Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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

The 25th instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and also the first one to put their Phase 4 plans into motion, Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings features some impressive & brilliantly choreographed moments of action and makes for a consistently fun & amusing ride but the plot as a whole does fail to step away from the old blueprint and has the same Marvel formula functioning at its core.

Co-written & directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12 & Just Mercy), there are many things this film does right to pique our curiosity and the Asian ensemble is exquisite to say the least but the longer it goes on, the more it gets carried away by the large-scale, CGI heavy action spectacle which is a shame coz its small-scale fights have more passion, intensity & flamboyance to them.

The story benefits from having just enough characters with adequately fleshed arcs & personalities and the actors bring their own flavours into play to make their roles stand out. Tony Leung is the most impressive of them all and renders his part with an effortless charm & elegance that allows us to dig into his humanity. Michelle Yeoh & Fala Chen are just as splendid while Simu Liu strives hard to deliver as the lead yet fails.

Overall, Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings has its share of positives & negatives but the film still ranks amongst the finer entries in Marvel Studios canon and benefits from sincerity evident in both front & behind the camera. The final act does overstay its welcome but anytime Leung or Yeoh are on screen, one can't help but gaze at them with a sense of awe, affection & admiration. In short, a mostly pleasant & satisfying delight.

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