Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings follow Shaun/Shang-Chi (Simu Liu), master of Kung Fu as he confronts his past in the form of his father Xu Wenwu/Mandarin, and the Ten Rings organization. The film has a talented cast in Awkwafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Meng'er Zhang, Michelle Yeoh, and Fala Chen. The film also has Kung Fu Hustle star Wah Yuen, who is playing Master Guang Bo.
The film begins with Xu Wenwu destroying an army with the help of Ten Rings, then rapidly sums up his backstory in the first 5-10 minutes, with Wenwu discovering his love in 1996. The opening was average, providing us a brief introduction to Ten Rings and Organization without going into detail about its origin.
In the first half, we see Shaun (Simu Liu), a regular guy who earns his living by patting vehicles. Shaun is concealing his true identity of Shang-Chi and abilities as a Kung Fu master. The plot shifts back and forth between Shaun/Shang-Chi's childhood and the present, as members of the Ten Rings (Ninja Warrior and Kung Fu Experts), attempt to return him to his father.
The second half of the film was set in Ta Lo, a village from another dimension with magical creatures, dragons, and beautiful scenery. The ending was average which hardly makes an impact on MCU, we may not see Mandarin anymore.
The action scenes in the film were flawless, and credit to the Stunts crew. There are only three major action scenes in total: the Bus, In Macau, and the ending in Ta Lo. Concerning the plot, the first action sequence in the Bus is superfluous and forced. Shang-Chi, who has been disguising his identity for a year, does not hesitate to fight with all of his Kung Fu skills inside a crowded bus risking the life of passengers. Either, it was an immature decision of the character or the writers of the film.
The acting was the most impressive aspect of the film that I enjoyed the most. Awkwafina, who plays Katy, is the actor who has most impressed me. Awkwafina's dialogue delivery and the way she infused a sense of humor into every sentence she spoke is just fantastic. When she spoke, the actor sounded incredibly natural and genuine, and she had me wanting more. Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, who is making his Hollywood debut, was equally impressive as a Villain. Simu Liu, Michelle Yeoh, Meng'er Zhang, and Fala Chen also delivered stellar performances.
The film's visuals were outstanding. However, the second half (Ta Lo) was so vivid that I almost forgot I was watching a Marvel film and assumed it was a standard Disney film. The magical creatures and colorful setting have never been seen before in the MCU as the second part nearly feels like an animated film.
The film has a terrific start, some dull and cliche moments in between, and a very average ending. I will give 7/10 for the story.
The visuals throughout the film (second half) appear to be strongly influenced by Disney's presence, making it more of a kids' film. I will give it 6/10 as an MCU film and 10/10 as a Disney film.
Acton Scenes: 10/10.
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is the first solo Asian-led superhero entry in MCU, just like Black Panther was an African-led superhero film. However, this film lacks that emotional attachment that the audience develops with the protagonist as the film progresses. It never explains how the power of Ten Rings works, the relationship between father and son is confusing.
However, we can hope to get more answers in the future as the end credits confirmed Shang-Chi and Ten Rings will return.
Final score: 7.5/10
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