You know, I’m somewhat skeptical for new heroes to be introduced this late in the MCU. It feels like they’re late to the party already, and I didn’t even watch the Eternals. But still, with a little depth for Asian culture and a somewhat similar formula used in the MCU movies, Shang-Chi does shine on its own.
A young boy is raised by his immortal father, wielder of the Ten Rings, to become an assassin and someday take the lead of his criminal organization.
However, the boy, Shang-Chi, escaped to America as soon as he saw an opportunity. Years later, his father’s agents found him to retrieve a piece of a puzzle that would lead him to a mystical village.
Different from most characters, Shang-chi begins already as a trained assassin, living a mediocre life in the US, until his past catches up to him. The story doesn’t in fact show anything that we’re not used to watching up until now, as it is pretty straightforward without any twists that will leave the spectator’s jaw wide open.
As for the action sequences, I quite enjoyed the style! It’s fast-paced and definitely Asian-themed fighting style, often called Kung Fu, though I’m not really sure if it’s correctly called that way, provides a breeze of fresh air for the MCU. The first scene on the bus was quite thrilling!
Though the story isn’t much interesting, both hero and villain don’t really have much depth. While Shang-shi aims to find purpose within the world with his abilities and later on, the Ten Rings. His father sought to control the world before being manipulated by the Dweller-in-Darkness, who in its turn, wanted him to find the mystical village of Ta Lo so that he could revive the ancient beast. Not interesting enough in my opinion but still, made out to be an average purpose for the introduction of Shang-Chi in the MCU, though without any link that to be used in the future, besides the origins of the Ten Rings and what it represents to be a beacon, and why the Dweller-in-Darkness had a telepathic connection with his father before.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduces a new hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it also adds a new whole Asian theme that was missing so far.
Alas, as an introduction movie, it doesn’t achieve a level of epicness that great, but many of them did not reach it as well. Though the story did not contain anything out of the box, nor surprises that made my brain go boom, it still remained an entertaining one.
While the formula for the Shang and the supporting cast worked fine, I believe that the villain, both his father and the Dweller-in-Darkness should have a little more depth to get things more interesting, but still, it’s not something that would really matter in the long run.
Last but not least, the movie does prove to be good at what it promises, a good piece of two-hour entertainment filled with action, some humor, and of course, a good line to be picked later on, in the MCU.