Right at the conclusion of the iconic Marvel introduction, the Shang-Chi audience is greeted with a warm, serene voice explaining the folklore that surrounds the Ten Rings. The main villain, Wenwu, who is Shang-Chi’s father, is played by actor Tony Leung. Wenwu obtained the rings a thousand years before, but he craved more power.
This film was completely different from any Marvel movie that I have ever seen. It wasn’t your average superhero movie and made its own mark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There was something nostalgic about the family-oriented characters, which is a side of Marvel we don’t get to see often.
Many of the family dynamic issues that the characters went through were relatable, which made the movie even more genuine and personal.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t quite sure how Simu Liu, who played Shang-Chi, was going to pull off being serious and heroic after being familiar with his older brother’s antics in the show “Kim’s Convenience,” but I was pleasantly surprised with seeing another side of Liu.
Awkwafina’s character, Katy, was the comic relief that juxtaposed the emotional parts of the movie. Although she is known for playing characters who are usually the best friend and sidekick, I felt that she nailed this particular role pretty well as Shang-Chi and Katy often engaged in playful banter throughout the film.
Leung definitely steals the show with his performance as Shang-Chi’s father. The emotions are high all throughout this movie and Leung doesn’t even need to speak to convey what his character is feeling. Throughout all of the pain and anger, the piercing look in his eyes says it all.
Director Destin Daniel Cretton does a phenomenal job of transporting the audience to another realm full of computer-generated imagery, mythical creatures and breathtaking landscapes. Cretton knew exactly what he was doing when he sprinkled several fight scenes in the film, many of which were Jackie-Chan-esque and just as badass. All of the kung-fu scenes in the movie were beautifully choreographed and kept you on the edge of your seat.
As unique as this film is, a Marvel movie is never quite a Marvel movie without those, “Yeah, that could never happen in real life,” moments and there are a few! During the mid-credit scene, the audience got to see where exactly Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings fit in the MCU. It was definitely exciting knowing that this isn’t the last we will be seeing Liu.
For longtime Marvel fans who are hesitant on going out to see the film, I would recommend it. I’ll be honest, the trailer doesn’t even do it justice.
It was a breath of fresh air we all needed in the midst of this insane timeline.
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