Brandon Hardesty’s review published on Letterboxd:
Fantastic. Shang-Chi is another compelling entry in the MCU, but could also easily stand apart as its own story. I was fully invested the whole time.
My first thought was how impressive the fight choreography was. It makes such a difference when your star is obviously performing most, if not all of the stunts. As an actor, Simu Liu was somewhat stoic, but his fight scenes had echoes of the fun, manic energy of Jackie Chan.
But I'm really surprised by Awkwafina. In the past, I've thought she was a little abrasive and one-note, but she has a fully-formed character here. Her persona serves the comic relief perfectly, but I loved her dramatic moments.
Tony Leung Chiu-wai is a badass and is more than able to carry himself as a thousand-year-old warrior. He's one of the best sympathetic villains I've seen in the MCU, and I desperately wanted the whole family to have a happy ending.
Ben Kingsley... I didn't expect Trevor Slattery to bumble into another MCU movie like Jeff Lebowski, but I was overjoyed to see him.
And just from a cultural point of view, I loved how so many aspects of Asian history weaved in and out of the story. The whole package was a consciously respectful nod to Eastern culture and film.
I'm still behind on the MCU, and from what I've seen recently, fans are beginning to tune out a bit. It's hard not to be optimistic about future MCU projects after this. Here's hoping.