Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
I wasn't quite sure where to start with this one. The film is amazing, and it sets up the future of Shang-Chi and the MCU both nicely. But when the first end credit scene ended, I felt I had more questions than answers. That's good in the sense that Marvel is keeping their cards close to their chest and not revealing everything at one time but rather keeps us speculating on what's to come.
The film follows Shawn, a young man who works as a valet alongside his best friend Katy. Everything seems normal until Razorfist shows up, demanding Shang's pendant.. Katy tries to defend him and is easily pushed aside, which brings out Shawn's "You Gonna Get It Now" anger. After the fight, Shawn explains that he's actually Shang-Chi, the son of Wen Wu, a legendary terrorist and wielder of the mystical Ten Rings. Convinced his sister Xialing is in danger, he sets off to find her and comes to the realization that he may have to face off against his own father.
First off, let me congratulate, applaud, and praise the martial arts trainers for this film. Not only the trainers but the actors as well! Simu Liu was lightning fast and absolutely incredible. The style, the smooth movements...everything about these hand-to-hand combat scenes were top-notch outstanding.
Second, I want to brag on the two leads Simu Liu and Awkwafina for a minute. While Awkwafina had the comedic lines of the film, she also proved that she was capable of showing an emotional and loving side, capable of so much more than just silly comedy. Yes, she's hilarious but she's also adorable when she wants to be and that's a side of her that I'd love to see her tap into more often. Simu had the more intense and emotional weight in the film and he carried it gracefully. His talent is extraordinary and, while I most certainly am looking forward to seeing more Shang-Chi, I would love to see him take on emotionally heavy roles that really bring out the powerhouse performer that I can tell is inside him.
The writing was superb. The story was engaging, made you feel for the characters, especially Shang and Xialing. Even the screaming children behind me couldn't take me out of several deeply emotional scenes revolving around Shang's childhood. I even felt tears welling up a couple times.
The visual effects were stunning. The village of Ta Lo was like walking into a mystical Wonderland. The creatures were all based on some form of Asian lore and it was remarkable to see them brought to life. From the faceless Morris, who has his own plush already in the Disney Store, to giant sabre-toothed lions to dragons...it was all so magical.
In conclusion, don't miss out on one of the best superhero origin stories. Definitely go see the film. Go to a matinee if you're nervous around big crowds. This film is definitely worth seeing and raises so many questions that will have die-hard fans scrambling to post their theories. I give Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings a perfect 4 out of 4.
© 2021 Nathan Jasper