thefilmbuff30’s review published on Letterboxd:
Man, what a highly entertaining film and what a triumph for the Asian American community to finally have a superhero on the big screen. That's awesome. Incredible fighting choreography, great action set pieces and a feel good epic finale. That bus fight scene is superbly filmed. You add humor, stunning choreography, an homage to Jackie Chan films and fights, great visual effects, Awkwafina's comedy quips and you have a highly entertaining, fan pleasing scene. This is the 2nd great bus fight scene I've seen this year, the first one being in the also awesome film starring Bob Odenkirk Nobody (2021). I almost forgot I was watching a Marvel film until some of the amazing visual effects starting filling and dazzling the screen. The story is very good and it makes you involved even more with these characters and follow along in their journey. It goes without saying that Simu Liu, who plays Shaun/Shang Chi is a bona-fide action star filled with charisma. Hell, I may be going out on a limb here but he may be the next Jackie Chan. Of course Jackie is a legend and no one will replace him, but Liu has it. If they make a biography film on Jackie, I vote for Simu Liu to play him. You heard it here first!
I won't spoil anything of course, all I will say is that the narrative deals with Shang Chi's (Simu Liu) father Xu Wenwu (Tony Chiu Wai Leung, who commands the screen so effortlessly) and his command of the Ten Rings and how he got possession of them. Another great thing about this film is that the first 10 to 15 minutes, they're speaking Chinese and there's English subtitles, I love that they left it like that because it feels like we're watching a foreign film, and of course, real film fans watch a foreign film with English subtitles, not English dubbed. The story revolves around that and I would love to say more, but I won't so you guys can see for yourself. It is highly pleasing. For a 2 hr and 14 min film, it went by so fast it felt like an hr and 30 min film. Of course, we get the usual "trying to find my place in the world" trope as is customary in almost every comic book film but, in this film, it's done beautifully.
I'm not a big fan of Awkwafina but I must say that she's excellent in this film, she's hilarious and there are plenty of clap worthy scenes involving her. I haven't seen The Farewell (2019) but I hear she's amazing in that film and truly showcases her range as an actor. Don't forget about the end credits scenes, there's 2 of them and are really good. Also, a Marvel character that we love also appears in the film and induces claps and cheers from the audience. All in all, this is a triumph for Marvel and I'm glad they chose Shang Chi's adventure for us to see. I can't wait to see him pair up with other Marvel favorites in the future. Loved this film.