Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ★★★½

Let's see how Marvel can do with an Asian hero...

There's no problems with the direction. The script is not great, but one of the better scripts from MCU. The character introductions are pretty decent and does give an idea of the universe. The backstories of Shang-Chi and his family certainly brings a good amount of emotional impact and creates a more relatable feeling.

However, I do feel that the movie is inconsistent with the storytelling approach. The film isn't funny at all. Now, I understand Marvel is trying to create a humanistic villain. While they are on the right track, it does kinda feel underdeveloped or rushed. The film does get off tangent, especially in the 2nd half.

Simu Liu is solid. Awkwafina tries to bring a comic relief, but the comedy don't work for me - she's still good though. While this is not Tony Liu's strongest performance (he does a much better job in Wong Kar-Wai's films), he is still impressive. The cast is worthy of mentioning.

There are a lot of action scenes that do remind me of kung fu films such as from Jackie Chan (there might be a Rush Hour reference) and wuxia films. The bus scene is a bit odd, but it does work. The editing doesn't feel jarring in the action sequences, but there are pacing issues. Some scenes do drag in pacing, but not to the extent of being boring.

Unfortunately, the VFX is very clunky. In the 1st half, the CGI looks satisfactory with Macau scenes the highlight, but the 2nd half looked terrible with the creature designs. The climax is just horrendous with visual effects.

The soundtrack brings traditional Oriental music with hip-hop. It definitely suits the film nicely. The production design pays great tributes to traditional Chinese heritage.

A relatively stronger Phase 4 film, despite not the best film. I recommend it.

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