Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ★★★

Marvel has expanded beyond it's wildest dreams. Since Guardians of the Galaxy was a hit, it seems any Marvel property is potentially a franchise. Shang-Chi is another demonstration of that. It's also a prime demonstration of Marvel formula. Introducing a hero character and pitting them against some sort of evil, along with a wise-cracking sidekick.

I don't have a problem with Marvel's way of making movies, aside from a massive overreliance on CGI. The CGI really hurts Shang-Chi because it's a film that tries to exist in the realm of Hong Kong action films and old martial arts wire-fu epics. But every scene is just a mess of green screen and even a motorbike chase looked worryingly fake. Compare this to any film actually made in that part of the world and it looks like a pile of shit, frankly.

Where the film is successful is introducing new characters, making them feel like real people and having them interact with a balance of emotion and comedy. Marvel has been leaning on comedy ever since Guardians of the Galaxy and Awkwafina (and Sir Ben Kingsley) give everything a comical edge. I was loving the entire thing until the CGI-fest third act, which is a very long fight scene and then I was fighting my eyelids.