Movie Review: Shang-Chi and The Legend Of the Ten Rings

We have somehow avoided going to the movie theaters even post our vaccination. It just seems like an uphill task to expect the levels of cleanliness and hygiene I’d be comfortable with in these current circumstances. But OTTs rule and we’ve been able to view quite a few of the new movies sitting at home so we’re not entirely missing out on the fun stuff. One movie TO’s been hankering after is Shangi-Chi and when it showed up on Hotstar, there was no reason to delay watching it at all!

This has to be said before anything else- there wasn’t enough of main stream material about other countries and their cultures in the superhero genre of movies. For most of us it meant watching Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li do their thing and maybe be buddied up with a mainstream Hollywood actor for more visibility but Shang-Chi changes that completely. With a near- completely Asian cast, this movie is fun, entertaining and worth a big bowl of popcorn and nachos and you don’t miss out the other Marvel heavy hitters not being around to rescue it.

I don’t do spoilers much so I won’t do that here either. Suffice to say that there’s a battle between good and evil. There are some people who are very good at martial arts and yes, there are mystical creatures. A few unexpected characters do make appearances here and there but they are neither show stoppers or show stealers.

Watch Shang-Chi with your family for the magic that plays out on the screen, for the fluid dance movement-like martial arts and most importantly because its really a fun watch!

Movie Review: Black Widow

Right off the bat, it’s a bit of a downer watching Black Widow knowing that Romanov sacrifices herself in Endgame. Set in the time after the incidents of Captain America: Civil War, this movie gives a proper backstory to Natasha Romanov and lets the audience know how she became the Black Widow. But that’s not all it does because this movie is a portal to the Black Widow’s sister (herself a Black Widow) getting a movie, if not a franchise, for herself.

Onto the movie- like all superhero movies it’s over the top. And while that’s a given, what makes the other ones stand apart as the special effects, pithy dialogues or the droll humour that you get from Loki, Ironman and even Banner. This one falls fairly flat because a) you know Romanov is going to come out unscathed and b) the back story and the players are seem tired and rather jaded to do any real justice to the plot.

Florence Pugh as Romanov’s “sister” provides a bit of freshness to the otherwise droll tepid plot which has a ‘bent-on-ruling-the-world’ bad guy and a bunch of people who need to be rescued while the widow moves onto reuniting with the Avengers.

The chemistry between the characters in the movie was off to say the least with the title sequence possibly being the slickest bit of footage in the entire movie. The way Romanov and her family manage to escape the destruction of the bad guy’s lair; careening and free falling without getting the slightly nick from all the debris falling all around them is extremely ho-hum. But it’s a superhero movie and Barton and Romanov were the only two Avengers who didn’t have any extraordinary powers barring their innate prowess in fighting.

Rachel Weisz, William Hurt are held back by the script from taking their characters further and Ray Winstone as the baddie leaves a lot to be desired since his menace, overall creep-quotient is rather lame.

This movie is streaming on Disney Hotstar in India and for that am glad because I’d have kicked myself for paying money to watch this in the theatre in a non-Covid world. For those of us who are MCU fans, it makes sense to watch it to preserve the continuum of the entire series (although BW was released much later than it was supposed to be); the rest of us can give it a miss. Neither the acting nor the sequences or the OST do anything for the audience.

Movie Review-Captain America: Civil War

Image courtesy Google Images

It’s been AGES since I saw a movie on the same day it released. Probably not since 04 but then that’s too far into the past for me to dredge up the when and wherefores.

I generally enjoy the offerings from the Marvel universe. Captain America is the typical boy scout but he’s easy on the eyes and then Iron Man? Forget about it! uttered in a pseudo Italiano-Americano accento!

I was waiting for this new installment of Captain America because I wanted to know what new person, event, catastrophe they could throw into the mix to make the movie engrossing.

And they came up with a fairly plausible one- a wronged soldier who goes vigilante and wants to bring down the wrath of…well himself on the Avengers! As far as plots go, not bad. The action is as always, over the top but damn enjoyable. Iron Man does seem to enjoy top billing in the Avenger movies maybe due to the guy who plays him but I find that I missed the chemistry between Pepper Potts and Tony Stark in this movie. Gwenyth Paltrow probably being too busy in promoting Goop!

But back to reviewing the movie- in a nutshell? Eat at home and save yourself the money for the popcorn and soda because it’s nearly a 2 1/2 hour-long movie and you need munchies while the drama unfolds and the super-powered punches are thrown all over the place.

Thor and The Hulk being the big misses here especially because they did have some screen time in the first Avengers movie and did what they were supposed to and in the second one there was a nice little thing happening between The Widow and Hulk.

C.A.C.W- is about friendship. Redemption and essentially Big Brother trying to control the “greater good” and Tony Stark’s need to have the last word.

Read the wikipedia page for the spoilers because I don’t want to be the reason someone doesn’t go and buy overpriced popcorn to watch this movie.

I was surrounded by high school and college boys who were whopping along with Iron Man and shrieking whenever someone got slammed into concrete or some or equally hard surface and realized that these movies make you feel younger and somewhat mindless. But it’s fun so it’s all good!