3.5 Rings/10 Rings Do you hear that? It is the sound of fan boys and the morons on Rotten Tomatoes blowing this movie because “FiRsT aSiAn HeRo!” and using that “milestone” to completely ignore how many problems and issues this vastly overrated movie has. The same thing was done with “Black Panther” except “Black Panther” was genuinely a great Marvel film so even though some of its Oscar nominations were unwarranted (Best Picture nomination was purely political), the praise of that film was well deserved. Here, we get a hugely disappointing movie that follows so many of the Marvel clichés but that people will blindly praise anyways because like most people in life, they think with emotions instead of logic. Before I red pill you as to why this movie shouldn’t even be labeled a good movie, I will give the movie credit since it manages to pull off a few things. For starters, this movie starts off very strong. The first act was well done and we get two totally badass action scenes (one on a bus that almost made me forget about the weak bus fight scene from “Captain Marvel” and another on the side of a building). The strong start fooled me into thinking the rest of the movie would also kick ass but we will get into why that wasn’t the case later. In addition to the strong start, the score by Joel P. West was perfect in using the Asian influenced music to set the mood. The fight choreography was extremely well done and impressive and you can tell the actors put in the time and effort to train for the fight scenes. Finally, Awkwafina surprised me and was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the movie. Some of the humor worked very well and most of those moments came from her. The first post credits scene was also a solid way to end the movie and tease upcoming adventures. Unfortunately, that is where the positives end as the pacing, hero, plot, script, etc. drag this movie down. While I acknowledge a surprising amount of the humor worked, there were a few lines that didn’t and also not one but two jokes that did work were then repeated later in the movie which killed them. If you keep telling an audience the same joke, it loses its effectiveness the more you tell it and this movie did that twice. There is a ton of clunky exposition, especially in the first half of the movie. The movie has many problems with the characters as well. Simu Liu plays Shang-Chi and while he was great at playing the normal, non-superhero version of himself we see in the beginning of the movie and handled the fight scenes well, once he becomes the hero Shang-Chi at the end of the movie, he lacks the screen presence, charisma and intimidating physical strength to make us take him seriously as the hero. It doesn’t help matters that Simu Liu himself comes off as a total prick on social media, which is separate from the movie but makes me like him even less. Speaking of characters, this continues the Marvel tradition of bland, forgettable Marvel villains. This villain also unnecessarily feels the need to suck his children in on his mission, despite the fact that neither of his kids want anything to do with him. His entire plan could have easily been done without them but was shoehorned in as hard as Katy (Awkwafina) coming to China with Shaun (Shang-Chi). Disney continues to repeat the tired cliché of characters having a dead parent. For two characters who valet cars for a living, I wondered how they could afford rent in one of the most expensive cities in America and throw down thousands of dollars for a last minute flight to China, but I digress. Since we are in today’s politically correct climate and this movie was made by Woke Disney Pictures, you aren’t allowed to have a strong male lead without some females being better or stronger than him. So when Shang-Chi is reintroduced to his sister after years apart, she kicks his ass. Which is fine. After all, she probably went through the same years of training as he did, right? Nope. We are told she WATCHED her brother and others train and that that makes her a better martial arts master than everyone else who physically did the actual training. That makes about as much sense as someone watching every football or basketball game of the season and being a better player than the actual professional sports athletes or a porn addict being a sex God because he stares at pixelated T&A all day. That’s not how any of this works. Speaking of female Mary Sues in the movie, Katy takes up archery for maybe one full day in the movie and not only becomes an archery expert but delivers the most crucial blow to the enemy. Not the warriors who have been trained in combat their entire lives in archery and weaponry…but Katy is able to do what no other characters could. Give me a break. Another problem is the pacing. After a kick ass start and two amazing action set pieces, we get nothing for about an hour until the final, climactic battle. From when the skyscraper fight scene ends until the end of the movie, the movie slows to a crawl and started to lose me. When we finally get the final battle, it contains many problems and devolves into the CGI orgy that Marvel is known for sticking into their ending battles. Leading up to the battle we have Shang-Chi, Katy and Trevor Slattery (more on him in a bit) maneuver their way through a shifting forest which they are barely able to make it through due to the rapidly changing environment. They just make it through and get to their location in time which was fine. Yet when the bad guys show up to the same location, they get not one but SEVEN vehicles in a long line through the same, rapidly changing forest without losing anybody and I didn’t buy it for one second. In the end battle I had flashbacks to “The Never Ending Story” (silly dragon riding) and “Sonic the Hedgehog” (orange-ish rings flying around), which wasn’t a good thing. The end battle was a mess and there was so much CGI everywhere that nothing looked real and I felt like I had been transported to the insides of a computer. Shang-Chi had also never used rings before or trained with them yet the first time he uses them he is suddenly an expert who knows exactly how to use them. Ugh. The final end credit scene was pretty worthless and made me feel like a fool for waiting around for an extra ten minutes just to watch it. As for Trevor Slattery and his subplot, that was maybe the weakest portion of the movie. When we last left Slattery, he was going to be executed for impersonating The Mandarin. Then he reveals that the Ten Rings organization kept him alive to essentially be their court jester and entertain them. The fact that evil, trained, deadly assassins would keep a buffoon of an actor alive instead of instantly murdering him was insulting. These are the type of people who don’t need entertainment from largely failed actors. So his survival was extremely stupid and even worse, he has a little, fury, faceless pet that only he is able to understand/communicate with, which was just lazy screenwriting as it is never explained and since his character is so dumb, he would be the last person to understand some mythical language. Then the creature is used as the way to get through the shifting forest? All of it was just so stupid. I could go on with the problems, but I don’t want this review to run longer than the second act of this poorly written movie. After the movie ended, I thought to myself, “Well, at least it was a little bit better than “Black Widow”. Yet the more I think on this movie and analyze it, the more I realize that it is actually worse. “Black Widow” wasn’t good either but at least its plot was tighter. If these two movies are the start of the MCU’s Phase IV, we are in big trouble. In Spider-Man we trust, I guess.

#ShangCheesy / #TheBoredOfTheRings / #LiunyToons / #NotASimuTaneousRelease / #DontSlatterYourselvesDisney / #KatysInconvenience

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