Between millimeter combat sequence and impeccable comedy scene, the new Marvel is a success
Marvel is finally back on the big screen. The Covid parenthesis and the triumph of the series (WandaVision, Falcon and The Winter Soldier or Loki) suggested that the true center of gravity of the capped heroes had ended up sliding definitively towards the small screen. The very mediocre Black widow had not really reassured … And here comes Shang-Chi and the 10 rings, a modest blockbuster for the Marvel team, but sufficiently spectacular and very entertaining to restore our faith.
Descended from a long line of Chinese warriors, Shang-Chi fled his father, Wen Wu, a notorious mobster, and left China to live anonymously in the United States. At the beginning of the film, it is thus under the name of Shaun that he lives in San Francisco. Modest concierge, he thinks only of partying with his friend Katy. But when a gang of thugs tries to tear off his pendant, Shaun is forced to reveal his true identity. And after an incredible fight streak in a bus, Shang-Chi goes to face his past. Helped by her sister (who organizes free fight fights in Macao) and her aunt (Michelle Yeoh, matriarch of an isolated magical village in China), the blended family must prevent WenWu from taking control of the land thanks to ten magic rings …
In the MCU galaxy, there are the big bloated movies and more modest parentheses, meant to introduce a new character. Shang-Chi clearly falls into the latter category. Fun, uninhibited, ideally made, Destin Cretton’s film aligns impressive action scenes and functions as a breath of relaxation, away from the five-year plan planned by the parent company.
The intelligence of this production is that, for their first Asian superhero film, Marvel is cleverly paying homage to the entire spectrum of HK cinema. We therefore have a good fight Wu Xia (who evokes Tiger and dragon) to a scene “à la Jackie Chan” (the bus sequence) before flirting with supernatural romance and ending with an epic-fantasy delirium that almost mimics Tsui Hark. But the film’s lethal weapon, the real one, is Tony Leung. He plays the naughty daddy, and the beauty of the Hong Kong star crushes everything. As usual with him, a minimum of effects creates a maximum of confusion. Seeing him imperceptibly frown, or send a fatal kick, immediately summons to the viewer’s mind his best roles (glamor In the mood for Love to the demented Foolproof). And her duel against Michelle Yeoh will delight all fans of the genre …
In short, between teen comedy, family romance, the digest of Chinese cinema and the new stone in the MCU building, Shang-Chi wins on all counts.
From Destin Daniel Cretton. With Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh … Duration: 2h12. Release September 1, 2021