Marvel’s Shang-Chi Throwback

17th Dallas International Film Festival

Marvel’s Shang Chi is loaded with them. Maybe someday one of his drawings can make it into animated, eternal life. Shang Chi’s “nostalgia” time capsules (I’m using this as a verb) you back to Kung Fu Theater from Saturday day TV in the 80’s. And, some of my favorite Kung Fu Hustle actors play in the romp too. Have fun finding them, like little surprises. Sequences as graceful as Bruce Lee in Swan Lake and as colorful as Crouching Tiger LITERALLY TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY.

Even now I have chills remembering. In at least four scenes, stunning, precise, aggressive, and so gloriously vibrant choreography makes this one of the most thrilling Marvel films to date. Unfortunately, the scenes are really all it has going for it. It is missing several emotions— and adds unnecessary ones as well as unnecessary characters in awkward situations.

A proverbial power-hungry man loses interest in life and seeks the ultimate challenge, unexpectedly a woman. She cures his soul. They forego power and choose love. As his tragic dark history destroys her, irony ensues. So. Other than being cinematically seductive, this Marvel levels on Spidey strength. But I’m so, so, so much in love with the Dragon and the “Lions.”

Marvel Comics created Shang Chi in the 70’s but now the character ties in (listlessly) to the Avenger Universe. Let’s find out why the Mandarin carried such a long and cheesy role through this fantasy ride…

15th Dallas International Film Festival