Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Movie Review

At this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or superhero movies in general), introducing new heroes and characters run the risk of feeling like we're experiencing extremely threaded ground. But "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" found a way to be interesting, to be different, and to be more nuanced than what we usually get from superhero films. 
Shaun (Simu Liu) has been working as a hotel valet with his best friend Katy (Awkwafina) for years preferring to live a life on the down low. But when Shaun is attacked on a bus by assassins, not only does he reveal that he is a highly-skilled fighter but he also has a dark past - that he is the son of the leader of the Ten Rings organization. Fearing for the life of her long lost sister in Macau, Shaun decides to go look for her and thwart whatever their father has planned for them.
"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" has it all. If you're in it for all-out-action then this whole experience won't disappoint. At its core, this was heavily-influenced by martial arts meaning there will be more hand to hand combat than what you usually get from your superhero film. And the fights in particular were well done. The choreography was its strongest point and it being a mix of reality and fantasy was something fresh. Although we have to admit that the film eventually devolves into a CGI-filled finale so it isn't 100% perfect. If you want nuanced writing, then the film's narrative was as equally great as its action. For us, there are two key factors why the writing of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" was memorable. First, it found a way to be relevant to times without coming out as forcing the issue. Second, this film had a conflicted and tragic villain with  Xu Wenwu (played by Tony Leung) whom you'd find to be relatable with what he is and was going through. He is a villain who will make bad decisions but the path to those decisions aren't black-and-white. We remember experiencing the same thing with "Black Panther"  which is another excellent film from the MCU slate. Overall, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" has the beats to really stand out in a crowded genre. It has a compelling character with the perfect dose of action, comedy, and backstory. We highly-recommend you watch this if you haven't yet.
Rating: 4 and a a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the action and story were both equally nuanced and fresh

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the finale became your typical CGI-filled affair
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