Chi actor Simu Liu responded to those who criticized Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' ending by sharing a compelling message in his Instagram story.
For context, a lot of the criticism came from how two big VFX monsters (namely the Great Protector and Dweller-in-Darkness), who previously weren't even featured in the movie until the third act, might have distracted from Shang-Chi's story with his father, Wenwu.
Liu first pointed out that the ending is "perfect for [their] story" while discussing Shaun's emotional journey in the film:
"A lot of people have been asking about our ending without giving too much away. I just want to say that I think it's perfect for our story. We've seen Shaun embracing the parts of himself rather than rejecting it."
The Kim's Convenience actor then continued by revealing that Shaun unlocked his full potential once he was able to solve the central conflict within himself:
"And once he solves that central conflict within himself, he unlocks his full potential, which is to literally ride a dragon battle against a massive soul-sucking demon."
Liu ended his statement by saying that Shaun won the battle by acknowledging the idea that he is "side by side with his family, and not against it:"
"Side by side with his family not against it. Fueled by love for his father, not hate."
The full image can be seen below:
Shang-Chi's Powerful Ending
Seeing Simu Liu graciously defending Shang-Chi's ending is a powerful sight, and this goes to show how passionate the actor is toward his MCU debut project.
It was apparent throughout the film that Shaun was hesitant to accept the responsibility of leading the Ten Rings, which is understandable due to the organization's nefarious goals. However, during the battle between the father and son, Shaun proves that he is ready to be the owner of the Ten Rings; the artifact, not the organization.
This is when Wenwu realized that he'd now accepted the new life that Shaun wanted to live, and he was also made aware of the errors he made along the way. The Dweller-in-Darkness' arrival further amplified this belief since this is where Wenwu sacrificed himself to save his own son, eventually transferring the powerful Ten Rings to him once and for all.
In many ways, the kaiju's presence in the third act serves its purpose in the film's narrative as it helps to progress Wenwu's arc and Shaun's realization.
This is also in line with Liu's statement about unlocking his full potential. Once he embraced his father's love, Shaun managed to unleash his full might against the Dweller-in-Darkness alongside reliable assistance from the Great Protector.
At this stage, it is possible that Shaun's realization during the third act would be revisited in a potential sequel, mainly because it served as a huge factor in unleashing his full potential. It would likely serve as a fitting nudge of how he cemented his place as a hero as well as a reminder of his father's love.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now playing in theaters worldwide.