Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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

2021 Ranking 

What an absolute blast. Loved the fusion of Asian and Asian American cultures, the vibrant fun of the varied action sequences, and the immense heart to what is essentially the tale of a broken family finding ways to repair itself. Probably the most use of flashbacks in any MCU film and I thought they worked a treat. Humour mostly worked really well, with a certain someone making a very welcome return. Visual effects bit hit and miss in the third act but loved the sense of magic and fun of them at best.

Not flawless of course, lots of recurrent MCU issues with story bears and third acts remain, but it stands alone as a really solid origin story, and the central dynamic of Simu Liu, Meng'er Zhang, and Tony Leung Chiu-wai (who gets so many great standalone sequences to himself) kept me invested the whole time at through. Seems like they basically gave free reign to Destin Daniel Cretton and co. to do whatever and instead of getting a ‘Mandarin’ per se, we get a compelling portrait of something else altogether.

Will also say, if you thought the bus and tower side sequences were great in the trailer/clip footage you’ve seen so far…you ain’t seen nothing yet. Much as I dug the rest of the film, those sequences were something else.

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