I’ll be upfront; I liked going to see this movie. I enjoyed the jokes, the cameos, and the fight scenes. The characters, though underdeveloped for my tastes, were likable, and I look forward to seeing them in further installments. I enjoyed my time in the theater, but out of 5 stars, I give this movie 3.5. It was good but not one that I would pay to see twice.
In contrast to Black Widow which played in both theaters and Disney+ “Premiere Access” upon its release, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is scheduled to play exclusively in theaters for 45 days before it is sent to video-on-demand services. For the sake of the beloved “theater experience,” I do hope that this gets some traction, but I guess we shall see if people are ready and willing to leave their houses.
The Story – A little disjointed but I’ll go with it
The Marvel Cinematic Universe started with Tony Stark being abducted by members of “The Ten Rings,” an elite terrorist group that was seemingly based in the Middle East, on behalf of his business partner. They never name it, but you see the insignia in the background, and fans everywhere were oh so very excited for Iron Man 3 to meet the mega villain called the Mandarin, only to be mega ticked when it was just a dude named Trevor Slattery (Sir Ben Kingsley) playing a villain on TV. We got a little bit of a bone when a short film called All Hail the King was released with Thor: The Dark World on home video; it has been made available on Disney+ in preparation for Shang-Chi.
In this movie, you get the Cliffs Notes version of the “real” Mandarin’s thousand-year background, a love story, and how his kids’ deal with their troubled childhoods after that love story ended. Throw in a bunch of martial arts and mystical animals that look like Pokémon, and you got yourself a new Marvel movie!
Do you know Kung Fu?
In the spirt of such action stars as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li, the up and coming Simu Liu hopes to make his mark with this movie. I felt like he did. The fight scenes were well done, and he had a good banter with his co-star and one of my favorite recent personalities, Awkwafina. The main criticism I have with this film is more to do with the writing of their relationship though. Like I said, I just wanted more development, and the fact that there wasn’t made it hard for me to see this as more than just a fun “popcorn movie” when I wanted to end up obsessed with it. The fun thing about unknown properties is that the writers are able to expand the characters in a lot of ways and bring out their casts’ talents, but there is a balance and, to me, it just seemed like there was a lot going on, and they erred on the side of visuals rather than character exploration. Maybe they are saving that for next time… I look forward to it.
I think the thing I liked most about this script was the simple message. Both main characters are holding themselves back in some way, and instead of filling the script with messages trying to solve the political and ideological evils of the world they just said, “Take your shot.”
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a fun end-of-summer movie that I’m glad that I saw in theaters. Now, like most Marvel fans, I’m wondering how it all plays in the next phase of this universe.
Will you Kung Fu with Shang-Chi in theaters or at home? Let us know!
Edited by: Kelly Conley