Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), Dir Destin Daniel Cretton, Marvel Studios, 2.5**: Matthew Alicoon

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, 2.5**

Marvel Studios

Runtime: 132 Minutes

Review: Matthew Alicoon, 8th September 2021

This film follows Shang-Chi who is forced to confront his past after he is drawn into his father’s Ten Rings organisation.

William Pope does a fantastic job as cinematographer who gives such a visual and stylistic feel to the world. The action scenes are well choreographed, as there is a fight scene on the bus which is one of the best action sequences from a 2021 release.

However, it can be argued the advancements in technology have hurt MCU films. This film solidified it. Lately, MCU films have been lacklustre, as how often do you come away from a MCU film (Post Endgame) saying that the story was so investing and riveting? There is no denying that these films have well shot action and cinematography but the characters do not feel like a primary feature here if anything they feel like a secondary feature here. If you do not have interesting characters, how can you succeed. This film struggled with characterisations as there was not a single character that stood out in terms of memorability.

There is often a huge comparison of Marvel vs DC. However, this film felt safe and not risk-worthy. It is more ambitious for a film to take a risk in any aspect and it not working, than playing it safe. It cheapens the narrative, as the predictability increases. However, looking at DC they have taken risks this year especially with releasing a 4-hour cut of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. DC have upped their game this year with The Snyder Cut and The Suicide Squad. Whereas Marvel playing it safe has maybe happened too often to the point components just seem so repetitive.

For the future of the MCU they need to focus more on what makes us become attached to the characters. Are Marvel focused on putting too many films that stories are not just what they used to be?


Simu Liu as Xu Shang-Chi / Shaun

Awkwafina as Katy

Meng’er Zhang as Xu Xialing

Michelle Yeoh as Ying Nan

Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery

Tony Leung as Xu Wenwu

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