Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

How do you make the story of a son struggling against his immortal despot father boring? Very carefully. Shang Chi is not an exciting or unique character, created to cash in on the tide of pop orientalism during the 60s. While he has been used in an interesting way since then (Hickmans Avengers run comes to mind), he’s not exactly high on many peoples list. In his debut film, Shang Chi rejects classic orientalism for woke lib orientalism. Here, they decry the racist trappings of Shangs Father the Mandarin, but in name only. He’s still a evil guy that does kung fu and lives in large Chinese castles, but he’s representation now. Mind you, all of this overlooks the fact that Shang Chi’s father in his origin was a legally distinct version of Fu Manchu literally named Yellow Claw. That aside, every other iteration of the Mandarin outside of the comics is less racist than the stale shit they come up with here, they even made his rings into some boring sonic boom weapon. Also they bring back the original MCU mandarin, the same one they decry as racist, to do epic quips. These movies mean nothing. 

The plot is also meaningless, there’s an Asian wakanda now, that’s it. Most of the stakes is around finding the Asian wakanda but they pull it off immediately with no hassle. Even Tony Leungs charm can’t save us as they introduce like 50 guys under him that do quips to undermine everything he says or does. Akwafina in particular made me want to die. They have like 15 different avengers guys show up because they were online on Skype or some shit. The vfx graphics looked like mobile game cutscenes and I will forget all of this on the drive home if I wasn’t already at home. 

For all the milestone representation this movie got praised for its literally just a shitty Kung Fu movie. There is nothing unique about it save for that superheroes exist. There’s two guys that are good at kung fu that fight, but here the kung fu is worse than normal. Despite having a stunt coordinator allegedly there is nothing special here, I swear the stunts are starting to blend together. I’ve seen like 37 knife catches and guys leaping up from a floor position. They even cut away from the impacts because they haven’t learned since 2008. The last 30 minutes is a cgi monster fight with monster hunter reject designs, how do people keep buying this shit. 

Overall by god does this movie suck dick. Completely forgettable with so many hamfisted girl/minority boss scenes you’d think Disney made it. This would’ve been more interesting and less orientalist if they just remade bloodsport and put marvel guys in it. I was going to give this one star for Tony Leung stealing the show but then the show stole his soul.

Netscape liked these reviews