Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
With Marvel reloading for a new phase, I did find it a bit tiresome to try and get invested in this origin story of Shang-Chi, a superhero I have never heard of before.
"Throughout my life, the Ten Rings gave our family power. If you want them to be yours one day, you have to show me you are strong enough to carry them."
The action was a lot of fun as we get several solid martial arts combat moments, and the super powers reminded me of Dragon Ball Z. But this story of a guy who ran from his destiny, and now has to go back to set things right and claim his place as a hero ... feels like it has been done to death at this point. I mean ... it is not exactly like 'Black Panther', but it is not too far off. Just replace the rhinos with mythological chinese lions.
"I know you don't like to talk about your life, but a guy with a freaking MACHETE FOR AN ARM just chopped our bus in half!
(Quick Hits) ... Spoilers:
- The first 15 minutes of the movie is all in Chinese with subtitles, which I did not mind but I was concerned my kids were going to get frustrated about it
- Two thumbs up for Awkwafina as the funny side character, and Ben Kingsley who gets some quirky redemption with this new MCU appearance
- The fight scene on the bus where Shaun shows that he can throw down instantly got me invested, and reminded me of 'Speed'
- Hey, there is Wong!!
- Check out Shaun's sister rocking out a Van Damme Spear
- Having Awkwafina and mythic Chinese Dragons did have this feeling like a live-action version of Raya
- I would have liked to have known more about these 10 rings, but instead all the focus is on Shaun and his family and their past
- That storm forrest part was another highlight ... 'stay in the pocket'
- So much for Shaun's dad being so old and wise, since the legendary demon monster thing tricked him
- There was a ton going on in that final climactic battle with the dueling dragons and the power rings changing hands ... so I am looking forward to checking that out again
I think it mostly comes down to me not being much of a fan of origin stories. I have a feeling I will enjoy Shang-Chi more moving forward, as he becomes involved in the overarching story of what's going on in the MCU. But I do have a good feeling about what we are in store for with 'The Eternals', since Galactus showed up in that trailer.
Thanks for reading.
Happy movie watching ... Skål! 🍻