I have to admit I thought this movie was going to be a little like Mortal Kombat when it started off. I will say I didn’t hate Mortal Kombat, but it was a very glib association. This movie for me had one of the best fusions of humour and action of any of the Marvel movies, and that is saying a lot.
The CGI meshed really well for the most part. I think I only noticed a couple of flaws in the fight scene between Shang-Chi and his father. Otherwise, there were moments that made me think of Studio Ghibli in a good way, with some of the creatures in Ta Lo.
I think one of the great things to observe both with this movie, and Black Panther before it, is to see something that was created by a person not from the culture they were writing about, taken up and used as a vehicle to give voice to actors and creatives from that community.
Awkwafina was great, and Simu Liu was very charismatic. Given the way we were introduced to their two characters, I actually didn’t connect the dots that he was Tony Leung Chiu-wai’s son in the movie, and so I was as surprised as Awkwafina’s Katy. I don’t usually miss details like this, but it was an actual reveal for me.
It was interesting to be watching something I had no history with. I had no investment in the characters. To know that it is going to be folded into the MCU, that the diversity is improving continually. For me, I am always interested to see how a character moves beyond the first time you meet them, how anything that comes from the Asian community in response to the movie shapes this particular branch of the franchise into the future.