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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

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Reviews

6/10: Shang-Chi and the Legend...
Sunday, September 19, 2021

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings The Marvel Cinematic Universe made a big impact with an almost all-black cast in Black Panther, then this film came along and gave the world its first high-profile Asian superhero, and from the trailer I saw, it looked very exciting. Basically, thousands of years ago, Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung) discovered ten mystical iron rings, granting its user immortality and other great powers. He establishes the Ten Rings organisation and throughout history conquers kingdoms and topples governments. In 1996, wanting to expand his power, Wenwu goes in search for Ta Lo, a mystical heavenly realm inhabited by Chinese mythological creatures. He travels through a magical forest to the Ta Lo village entrance but is stopped by guardian Ying Li (Fala Chen). The two fall in love, but Li leaves with Wenwu when he is rejected by the villagers. Wenwu abandons the Ten Rings, and they have two children, Shang-Chi...

6/10: Ten Years too Late I...
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Ten Years too Late I've said this before about Marvel movies: they are a victim of their own success. "Shang-Chi" had to follow up a decade and a half of quality MCU movies, so the same movie that would've been a smash 10 years ago isn't viewed quite the same today. The movie was good, but it failed to really separate itself."The Legend of Ten Rings" as a title already sounds too much like LOTR. And in fact it was something like it in that he with the rings had the power. Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung) had the ten rings which gave him near omnipotence. With the ten rings he could defeat entire armies and live forever. He decided to use the rings to become a tyrant.He was willing to put his rings aside and grow old for the love of his life, a woman he found after living 1000 years. I thought it...

5/10: The Asian Panda Serviceable. That...
Saturday, September 4, 2021

The Asian Panda Serviceable. That's the word that came to my mind as I left the theatre. Not sure if that's a great pull-quote for the BluRay release, but it'd be mine.Don't get me wrong, I liked this. I had fun and found few things, if at all, that I disliked. But since this is basically Black Panther Jr, it made me appreciate Chadwick Boseman's Similar Origin Story WAAAY more.I had to think about that when I got out of this. Why did I suddenly think the average rating I gave to Black Panther was better than this and then it hit me: Simu Liu can't act nor does he have charisma. Chadwick Boseman on the other hand, had both talents IN SPADES.In fact, Black Panther's entire cast, including the villain, had both: better acting and 100x more charisma. But, again, the actors here gave it their all. No...

6/10: Shang-Chi and the Legend...
Thursday, September 16, 2021

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Disney/Marvel has been applauded for its ethnic diversity in their superhero movies.There is a danger that it could evolve into a cookie cutter approach. Take the easy way out and follow the Black Panther formula.Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings does ride that wave.Shaun/Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) is a slacker in San Francisco parking cars along with best friend Katy (Awkwafina.) Both live an easy lifestyle that involves hard partying. Their other friends have settled down and gone for career goals.For Shaun everything changes when he is attacked one day on the bus. Katy discovers that Shaun has some whip smart martial arts moves.Shaun believes that his father Wenwu a notorious gangster has sent the goons. His sister might also be in danger and flies off to find her.Indeed Wenwu is an infamous and long lived immortal thanks to the...

8/10: Very enjoyable Shang-Chi leaves...
Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Very enjoyable Shang-Chi leaves San Francisco with his friend Katy in pursuit of old family secrets and discovers crime, danger, previously unknown family, quite a lot of wire-fu, ancient myths, and a couple of faces familiar to those who follow the MCU.This is the first MCU movie where I have been completely unfamiliar with the source material and, therefore not sure what to expect other than martial arts.well, I've seen a fair number of martial arts movies (without seeking them out), so the building blocks for Shang-Chi are not unfamiliar.But they are very engagingly assembled. The story is strong, with moral ambivalence playing a part. The action is extremely well choreographed and, at times - and in common with the settings and costumes - quite beautiful. This is a gorgeous film to watch. The effects are, as expected, first rate.The script is good, with much more laughter than I expected. It is helped here...

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