Movie: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Cast: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng'er Zhang, Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh, Ben Kingsley, Fala Chen
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Where to Watch: Theatres (not released in Maharashtra)
The fan-base for the Marvel Cinematic Universe is unlike anything ever seen before in cinema. Nobody had ever though that the fandom of franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter or Terminator would ever be rivalled, but then came Marvel with unprecedented canon that cut across ethnicities, gender, geographical boundaries, age groups and every other kind of demographic. Unsurprisingly, every Marvel fan, even casual ones, were feeling a despondent after Avengers: Infinity War, wondering what'll happen next in the MCU and would it ever reach the lofty heights again that it has created. The good news is that phase of the Marvel Universe has begun with a bang courtesy Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and the franchise has also unearthed a kickass new superhero courtesy how Simu Liu plays the eponymous character.
So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings review...
What's it about
Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and best bud Katy (Awkwafina) along with estranged sister Xialing (Meng'er Zhang) have to band together and stop Wenwu / The Mandarin (Tony Leung) from using the power of the proverbial 'Ten Rings' and open an inter-dimensional portal for what he believes to be a quest to resurrect his long-dead wife, but is actually a vent for a soul-eating monster and its army who's trying to manipulate him to usurp the power of the ten rings and wreak havoc on the world.
Watch the Shang-Chi trailer below: VIDEO
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ticks all boxes for a very good superhero movie – it tells an absorbing origin story with a fresh approach, presents interesting characters you genuinely want to root for, has a strong emotional connect, has an intimidating adversary for our heroes, boasts jaw-dropping action scenes, the next thrill is always around the bend, and ends things with a blast of a climax. Destin Daniel Cretton's direction is all about family-friendly fan – precisely what a movie of this kind is supposed to be – William Pope's camerawork gets the job done, calling the VFX mesmerising would be an understatement and the background score, while not brilliant, is enough to set the right tempo. Plus, every actor plays their part to the T, and we even have some welcome comic relief from Awkwafina and a hilarious special appearance by
Ben Kingsley. Furthermore, it's sheer pleasure to watch legendary female martial artist Michelle Yeoh after ages in a big, commercial Hollywood venture, doing what she does best on screen.
Shang-Chi isn't without a few drawbacks though – it's a bit long in the tooth and the trio of editors could've easily chopped off 20-25 minutes (perhaps a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth). The longing pangs displayed by Shang and fixation for their father's love and the fixation on their backstories gets a bit too much in the second half. Conversely, a bit of backstory about the monster wouldn't have hurt. Plus, it's difficult to put a finger on it, but as captivating as the fantasy sequences are, they lack that magic and enchantment of similar films of your like The NeverEnding Story, The Princess Bride, The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises, Clash of the Titans (the 1981 original), Jason and the Argonauts or the 1933 and 2005 King Kong movies. Guess no amount of slick CGI can make up for that mystical touch, which can only be achieved in the hands of great Directors, with all due respect to Destin's visual narrative skills here.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings gets Marvel Studios' phase four off to an ideal start with a rip-roaring fantasy romp, gives the MCU a kickass, charming new superhero to root for, majorly due to how well Simu Liu plays him, and despite a few hiccups, is mostly everything one could wish for from an original story, with bonus points for balancing its grand scale with genuine humour. Oh, and yes, in case y'all forget to, stick around for the mid-credits and post-credits scenes. I'm going with 3.5 out of 5 stars.
3.5 out of 5
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