4/5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Why I Watched It
Tony Leung. That was why I decided to watch Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings because I have no idea who this character is or was or will be. All I know is that I saw Tony Leung being interviewed on Youtube, and I thought...erm, OK, it's been some time since I watched him on the big screen, so, yeah, sure.
And also, Fala Chen. She spoke about this on Instagram a while back when she was interviewed by 9gag, I think.
Since I am a sucker for spoilers, I watched all trailers and as many footages of the movie before going. LOL. I want to know what I am in for.
How It Went
Like...wow? Many people are suckers for bad-ass kungfu stuff (I also loved the Tai-chi parts) but I am NOT one of those.
The movie was nicely-paced, considering it was an origin story that needed to paint the right picture for follow-ups. It told the story well. The audience had the time and breadth to FEEL, actually FEEL not just glimpse, the characters' emotions.
Strangely enough, at some point, I didn't think I was watching a Marvel movie. I thought I was watching one of those old-school (but with much more pizzaz) Chinese-Hong Kong kungfu flicks that I am so used to.
The fight scenes are ones that I would actually watch again and again because they were so well-choreographed. The father-mother first scene, the bus scene, the scaffolding scene, the sister-brother scene, the middle scene, and the big CGI-filled showdown scene...they were all worth watching again and again.
I find it funny to say it myself, a rom-com person.
Those who are not used to the craziness may find it a little too mad or even absurd, but we're used to it. You might even have had a taste of it from Jackie Chan, but yes, this is the kind of fast-paced, action-packed, gravity-defying, logic-flouting fun we're looking at.
Tony Leung did not disappoint. I didn't mind that he's not even mean-MEAN like all the other bad guys in Marvel movies. I felt that he was relatable. I was even a little bit torn about wanting him dead.
For the first time (as far I know, anyway), the Marvel lead had to hold his ground to remain the lead in the movie. All the characters were rootable, except for Razor Fist. Sorry, Florian Munteanu.
Err...what's Awkwafina doing? I mean, is she really necessary? Sorry if she's in the original comic series but I just felt she shouldn't even be in this. As an actor, she's over-used.
My son actually turned to me asking, "Is she the voice for Raya's dragon?" Yes, son. Yes, she is. She's IN THIS ONE TOO.
The final showdown was a marvellous masterpiece, but I felt it took some shine away from the actors' efforts.
We, my kids and I, agreed that the funny moments were forced. Some critics were saying they appreciated the tiny bits of comedy. I disagree. I can live without it.
I appreciated the one-liners injected into the script to correct some culturally incorrect perceptions about Asians or Asian-Americans.
At times, the CGI failed because some backdrops were kinda felt unnecessary. It could have been less fabricated, honestly. Not all, but some.
Should You Watch It?
Yes, I say! Absolutely. It's fun to watch something so out of this world real yet unreal, especially if you've grown up watching Chinese-Hong Kong films. This will definitely give you the picture of what happens when Hollywood teams up with traditional Wuxia filmmakers.
It's a Marvel movie that did not feel like a Marvel movie and it's...REFRESHING AS HELL.