So, this is Marvel first attempt at doing more asian style action movie, introducing a new protagonist, the titular Shang Chi, forced to face his past as he was raised from infancy to be a perfect assassin by the criminal organization known as the Ten Rings, commanded by The Mandarin (connecting it to the Iron Man movies), and we also have Benedict Wong – as one would expect – is playing… well, the character of the mystic Wong, seen before in Doctor Strange.
YEAH, if it feels quite generic from the premise, and the idea of having Marvel “manufacture” a wuxia fantasy film while also doing a superhero movie and keeping their style of doing it.,…it’s not exactly that alluring, especially with the plot sounding really cliched as hell: the “face the master-father that’s also the boss of a criminal assassin ring so you can be free” thing, etcetera, etcetera
And while it a good step in terms of representation, it also just like the bare minimum by today’ standards.
It’s not a bad movie, but in a way it’s exactly what you would expect from a Marvel movie cramming asian martial arts, wuxia style fights and fantasy-mystical elements usually seen in Chinese (and chinese-related) cinema into their usual superhero mold, and while the action scenes are fun, it’s hard to care much about the story or the characters (aside from the sympathetic villain played very well by Tony Leung, outacting Simu Liu as the main character a lot), they’re mostly ok, but their arcs are brashly executed or not really interesting, given how token pretty much everything is here.
It’s a bit frustrating, as it could have been EASILY so much worse, but also isn’t quite decent, not helped by boring, cliched flashbacks and feeling a bit too long.