November 25, 2021 - Happy Thanksgiving! Be thankful there'll be a new review next week.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
It's here! It's finally here! No, not Xmas time. It isn't even Thanksgiving yet, you worthless reindeer fuckers. What's here is the day Marvel finally jumped its own shark and plunged headlong past the Point of Diminishing Returns. The proof? Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Say what you will about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but through its first three phases - from Iron Man through Endgame and a tacked-on Spider-Man flick - it mostly delivered the bespandexed goods. Did some of the movies fall short? Absolutely. But overall, the product was solid, especially if you ask any of the legion of MCU fans.
After shooting its load with, on, at, and around Thanos - and because of stupid fucking Covid - Marvel stayed out of theaters for a while. Instead of new movies, they pivoted to new "limited series" on Disney+. Wanda Vision kicked things off in style. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier lowered the bar considerably. Then Loki got back on the good foot, even if it was an overrated appetizer to the multiverse in hindsight.
The MCU returned to the big screen with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and it is easily the worst MCU flick to date, noting that I haven't seen The Eternals yet, which by all rights is even worse. Come streaming time, I'll let you know.
Shang-Chi is your typical Marvel superhero origin story, you know, minus the rooting interest, clear motivations, excitement, and humor of any of the earlier Marvel superhero origin stories. Shang-Chi (Simu "Lacrum" Liu) has all the personality of a boiled potato. He's upstaged in every single scene - often just by trees and rocks - but never more than when he's hanging with his BFF Katy (Awkwafina "Da Vida"). The Big Bad is his dad, who is blandly evil but also supposed to be sympathetic, which works as well as the non-explanation of what the fuck the Ten Rings actually are.
Aside from a mid-credit scene, Marvel only trots out Wong (Benedict Wong "Number") and Trevor Slattery ("Sir" Ben Kingsley) by way of MCU cameos. And why would they bother with anything more? The studio obviously cared less about Shang-Chi then the biggest MCU haters. And it fucking shows. Call it Crouching Boredom Hidden Slackin'.
November 19, 2021
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