Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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

Man oh man I had an absolute blast with this thing. What a pleasant surprise.

Gotta talk about the action first. Good grief, it is phenomenal. It probably has the best action scenes of any MCU film and it is so exciting to see a director at the helm who knows what he's doing. Destin Daniel Cretton has crafted one of the best directed films of the entire MCU. The camerawork is so swift combined with sweeping wides and the fact that the actors are performing a lot of their own stunts. Some scenes just put a monster smile on my face. An early action scene just won me over completely and I fell in love with the film. The cast, cinematography, pacing and production design are all fantastic. The story is actually quite strong because I really got invested in the characters and unpredictable narrative.

I was super apprehensive about Awkwafina but she was pretty great. She wasn't too over the top or annoying, so I was quite happy with that aspect, but it is Simu Liu who is the real star. The guy absolutely kills it. The film does have some expected cheesy trappings of the MCU or superhero genre. It's popcorn fun no doubt but it feels like Marvel are really trying to do something different or be fresh. As though they prioritised making a martial arts film in the vein of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, over making a superhero flick. It paid off for me because this felt like a breath of fresh air in the MCU. The MCU should have ended with Avengers: Endgame but if it did then this wouldn't exist, and I'm so happy it does. It's everything Mulan should've been.

If you are an action fan, this is a must see.

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