Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (in theaters)
Admittedly, this is probably the first Marvel movie that I knew absolutely nothing about going in. I’d seen a trailer and it looked really cool, but I knew nothing about the character or the backstory or where it fit into the greater MCU. So, here we go.
This movie is awesome. Okay…that’s it.
Nah! I’m just kidding. This movie is awesome though. It really does have pretty much every component of a great movie. The story- Shang-Chi, the master of unarmed weaponry-based Kung Fu, is forced to confront his past after being drawn into the Ten Rings Organization. That tells you everything you could’ve wanted to know. Right? Well, no, but I don’t want to give anything away!
The writing and directing are really well done. It’s a story that was told really, really well with wonderful character development. There are fantastic fight sequences, and they did a great job with the authenticity of kung fu fighting. Apparently, the fight director has worked a lot with Jackie Chan in the past.
Let’s get to the casting now. The title role is played by Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience, Taken: The TV series). He nailed every aspect of this character and, I believe, has cemented his place in the MCU. His fight scenes are spectacular, and I learned from his bio that he trains extensively in martial arts and stunt work in addition to his acting.
The female lead in the film, Shang-Chi’s best friend, Katy, is played by actor/comedian/rapper Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians, Awkwafina is Nora From Queens). She absolutely brought the laughs to the movie. Aside from being really funny, she is also genuine and brings a sort of edgy innocence to the role.
The supporting cast is fantastic and there are a couple of really cool cameos. One of my very favorite characters from the film is played by legendary British actor, Ben Kingsley (Schindler’s List, Iron Man 3). I’m not going to go into detail about his character, but several of us laughed out loud when he first came onscreen. It’s good!
I can honestly say this may very well be my favorite non-Avengers Marvel movie for me. It’s visually spectacular and just a beautifully made movie, and the word “beautiful” isn’t typically associated with super-hero films. I highly recommend you go see this movie. Go see it on the biggest screen you can find.
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some mild language. I took my 13-year-old with me, and he absolutely loved it, and I didn’t feel as though it was at all inappropriate for him.
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