Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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

I can safely say that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the best product Marvel has released post Avengers: Endgame (2019). Considering I knew very little of the character outside of the marketing and trailers, I left the theater a fan.

There was a sense of hesitancy going into this due to Dave Callaham's involvement as co-writer. But the screenplay here is solid. They do a fine job of exploring the titular character and his family's backstory; talk about significant daddy issues.

I am not familiar with Simu Liu's work, but he gives a charming and commendable performance. Tony Leung is a memorable antagonist, although there are areas in which I consider missed opportunities with his character. Awkwafina can be slightly irritating in some comedies, but I thought she was fine here. She is not the pure comedic relief, as her character does have some genuine moments involving their platonic friendship.

Much of the humor didn't land with me, but it wasn't to the point where it felt like it was detracting the quality of the film. There is a particular character from a previous entry, the actor was at the premiere, so not sure how much of a spoiler it is, but it worked somehow. The reasoning for his character's appearance made little-to-no sense, but it's whatever.

The fight choreography lives up to the hype; I cannot say if it's some of Marvel's best, but you will enjoy some of the action sequences.

The third act is where it attempts to be bigger than it needs to be. There is an excess of CGI that ruins the story's intimacy; it just felt unnecessary and a case of studio interference.

Not sure how Shang-Chi will fit into future narratives of the MCU, even with the setup in its mid and post-credit scenes, but consider me intrigued.

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