Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

2021 

A mess. A mess that almost evens out to something pretty good but Marvel can’t help itself with garbage third acts and I’m sorry but Simu Liu has zero screen presence. Every time he’s not on screen the film is immediately more interesting. Tony Leung the GOAT.

Brad Allan and Co. get some pretty spectacular fights into this, the opening between Leung and Fala Chen being the standout. But Liu is too stiff, too uncomfortable to pull it off. It’s really jarring. Especially against people who do this well.

There’s a ton of gorgeous and imaginative production design in this (some of the MCU’s best!) that all gives way to a formless, muddy 3rd act where nothing is visible and depth is nonexistent. It’s so frustrating and I don’t know how they keep getting away with this.

Tony Leung really is extraordinary. It’s embarrassing to be honest. He’s not in the film nearly enough but when he is? It immediately gains resonance. He’s spellbinding. Michelle Yeoh too. Awkwafina is really great as usual, I get people’s problems with her. I do. But she’s an excellent actor, I can’t lie. And Meng’er Zhang! Now that’s someone with screen presence. Cannot believe this is her first film.

Wanted to like this a lot more. It isn’t bad and there’s a lot to like but its problems are ones that exist across the MCU, they’re problems that are somehow getting worse and I’m tired of it.

Brandon Streussnig liked these reviews