The Marvel Cinema Universe continues to evolve. Director Destin Daniels Creighton has to walk a fine line with “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
Since “Shang-Chi” is partly a martial arts movie and partly a Marvel blockbuster, it has to satisfy both audiences – and for the most part it succeeds.
Story: Sean (Simu Liu, 32) is a casual hotel valet from San Francisco. When a mob of assassins attack him and his best friend Katy (Awkwafina, 33), fate forces Sean to reveal his true identity. Sean is actually Shang-Chi, a martial arts ace with superhuman abilities. Shang-Chi’s own father Wenwu (Tony Leung, 59) is now hunting him. His superpowers can come in handy for the old man…
All the fight sequences are beautifully choreographed and the camera spins smoothly to capture all the action. But the first act and much of the film concerns Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s best friend Lucy. His precise words and his dry comedy as well as a few surprise guests are the highlights of the film despite all the tussles.
Cretton draws inspiration from Taika Waititi’s “Thor: Ragnarok” and knows humor is key here. With some of the new characters that can be expected to show up in the Disney Store as plush toys, it adds up to an amusing 132 minutes.
Conclusion: The film in which Michelle Yeoh (59) shines with fighting, Tony Leung with acting and Awkwafina with punch lines, is a lot to enjoy in a superhero film that never ties into its own cloak.
(132 min / FSK: from 12 J.)
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