Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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

'All of the training, all of the sacrifice, no one can hide forever. It's time to show the world who I really am'

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a triumph!

I was pumped out of my mind when it was announced Marvel was finally delivering its first film with an Asian lead. And when the relatively unknown but intensely energetic Simu Liu showed his face at Comic-Con 2019, well needless to say I was betting my golden goose on this being the best MCU solo film yet.
It is with so much joy and respect to announce that, in my eyes, IT IS!

So fiercely original, surprisingly humorous and absolutely chock-full of heart and rich mythology, this is exactly what I wanted to see to kick-start the Autumn movie season.
Let's begin by talking about The man himself. The man of the hour, the man with the power, Simu Liu. I honestly believe this man has it in him to be the action hero of our next generation.
To me, Stallone lead the 80's, Arnold the 90's, Keanu Reeves the noughties, and finally Dwayne Johnson the 2010's. With a couple more bangers under his belt, I reckon Liu can take his place among that treasured selection brass knuckle champs. He absolutely nails the heart-to-hearts, and is just as good when smacking bad guys in the chops. 

Next, I need to mention how good Awkwafina was as Shaun's (Shang-Chi's dank nickname) buddy Katy. I didn't know anything about the actress besides her unorthodox title but she was actually really hilarious and heartwarming in this.
Every line uttered from her managed to tickle me in some unexpected way. Whereas Liu's Shaun is often quite a stoic, brooding masculine presence as is often the case with rough and ready action heroes, it felt really nice to have Awkwafina on board as she brought a witty sense of humanity to the fold.

The iconic duo are also accompanied by veteran Chinese actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai, who hadn't previously dabbled in comic-book movies or many big budget American productions for that matter but I'm so glad he decided to show up for Shang-Chi.
He is an incredibly talented actor and while I'm sure he has plenty more chops up his sleeve than the amount he was able to flex as Shaun's badly-behaved daddy, the REAL Mandarin, it was so great to see respected faces from different cultures and cinemas rock up in the MCU.

Last but not least... all hail the king because none other than Ben Kingsley HIMSELF is back as dopey, washed-up actor Trevor Slattery!
I was absolutely chomping at the bit to see him return as I'm always gushing about how he was the undeniable highlight of the divisive Iron Man 3 so to see him return, in an even bigger role.... I could barely contain myself!
As soon as I heard all kinds of grunting, groaning and throat-clearing coming from a grotty dungeon I just KNEW it was Kingsley. He even gets his own pet in this one! Oh my word, it was just incredible!

Benedict Wong also returns as Wong and I don't know what it is, but the man just keeps getting better with every appearance, let alone hairier! I won't spoil it but keep a keen eye out for a post-credit scene, you won't regret it!

The fight choreography is also stunning, cinematography sharp and visual effects work expectedly spectacular. That being said, a stark overabundance of CGI and some pacing issues in the second act do hold back Shang-Chi from being a masterpiece, but all things considered the film is an incredible step in the right direction for Marvel Studios and an excellent action flick in its own right.

I LIKE THIS FILM! ANOTHER! (smashes glass)
Ted's MCU Ranked
Ted's 2021 Ranked
My buddy Reece's review (whom I watched with)

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