Thursday, September 2, 2021

Marvel serves up tame but crowded dish of Asian 'Legend,' CGI action

Liu is ready, set and gung-ho to become the latest Marvel superhero.  
Anxious for another Marvel screen saga to be born? Then you must be among the hordes just dying to see "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" Friday in theaters only (at least for now). 

Think back about 1,000 years and you'll recognize the story, at least according to some intriguing, subtitled narration claiming that "The Legend" about to unfold has been passed down from generation to generation for at least that long.

Certainly those of us around long enough to remember old "Fu Manchu" movies on late-night TV might even recognize such Oriental lore as a memorable force in cinematic adventure. Of course, it was never as sopisticated as it gets in this latest and occasionally less than Marvel-ous contribution to the media franchise's crowded Universe.  

The great news: Superheroland has its first Asian lead, the titled Shang-Chi, who goes by the American name of Shaun in his day job as a parking valet. Even better, he's portrayed by aw-shucks newcomer Simu Liu, who simply explodes onto the screen early during a boffo bus-fight segment.  

The rest becomes a lengthy mix of clunky dialogue; a few gorgeously choreographed martial-arts sequences, especially one featuring Shang-Chi's mysteriously ancient parents (Tony Leong and Fala Chen); and various mystically colorful locales.

The generally funny Awkwafina works hard as Shaun's best friend (or something like that), though rarely gets much to work with in the department of humor. Also of note, Meng'er Zhang, as our hero's roughneck sister, likely will become a force to be reckoned with in future episodes. Nice to see Michelle Yeoh, too, remaining lovely as the hero's aunt, but not so much Sir Ben Kingsley, returning from "Iron Man 3," as the clownish Trevor. Huh and why?

Rated "PG-13" by MPAA: sequences of violence and action, and language; 2:10; $ $ $ out of $5

1 comment:

arjun said...

nice movie... i am excited to watch it and i must watch it.. Thanks for sharing