Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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

Me when I hear about any other Marvel movie being released: "cool I'll check it out when I'm on an airplane"

Me when Shang-Chi got announced: "SHIIIIT I'M GONNA SEE THIS IN THE THEATERS FRFRFR"

This is 2/3 of an incredible MCU film but they just had to mess it up with the finale CGI bukkake fest. Really thought we could have had a wuxia-driven finale based on the really solid first two acts, but unfortunately, Shang-Chi regresses back into a portal opening from a cave (hey, it's no longer opening from the sky now!) and CGI shit flying out of said cave. At least the portal is horizontal and not vertical now.

But to only talk about that would be reductive, since a lot of the martial-arts in the film is really well-done. The stunt team deserves a lot of credit for the smooth fight scenes, which is probably some of the best I've seen in any Marvel film. The humor does detract from the film (though one-liners do plague the entire franchise, which nullifies any strong emotions that the film should have), but you know what, I'll just say it: my bias definitely kicked in when watching the film. I don't have many movie friends at all, but 95% of my friends are also yellow like me. This is one of the very first movies that I've seen a huge number of my Instagram friends actually post about. It's an important milestone for sure. And yeah, I do genuinely appreciate the decent amount of Chinese dialogue incorporated into the film. Definitely top three Marvel films, for sure.

I'll be real though, I still find it kind of annoying when the MCU films insist on trying to connect every film in the universe together now. I was loving how stand-alone this felt, until there was literally a pretty major plot point that tied into Iron Man 3. And every single Marvel movie needs a goddamn budget cut. This would have been incredible if it wasn't in the MCU, but of course, it would have the cultural impact it did have if it wasn't in this franchise.

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