top of page


Marvel’s newest hero excels in fun mythology and displays excellent chemistry between the cast members, but in the end it’s an overlong copy of just about any other Marvel film.

In terms of Asian representation in big Hollywood movies Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings certainly is a big step forward. If only such a leap had been taken narratively it might have been a memorable film. But alas, it isn't.

Unsurprisingly the film hews very close to the Marvel formula, mixing action with comedy and dense comic book mythology with a story of personal discovery. When the film focuses on the latter part Shang-Chi is at its best, under the guidance of Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton, and star Simu Liu comports himself pretty well in the presence of Chinese superstars Michelle Yeoh and Tony Leung.

Capturing the kung-fu fighting in an exciting way clearly isn't Cretton's forte though, while the dialogue the actors are saddled with is at times very clunky indeed. I could have forgiven this if the film moved at a crisp, entertaining pace, but that perhaps is Shang-Chi's biggest flaw: the picture is well over two hours long and feels a lot longer.

So while elements of a better than average film are there, the end result is mostly meh.

release: 2021

director: Daniel Destin Cretton

starring: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Ben Kingsley


bottom of page