I finally got around to seeing the new Marvel movie that the internet is currently buzzing about. I’ll keep this relatively short because Uni work comes first at the moment, so let’s get a move on.
Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings is yet another enjoyable crowd pleasing Marvel movie. If you saw Black Widow from two months ago and enjoyed that, then you’ll probably like this one too. I guess what makes this one different is that Shang-Chi offers up a new cast of obscure nobodies to fall in love with and adds more extended lore to this already crowded and complex universe. Also there’s some kung-fu fighting in this one, which would really be neat if this wasn’t the third 2021 Hollywood blockbuster to do this. (If we include the animated one, then that’s four!)
If you’re well versed in your Marvel plot formulas then this one will not surprise you. The draw of this film would be the characters and fight scenes. Shang-Chi is an alright character and definitely doesn’t have the worst debut appearance. Awkwafina is in this as Shang-Chi’s best friend and she’s there to hang around in the background, mostly to crack one liners. There are other characters, but the only other noteworthy one would be Daddy bad guy, who you end up kind of rooting for in the end. When it comes to action this one will stand out as it does incorporate some actual martial arts into the fight choreography. The first two fight scenes in this really stand out as exceptionally impressive, until the later ones kill the charm by chucking these talented fighters in front of ugly green screens and CG.
The comedy can be a bit much at times, especially in the scenes they want us to take seriously. There is a load of explaining in this and most of it is pretty poorly handled. Especially in the flashbacks of Shang-Chi’s cruddy past with his 10,000 year old father. Most of the flashbacks don’t tell you much that you couldn’t figure out on your own, except for the major one that for some reason they save as a big reveal towards the end of the movie, when it really should have been told at the beginning. The movie was telling me Shang-Chi is a conflicted bad person, which didn’t make sense until the flashback popped up. The placement of the flashback threw me as I struggled to buy into this late information about our main character. Other than that, it’s serviceable Marvel stuff.
That’s Shang-Chi for you. I haven’t quite figured out if I like it more or less than Black Widow. In retrospect I think I was too nice to Black Widow as it’s about on par with Shang-Chi, but if it helps, none of them come close to The Suicide Squad. This might still be too early to say, but so far phase 4 is not grabbing me. Especially in comparison to the opening titles for phase 3. Hell Iron Man 3 opened up phase 2 and I’d rather watch that again than watch either of these two newbies. I’m sure that might change perhaps when the new Spider-Man movie is out, because that looks like promising stuff. I have been The Blog Complainer, signing out.