It all started in December 2018. When the actor Simu liu called out to Marvel to ask for the role. Which role ? That of Shang-Chi, of course. Are you still not that stupid, anyway? We are in the criticism of a film dedicated to the specialist in martial arts from Marvel. But noooo, not Iron fist, you did not understand anything. You can remove the “still not” from my question. After this interlude, let’s go back to my introduction otherwise we will never start. Seven months later, the actor quoted his own tweet thanking Marvel for giving him the role. Like what, all you need is a well-placed tweet. As effective as a Bruce Lee fist on a guy’s chest, knocking him down on a chair and sliding over a yardstick.
Short, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, what is it worth? Because hey, there, we’re not starting with a really popular character from the Marvel universe. Certainly, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther and so on were not characters known to the general public. Nonetheless, they had a very solid foundation in the comics with multiple arcs. We can’t say that too much for the Bruce Lee lookalike, rather overshadowed by the blonde with a fist that shines in style. Basically, Shang-Chi, in the comics, I see him as a secondary character, even tertiary. Suddenly, in my eyes, it was a risk.
But why, I was worried… We’re talking about Marvel Studios. The team, I don’t know how they do it, but they always manage to deliver blockbusters above the fray. With their last film, she even did better than that. She produced an excellent blockbuster with their magic formula of action / humor / emotion. However, this time around, she had her eye on Asian cinema. For once, she really immersed herself in it. I will only judge from my gaze, not having the legitimacy to say more. But for once, it is a real mix between wu xia pian and the films of Jackie Chan. An explosive cocktail.
Iron Fist forgotten
I was telling you about Iron Fist. He had been entitled to his series on Netflix by Marvel Television (precision, it was an independent entity of Marvel Studios, in the past, because the latter has eaten it since). Everyone had criticized the quality of the fights. No one will be able to do it for Shang-Chi. Unlike Finn Jones, Simu liu knows how to fight. By the way, he’s not the only one.
All that to say that the Marvel of the day rises in grace when the action begins. I had rented Black widow for his brutal hand-to-hand combat. A movie later, it’s already forgotten so much Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings outclasses it. The fusion of which I had dreamed so much between the money and the technical expertise of the Americans with the pure talent for the choreography of the fights of the Asians. In the last part, we even have a genre that the Orient is extremely fond of. But motus for the surprise. To conclude this part, action level, it’s worth the detour. Compulsory cinema screening. The kid who grew up with the Bruce Lee and Jean-Claude Van Damme films in me roared with pleasure.
Classic origin story saved by its family history
For its dramatic part, we are a more classic structure featuring the birth of a new hero. Fortunately, the script, the surprises and the excellent director Destiny Daniel Cretton offer enough to overcome this weakness. First of all with an excellent antagonist in the person of Wenwu (Tony Leung). Far from the simple villain wanting to kill the hero, he is at the heart of the dramatic part and offers a nice performance. Such a performance that it is curious to note that Shang-Chi is slightly eclipsed by it. By the way, my favorite scene from the film is when he meets Shang-Chi’s mother. Pure wu xia pian with stunningly beautiful shots. Of Hero (2002) with the fingers.
If Shang-Chi is eclipsed, that does not prevent him from having an effective origin story that sincerely made me want to have even more afterwards. The lead actor excels in being as much fun at the tongue-in-cheek genre as he is effective when it comes to getting serious. Moreover, its alchemy with Awkwafina is awesome. The latter, I did not know her at all and she made me laugh. Still, the MVP in humor isn’t her. Quiet. Surprise.
Back to the dramatic part and the emotion. As for Black widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings revolves around the family. Even if in a different register, once again, it’s a devilishly effective recipe offering moments that made me tear a few tears. In the end, I will regret just a few misses in terms of special effects, mainly in the area of green funds. I can’t wait to see him again.
Through Christophe Menat whose heart broke upon seeing Stan Lee’s missing cameo.