Review | Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Everybody was kung fu fighting!

Review 2021 by Flytrap

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Written by: Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham

Directed by: Destin Daniel Cretton

Starring: Awkwafina, Simu Liu, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Meng’er Zhang, Michelle Yeoh, Florian Munteanu

Rated PG-13
Running time: 132 mins (which includes about 18 minutes of credits. Sheesh!)

A thousand year-old warrior falls in love with a magic princess and gives up his evil ways. Years later, Shaun and Katy, two car valets with a penchant for partying, are attacked while on a bus by a gang of ruffians and barely survive. This leads them on a journey of discovery to China and then to the magic land of his ancestors.

Plenty and I mean Plenty of action in this journey, which involves a lot of family business and introspection on the part of almost everyone. The study of a dysfunctional family and its effects on the children is so poignant, it’s sometimes heartbreaking. Beautifully shot with special effects that are very special indeed. A rousing score, especially during the fighting scenes keeps the tension high. All of the actors were great, but Awkwafina steals every scene she’s in. She can’t help it, she’s awesome.

However, I had some issues. I think my dislike of flashbacks is well-documented here. When used sparingly, the can add some context to the narrative. When overused, as they are here, they bring the story to a screaming halt while we catch up, then try to remember where we were in the main story. Also, Marvel has this tendency to throw in a cloud of drones to fight in their climaxes (see The Avengers, Age Of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok, etc.) and they do the same here, This formula gets old after a while. And the last fight went on forever; some directors just don’t know when to stop.

Overall, I’d recommend this; I had a very good time and I’m glad I risked going to a theater for this. (I went to a matinee and there were only four other people there and we sat far away from each other.) There is a marvelous mid-credits scene and a post credits scene.

Flytrap rating: 7.5/10

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