Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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

“Oh, the mega soul sucker was such a nasty bitch.”

A rocky start (I wasn't quite buying Simu Liu as a slacker and the blockbuster humor of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings feels a little more contractually obligated than normal), but once the martial arts action kicks in, I was hooked. And then once that action gives way to the family drama with more epic stakes, this becomes even more engaging.
MCU movies have such a formula, that even subtle changes feel radically different. The strong, well-shot action setpieces are a big plus here. But also the general idea that Shang-Chi is not some unknowing chosen one or just a plucky guy who falls ass-backwards into super powers makes this feel that much less lazy. His badass-in-hiding status is a nice touch. And once that becomes clear, Simu Liu's performance starts to shine. It's remarkably unchallenging with inconsistent special effects, even for a popcorn superhero flick, but it's too much fun for me not to like.
Most importantly... I can't believe I hadn't heard that lucky grandma herself, Tsai Chin is in this!

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