‘Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings’ Is Chock Full Of Phase Four Surprises

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings didn’t kick off the fourth section of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, nevertheless it certain as hell launched it into the stratosphere. Previous to the image, Phase Four of the MCU was off to a lackluster begin. Whereas Disney+’s WandaVisionFalcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki had been ingenious in forwarding the general plot of the MCU, Black Widow was extra of a arrange for Yelena’s place within the cinematic universe than furthering the Marvel mythos. However with Shang-Chi, Marvel plunges audiences headfirst into the brand new stage of the MCU, creating an epic narrative worthy of holding a excessive spot among the many greatest Marvel films.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Simply Mercy, I Am Not A Hipster), the story follows Shaun (Simu Liu), a San Fran transplant of wasted potential who slums it along with his bestie Katy (Awkwafina) as they spend their days valeting automobiles and their nights ingesting in karaoke bars. However Shaun is greater than he appears, on the run from his previous, his progenitor, and all that plagues him.

Like Black PantherShang-Chi creates a pocket universe throughout the MCU that not solely celebrates Asian tradition, however tries to repair sins of the previous. Shang-Chi seems like an effort to make good on earlier fumbles such because the boring and racially awkward Iron First on Netflix and Iron-Man 3’s sizzling tackle the Mandarin. And with Shang-Chi, Marvel performs a magic trick: retconning botched storylines and characters in order that they not solely work with new initiatives, but in addition make up for earlier misfires.

Along with bringing extra Asian illustration to the MCU, the movie additionally channels the flavour and really feel of conventional Hong Kong cinema, notably in its combat scenes. Choreographed and coordinated by members of the Jackie Chan Stunt Crew, Jap combating fashion is closely emphasised within the movie. It’s used with jaw-dropping perfection permitting the motion and combat sequences to face out from some other Marvel film. (Brad Allen, the supervising stunt coordinator and former pupil of Jackie Chan, handed away previous to the movie’s launch and the movie is devoted to his reminiscence.)

Shang-Chi can also be chock stuffed with surprises. Very similar to Fats Thor or Professor Hulk, Disney’s advertising staff did a bang-up job when it got here to retaining sure developments, characters, and storylines underneath wraps as a number of acquainted faces make an look. (There are two post-credit scenes you’re going to wish to stick round for.)

However the actual highlights of the movie are the characters – multifaceted people whose story arcs are as compelling because the film itself, with Liu because the excessive level of the image. In his first foray into blockbuster territory, the break-out star of Kim’s Comfort (a comedic import from our mates within the Nice White North) is charismatic as Shaun/Shang-Chi, holding the eye of audiences even towards the spectacular particular results. His skill to juggle drama, motion, and comedy creates an enticing determine that makes him approachable to audiences.

Hong Kong’s celebrated celluloid icon Tony Leung as Shaun’s estranged father Xu Wenwu can also be a standout, with a backstory that makes him one among Marvel’s most complicated and attention-grabbing villains. Awkwafina additionally takes middle stage right here, lastly getting an element that requires greater than delivering one-liners (apart from The Farewell, after all). Appearing because the information for the viewers, the function of Katy helps make clear points of the story and the language to English-speaking audiences.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings isn’t only a welcome addition to the MCU, it’s one among its tentpoles, providing a stable basis wherein to construct new tales and create new heroes that match completely throughout the ever-expanding Marvel universe. Along with setting the stage for Phase Four, it exhibits that Marvel is attempting to proper previous wrongs. Thus far so good.

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