With one foot rooted in family drama and the other planted firmly in the heightened reality of the comic book genre, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings possesses plenty of wild tonal shifts throughout the narrative, especially during a third act climax that dives into full-blown fantasy territory.
The crux of the plot is a father and his two children split apart by a death in the family, one that sets each of them on a very different path. However, there’s also a scene where an electric car drives through a magic forest via instructions relayed by a furry critter named Morris that doesn’t have a face, so it can often be jarring.
When our intrepid band of heroes pitch up in the mysterious and mythical realm of Ta Lo, they’re instantly greeted by a bevvy of otherworldly creatures, many of which resemble real-world animals, but obviously not the sort you’d expect to find in a David Attenborough documentary. In a new interview, Kevin Feige revealed that some audiences even thought the Marvel Cinematic Universe had done the unthinkable and made Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings a Pokémon crossover.
“The only thing that’s surprised me in early reactions, and I don’t know if this has been online, but it was in some of the early screenings, a lot of the reference points, some people think there are a couple of Pokémon characters in there. They’re not Pokémon characters, but they are inspired by similar things, I guess, which took me by surprise.”
Of course, modern audiences are hardly going to be well-versed in the lore of Eastern mythology, which is presumably why the Pokémon connection was the first thing that came to mind. That being said, Marvel could be onto a winner if they ever decided to create a Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings tie-in video game that riffs on the classic Nintendo series, following a resident of Ta Lo as they track down all of the magical beasts found in the wilderness.