by Miller C. Lashbrook
Wow, wow, wow! After Black Widow over the summer seemed like average Marvel to me, I managed my expectations for the Marvel movies. But Shang-Chi blew those expectations out of the water. This movie is funny, thrilling, emotional, and wondrous all at once. This is the first movie since Spider-Man: Far From Home in December of 2019 that had me leaving the theater with the excited warm and fuzzies.
By far my favorite thing about this film was the world building. I went into the movie expecting a more grounded film with some fantasy elements like Black Panther or Iron Man. So, in the third act when we visit Ta Lo I was pleasantly surprised. My jaw was agape from the moment they popped out of the water portal until the very end. By far the Great Protector is the best live action Eastern dragon put to film. Seeing Xialing and Shang ride on her back while bouncing and fighting made me grin from ear to ear, but not as much as my fiancé grinned when Shang-Chi held the rings like he was about to make a Dragon Ball Z or Naruto style attack.
All around this cast is impressive and just like with 2018’s Black Panther, we have a profusion of great new female characters. Specifically, I cannot wait to see Katy and Xialing’s futures in the MCU. There is something telling me that it is only a matter of time before Katy gets tech or powers of her own. And wow, the second end credits scene sets up Xialing to be a great “gray area” character working in the shadows.
All around this movie needs to be seen to be believed. And it just needs to be seen. I have already seen it twice (once in 3D, which was great) and I look forward to seeing it on Disney+ so I can watch it again. 10/10 Rings 💍