Marvel hits off with new hero of phase four


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Changi Chi movie cover photo

Leila Bernal, Staff Writer

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings joins the Marvel cinematic universe as the first movie that has dropped for phase four of the MCU; the success of this movie helps to decide the tone for the rest of phase four. This phase of Marvel is the first one to have TV shows such as: Wandavision, and the Winter Soldier, these all play into the big screen stories and will be introducing new storylines and characters with the original Avengers storyline having ended.
Simu Liu stars as the main character Shang-Chi alongside Awkwafina who stars as Katy, the protagonist’s best friend and love interest. This film was a huge career boost for Simu Liu. Before Shang-Chi he was mostly only known for his performance as Jung Kim on the Canadian sitcom, “Kim’s Convenience”. It is not wrong to celebrate “Kim’s Convenience” and what fame it has already given Simu Liu but, being known only for this role has limited him as an actor to what roles he was able to pursue.
The story follows Shang-Chi and his sister, Xialing,(Meng’en Zhang). The characters both ran from their tyrant father the Mandarin, (Tony Leung Chiu-wai), after the death of their mother Fala Chen, (Leiko Wu). Shang-Chi is attacked by his father’s shadow organization, who is trying to steal the magical pendant Shang-Chi received from his mother. Shang-Chi and Katy travel to Macau to warn Xialing that their father is hunting down both siblings and the magical pendants they received from their mother before she died.
As the story progresses Shang-Chi must confront the past and the decision that still haunts him to overcome his father and the organization he leads.
Simu Liu pulls off a slacking millennial who is forced to face his family full of warriors and assassins with grace and takes on his own stunts. The film utilized the actors with Awkwafina doubling up on a best friend and awkwardly playing a love interest role.
Besides a bus scene fight at the beginning of the film, it was sorely lacking in actual fight scenes, most were poorly lit and filmed with a more eye dazzling approach than actual choreography. In the last few scenes there is a fight scene chock full of C. G. I The movie focused more on special effects and less on choreographed scenes of kung-fu and many critics expected to see straightforward fight scenes opposed to ones full of C. G. I
Shang-Chi was a good nudge in diversifying Marvel and the actors that take part, but it lacked the depth and intimacy seen in the comics for an action-packed film that falls to stereotypes of Asian films taken on by Hollywood and does not add anything uniquely Marvel to the film. As someone who has always loved Marvel movies, I would give Shang-Chi four out of five stars. It was a delight to see the film with representation of a new culture, but it lacked something new and feels like just another superhero movie.