Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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

2021 Ranked
Ranked: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Now, I didn't know what to score this after I watched it. I was decided between a 4 and a 4.5. I personally felt before really thinking about it that maybe a 4.5 was too high, and it could be. But I looked at my list and I had three 4.5's before this; Civil War, Ant-Man and Black Panther, and I think I prefer this to the latter two, so 4.5 it is. Maybe that score drops when I rewatch them all but for now, it is what it is.

So why did I give this a 4.5? Admittedly, it follows the MCU origin story template to a tee. However, there is enough original content around that template that I really enjoyed this.

The action scenes are brilliant. Some are your typical MCU fight scenes. Others are borrowed from martial arts films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Simu Liu does a fantastic job as the lead. He is totally believable in the fight scenes and also likable enough that you want to root for him.

I think my favourite part of this whole film though, is the antagonist, played so well by Tony Leung Chiu-wai. He is brilliant in this. For me, the best villains have motivations where you can see where they are coming from. Example, Kilmonger in Black Panther. Hell, even Thanos. Well, Leung does the same here in his portrayal of Xu Wenwu. I think this part of the film was incredibly well done.

I think the casting in general is pretty solid. I'm not usually a fan of Awkwafina, but she is used in just the right amount that she isn't annoying. I will say I was somewhat surprised to see a certain returning character (no, not Wong who was in the trailer) but it makes sense and also ties up a storyline from a previous film that a lot of people had issue with. I thought that was nicely done too.

So this may drop upon rewatches, but for now, it sits in my Top Ten MCU films. This kind of originality (not the story, but the world and all it's fantastical elements) is the kinda thing I wanna see from Marvel now, rather than the cookie cutter stuff we got in Black Widow.

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