Richard’s review published on Letterboxd:
How did Shang-Chi manage to be overshadowed by almost every element in his own film?
Don't get me wrong, Simu Liu does a good job as the character but besides his back story; we aren't given much reason to care about him. He was good at all the physical action scenes and really nails that. He also gets to have some of the notorious MCU quips which he delivers in style at times.
Awkwafina was fantastic and stole a lot of the scenes she was in. Thankfully she was funny without losing her humanity and had some nice emotional beats too. I was happy to see that they actually gave her some important stuff to do in this film that has all this martial arts, spiritual stuff and dragons... they still involve her.
Tony Leung was the highlight for me and did very well in the role, feeling like an intimidating yet very sympathetic person in this role as the powerful leader of the Ten Rings. I do actually wish they did more with him but I really enjoyed what we got.
One issue I do have is with the tonal inconsistencies. At times it was quite humorous and spends some time with the human side of these characters, but then it goes to these epic fights with universal consequences. But then a joke will interrupt it, or in the middle of a jokey scene, something serious will happen out of nowhere. One inclusion in particular was a nice addition for a bit but overstayed their welcome in certain parts. Like really? they're staying? okay. But I think they realised how to use them better later on.
Where the film stands out from the other films in the series - and it does! Is in the visual department. It's shot very nicely and had a lot of memorable parts that looked really striking. And of course, the action was great! I loved seeing this different fight style in the MCU, and it was breath of fresh air that really made me enjoy the film.
Overall, I'd definitely recommend this film but if you're a fan of these films, you'll watch it regardless. Go support this one though, it's a bit different.
Grandad's rating: 8.5/10
Roman's rating: 9/10
My rating: 7/10