Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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

This was... fine.

I didn't rush out to see this in the cinema, but seeing the general response online I was at least a bit optimistic considering I love kung-fu movies and had heard people comparing this to Black Panther.

However, it felt for everything they got right there was some massive pitfall dragging it down to being just OK.

The main characters were enjoyable, but the exposition was so lazy that it undermined them. The story was pretty exciting on paper, but the locations and monsters were so generic that it felt half-hearted.

Weirdly I couldn't help but keep thinking of Snake Eyes (the G.I Joe movie) that also came out this year, and not because they both have Asian casts or martial arts influences, but because both plots feel like they've been pulled from the same "Big Book of Hero's Journeys". Both are wayward teenagers that have grown up alone, keeping their dark pasts and fighting skills a secret until they get caught up in a larger conflict between two rival clans, where they will have to choose a side and discover their inner-hero. The main difference is that Shang-Chi just has a hell of a lot more cash to throw at making it look fancy, but is somehow less interesting to look at.

Overall I was entertained for 2 hours, but I doubt I will ever have the urge to re-watch this movie.

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