Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
Starring Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, Ben Kingsley, and Tony Leung
Marvel continue to dig deep into their back catalogue with the film adaptation of Shang-Chi. It’s the first Marvel Studios film to feature an Asian hero and a predominantly Asian cast. Shang-Chi in the comics is pretty much the best dang martial arts practitioner in the Marvel Universe. Seems like the perfect set-up for a classic kung-fu film, albeit with some modern superhero tropes. Does Marvel pull it off?
Shaun seems to be aimless young man living in San Francisco. He works as a parking valet, and spends his nights out partying with his friend Katy. But soon, his past catches up with him. Turns out his real name is Shang-Chi, and his father is the notorious warlord Xu Wenwu, mastermind behind the international terrorist organization known as the Ten Rings. Shang-Chi was raised to be his father’s right hand and chief assassin, but he decided he didn’t want a part of that life and walked away. And now Shang-Chi must return home, reunite with estranged father and sister, and embark upon a dangerous quest. Will Shang-Chi take his place at his father’s side, or will he rise above and become a hero?
What I Liked
Firstly, there’s some great action scenes. We get the usual superhero stuff, like that fight you see on the bus in all the trailers, but there’s some wonderfully poetic stuff as well. The cast is amazing, with Simu Liu cementing his leading man status, and Awkwafina bringing just the right amount of comedy relief. Great special effects as well, as a variety of creature from Chinese mythology eventually join in on the fun.
What I Didn’t Like
Honestly, not much in there that I didn’t like. There’s a variety of henchman and side characters where it would have been nice to learn their stories, but in the end, it was nice to keep the focus on our heroes.
A story about fathers and sons reconciling dressed up as martial arts superhero fantasy. A very satisfying superhero outing.