Review – Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings
Directed by: Destin Daniel Cretton
Written by: Destin Daniel Cretton & Others
Produced by: Kevin Feige
Release Date: September 3rd 2021
Last night, I went to see Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings mostly for review purposes and I came away really enjoying it. I probably enjoyed it more than I expected to. I went in not quite as excited as I usually am for a new entry in the MCU and I feel that is mostly due to the superhero-fatigue I have been feeling from the bombardment of content that we have been getting recently.
Though, Shang-Chi feels fresh and manages to avoid feeling weighed-down by the ties of the MCU that I feel somewhat tainted Black Widow and Spider-Man: Far From Home. This really aided in my enjoyment of the film. Normally I feel that if a solo MCU film doesn’t heavily tie into the bigger picture, it isn’t as worth my time, but here it is what lead to me enjoying the movie as much as I did.
First off, let’s address the reason that most people will go to see this movie; the martial arts on display. The combat sequences in this film are incredible. The choreography and stunt work is a joy to witness and is also very well-shot.
There were two fight sequences in the film that I thought worked particularly well. The first was the bus sequence, which I thought was a fantastic way to introduce to the audience what Shang-Chi can do. The whole scene was wonderfully dynamic and I thought that everyone in the scene did a great job.
The second sequence that stood out to me was the hugely creative fight that took place on scaffolding outside of a skyscraper. Again, it was a breathtakingly exciting sequence and looked astonishing on the big screen. The danger felt present and real throughout this scene and some of the acrobatics on display were truly mind-blowing.
The other technical aspects of the movie were also up to scratch. I mentioned already that I felt that the fight sequences were well-shot, but the cinematography throughout the entire film was pretty great to look at. Bill Pope has a history of capturing dynamic fight sequences in a way that is still easy to follow and comprehend and this is no exception.
I also thought that the CGI was well-implemented and never took me out of the movie in any major way. This is pretty impressive when you consider how out-there the movie ends up in the last act. The lighting was also exquisite throughout the entire film and the score did a great job of adding to the spectacle of what was unfolding onscreen.
The script was also pretty good for the most part. There was the odd throwaway comedic line that fell slightly flat, but for every one dud line, there were ten other that merited a chuckle. The plot of the film was also pretty straightforward, but this was actually something that I appreciated. Not everything has to follow a convoluted plot full of double crosses and a requirement to have seen the last 20 movies in the series.
Overall, I had a great time with Shang-Chi. It is by no means a flawless film and it isn’t even the best MCU movie, but it is still the most fun I have had with a superhero movie in years. The fight sequences are spectacular and worth the price of admission alone and I am very much looking forward to seeing what they do with this character in the future.
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