Shan-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is one of the liveliest and most colorful Marvel movies to come out in a while, even if it suffers from a bloated third act that bogs down nearly every MCU flick (notable exception: Ant-Man.)
But this martial arts fantasy has strengths that make it one of the best in show. The fight scenes are savage lightning, more sophisticated than the usual superhero punching. And then the leads: Awkwafina is a rare sidekick who is both funny and essential. Tony Leung brings complexity to the villain Mandarin. And the title character, played by Simu Liu, is a charming, conflicted good guy with real daddy issues: his father is a 1000-year-old criminal mastermind. Shang-Chi wants to reintroduce big-budget Kung Fu to Hollywood, and for the most part, succeeds. I am a sucker for dragons and magic jewelry, so I had a good time.