Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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

I've been slow getting to Shang-Chi and the Eternals. Since they both came out when the pandemic was still heavily plaguing the box office I never got a chance to see either in theaters and I do have to say that a Marvel film does lose a bit of appeal with a home viewing. Both movies have been on Disney+ for a while and I'm finally going to give them a try.

Shang-Chi is possibly the Marvel film that actually feels the least like an MCU movie. At least early on. The film didn't really seem insistent on the humorous tone. Of course, there is still plenty of attempts at lighthearted moments, but it did seem like the tone was just a little bit different. It does fall back on typical Marvel tropes with the big finale. The third act seemed very similar to Black Panther in particular.

Before the Ten Rings become a huge part of the action its cool to see some impressive hand to hand combat in the fight scenes. A lot of the Marvel heroes are reliant on supernatural powers so seeing some real fighting for a while was a nice change rather than a bunch of flashy hand gesturing. There's a lot of very impressive camerawork during the early action sequences as well.

I didn't find Shang-Chi to be that interesting as a character, but Simu Liu did seem like very good fit. A lot of physicality is asked of him and he's able to deliver. Tony Leung sort of steals the show for me. Its great to see him in a project with this amount of scale and he delivers an empathetic performance. I appreciated that there was some other veteran talent that get an opportunity to shine here. There's some impressive casting by Marvel. Awkwafina's comedy relief role isn't as well written as I hoped. I recognize she has some impressive talent, she's great in The Farewell, but I just don't find her to be that funny. She seems to have worked for others. An origin story at this point in the MCU seems so much more daunting now that we've seen so much huge scale spectacle from Marvel so I'd say this is another pretty solid entry.

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