Zach Gallegos’s review published on Letterboxd:
So you’re telling me those dragons were acting?
In all seriousness, Shang-chi is one of the best films to come out of the MCU and certainly the best origin story to date. Shang-chi doesn’t feel like a film that follows the same cookie-cutter origin formula most Marvel films follow. In fact, I almost forgot I was watching a Marvel film at all. Instead, Shang-chi is an excellent martial arts flick with rich Chinese culture and stunning visuals.
Simu Liu kills his role, but it was Tony Leung Chou-wai as the main antagonist that stole the show for me. While Wenwu is clearly a power-hungry villain, you can’t help but feel for the man as he wants nothing more than the love of his wife again. This made for a great antagonist, as there were actual layers to this character and his motives weren’t the worst among marvel villains (looking at you Phase 1 villains).
An immersive experience from start to finish, I can’t wait to see Shang-Chi appear in future Marvel films. I love when Marvel can take characters and work their magic. This is a significant improvement of the lackluster Black Widow film, and a film that can stand on its own without relying on any of Marvel’s previous films.
On an end note, Ben Kingsley and Morris should appear in every Marvel film from here on.