Synopsis: Shang Chi is living as Shaun in San Francisco doing a normal job. Once on his way to work, he encounters with assassins. After defeating them, he goes China with his friend. Soon, his past takes over him again. He must accept his path and stop his father from destroying his mother’s village.
The movie begins with Shang Chi’s father Wen Wu, battling and conquering empires with the help of the Rings. Then after we have Shang Chi living in San Francisco. We get to see the life he’s leading in the West. Then the plot picks up as Shang Chi encounters assassins and then decides to go to China.
Right from this point until the movie ends, the plot maintains a flat line. This is because we get to see bits and pieces of Shang Chi’s past throughout the movie. Each past scene trying explain as to why Shang Chi is strong. But a majority of scenes fail to give the justification.
The climax was as expected, as we get to see Shang Chi at his best. We also get Wong to see a couple of times in the movie which is a bit of tease and it makes sense as the movie introduces an Asian superhero.
The character development of Shang Chi is okayish. There’s no new trait that he acquires as the movie ends. Majority of things aren’t explained. Again, Marvel Studios is using its art of ‘Word Building’ here as well. Most of the things that Shang Chi does in the movie are things which he has already learnt in his past.
We just see him struggling with his identity once. After that, its just the plot putting things up and we as a audience have to accept it. Hence, the character development isn’t as good as it was for Iron Man, Thor and Captain America.
But this also sets up the mark for character development. Ongoing, it be can safe to assume that Marvel Studios is going to do just that for it new characters. So, we’ll be seeing the same level of character development for Eternals & Blade.
The music throughout the movie is good especially in term of sound effects. The background music is also great. But as this was the first movie, it’ll take time to get used to the sound track.
The cinematography of this movie is fantastic. The camera movement in all the fight scenes is just amazing. This is how I love to watch all the action scenes. The camera movement was programmed to move according to the actors and this also shows the amount of effort put in the action scenes.
The direction of this movie is fairly accurate. Which means that it was enough for the movie to earn profits but still lacked explanation at many points.
Marvel Studios since Avengers : Endgame have gained a reputation of hitting the audience with surprise in the theatres. Before, the movie is released, they don’t reveal much and mislead the audience. As this was the first movie of Phase 5, Marvel Studios didn’t want to take any risks and wanted it to succeed. Hence, a lot of the footage from the movie was already out before the movie was released.
So, there wasn’t anything new except the post credit scene which involved other Avengers setting up the stage for what’s next to come.
The script was okay. The dialogues were okay too. The point is there have been a lot of Chinese action movies in Hollywood. All of them work on the same explanation when it comes to fighting : summoning the chi and you have to believe that you can do it and then you will.
Marvel’s ‘Iron Fist’ is kind of based on the similar concept but provided more explanation on how his powers work.
Here, the script just provides a verbal story about an ancient battle. Now, note that, this explanation may be used somewhere later in Phase 5. This is the problem introduction stage for Marvel Studios. They’re just introducing characters, problems and concepts which the creators may or may not use in future. They’ll keep doing so until Avengers 5.
The point is the script lacked explanation. We don’t get to see the origin of the rings or how and why the rings chose Shang Chi. I think doing so would have justified the title of the movie. This movie seemed more like an introduction of an Avenger.
In the climax, Shang Chi is suddenly shown to be very strong almost like Thor in Avengers : Infinity War and Hulk in Incredible Hulk. The movie neither mentions this nor do get a gradual character development of him attaining this form.
Although the movie, didn’t do well in terms of explanation, the reason why this movie earned profit is the amount of action and effects in it.
Marvel Studios is particularly know to excel in this department and this is exactly what this movie did. After you leave the theatre, all you’ll ever remember are the action scenes in it and the effects.
All the action scenes are well choreographed and the rotoscopy (camera movement) is just fantastic. All the effects in this movie are a visual treat for the eye.
Full points for using the correct color filters throughout the movie.
With everything being discussed, it’ll still be worth watching as Marvel Studios develop Shang Chi.