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Review Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021): Even non Kung fu fans will love this!

genre: comic book adaptation, super hero, martial arts, action, adventure, fantasy

It's a little weird to see Shang-Chi pop up as a superhero in MCU because he is a typical hero that belongs in a Wuxia film. I have been watching Kung fu films since I was 3 so it's safe to say I am a big fan of the genre. However I wouldn't say I was cheering to see that genre get mixed into the Marvel universe. Because to me they are two different beasts and don't belong together. But to be fair Shang-Chi surprised me by showing it can be done and hopefully also has motivated people to delve into Hong Kong cinema.

While the film is low on story and true character development the action and adventure elements are extraordinary. I mean, Mrs. P. who doesn't like Kung fu films was on the edge of the seat all the time and kept saying how beautiful and awesome the action was. That alone is a victory in itself. However Marvel also has shown how a hero like Shang-Chi can have significance in the MCU. Especially considering his connection to The Mandarin. How this will manifest in the future is something I do look forward to. What really helps sell the film is the energy and dynamics between the main characters. Tony Leung is an excellent villain. Since he is capable of infusing his character with immense charm and depth. Leung is a master of playing villainous types in the most human way possible. And if you don't want to take my word for it then go watch Hard Boiled. You will see it for yourself. I also liked the chemistry between Awkwafina and Simu Liu. It felt natural. They are very good friends who have each other's backs. Very refreshing to see they aren't a couple. Although if eventually they do become one I don't think it would be that weird since that happens a lot. 

Despite many of the fantasy elements I liked how most of the action was grounded in reality. It is very similar to old school Jackie Chan which shouldn't be that surprising since Brad Allan who was an action director on this film also was a member of Jackie Chan Stunt Team. Sadly was, because he passed away in August this year at age 48 due to an illness.

Last but not least is the soundtrack. It has many themes that will keep playing in your head and pumping you up. Besides, hearing the themes will immediately transform you those moments in the film when played. Soundtracks of films should be memorable like this. There are too many tunes nowadays that are too generic for their own good and therefore I will always applaud compositions which are integral to the viewing experience.

Overall a very good entry in the MCU and a must watch for sure!

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