What a mouthful of a title. Here’s your review of Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings.

Well, that was a pleasant surprise. First off, we have a marvel movie in Phase IV that wasn’t completely grating. Secondly, it wasn’t your standard intro movie like most of the others, although there is requisite scene where the hero fights the villain who both have the same basic powers. Still even that was done better than in the past.

Hell if you can make Awkafina somewhat palatable, you’re doing something right.

It’s overall a decent intro to a character I had pretty much zero interest in. Maybe because my expectations were so low, it had a pretty short climb to get over that bar. But without spoilers, I’ll get into my liked moments.

First off, the jokes and humor are toned way down. The quips are nearly non-existent. Not to say there aren’t any but it’s definitely more appropriately timed. I like Dr. Strange but that moment when he finally dons the cape only to be undercut by the humor really grates on my. This doesn’t do that. It’s humor is more along the line of the Indiana Jones movies.

Second the villain is far more than just “I’m evil and I want to take over the world.” He’s just a guy trying to get his wife back. He’s wrong and needs to be stopped but he’s very sympathetic. Far more, in my opinion, than Black Panther’s villain was. Though that was a great step in the right direction.

Third, they just go for it as far as the insanity. I mean there’s Chinese dragon’s, fight clubs, death forest mazes, magical rings, kung-fu fighting, insane scaffolding stunts, and demons from hell. I’m pretty sure a kitchen sink was in on the action.

Family is a big part of this and while I did groan a little bit at the introduction of our hero, once the actual story kicks in, it really settles down and takes itself seriously. There are also a lot of tie-ins I actually appreciated. Questions since Iron Man 3 are answered in a reasonable way.

Shang-Chi

The acting is well done and everyone is suitably Asian as you would expect in a story like this. It’s a neat fantasy/martial arts throwback that can only be done today given the special effects needed.

I can’t say that it didn’t bog down here and there. But the pacing was brisk enough to keep me engaged and I enjoyed how it all played out. Like all Disney/Marvel from Phase I/II days, it’s what you would expect: a solid movie that doesn’t quite reach greatness but doesn’t fall on its face either.

It was worth seeing in a theater as the spectacle really works on the big screen. I actually want to see where the characters go next, so its got that going for it.

I really don’t have much more to say. It was above-average. Decent. Nothing made me angry and I had a good time. Take that for what its worth.