Saturday, September 4, 2021

In Theatres: Shang Chi & The Legend of The Ten Rings (2021)

 Nearly 50 years ago, Marvel Comics, inspired in part by the David Carradine series, Kung Fu, came up with a looser than loose adaptation of Sax Rohmer's legendary villain, Dr. Fu Manchu. The Hands of Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, which featured Dr. Manchu as a primary villain for a good chunk of the run, was a Marvel mainstay in the 70's & 80's.

But, as time wore on, Marvel lost the rights to the Manchu story and its cast, and had to repackage Shang-Chi. At first, they attempt to link Shang to their own Manchu knock-off, the Yellow Claw, but that didn't work. 

As Marvel fans know, the "Ten Rings" in the new movie, "Shang Chi & The Legend of The Ten Rings", are associated to a long time Iron Man foe, the Mandarin. Now, you'll recall how they parodied the Mandarin in "Iron Man 3" by using an out of work actor to pretend to be the villain. Said actor (Ben Kingsley) returns in "Ten Rings" in more of a sympathetic, supporting role as an ally of Shang (Simu Liu) and his presumptive girlfriend (Awkwafina) in their quest to stop Shang's father from unleashing some unholy hell, all because he thinks he can save his dead wife.

Magic & mysticism were not part of Shang's story back in the day, but Marvel Studios & Disney want to spend money like it was water on special effects. 21st century movies, folks.

Let's check this teaser:

After some ridiculous action in the first half, the movie starts to drag in the second half until it rights the ship at just the right time.

Trailers include:

"Eternals" (November): Marvel Studios' next film adapts Jack Kirby's 1976 Marvel series.

"No Time to Die": Daniel Craig's final adventure as James Bond.

"Dune": Delayed a year due to COVID, Denis Villaneuve reimagines Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic.with an all-star cast including Oscar Isaac and current Disney+ pitchman Dave Bautista.

"Shang Chi" gets a B.

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