Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings REVIEW: Superpowerful

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The former stuntman doesn’t put a flying foot wrong in his hugely entertaining first solo movie.

When we meet Liu’s Shang-Chi, he’s going under the alias of Shaun and working as a hotel valet driver in San Francisco with his best mate Katy (Awkwafina).

Just as we’re settling into a gentle slacker comedy, the pair take a very eventful bus journey. A gang of thugs, which includes a hulking chap with a bionic arm, try to steal a clearly mystical pendant hanging on Shaun’s neck. The valet driver replies with a blistering volley of martial arts moves.

After a wonderfully choreographed fight scene has morphed into a thrilling Speed-style tear-up through the streets of San Francisco, Shaun reveals his true identity to his bewildered best pal.

Turns out he’s the son of centuries-old supervillain Wenwu (Tony Leung), whose superpowers come from 10 ancient bracelets. Worried that his estranged sister (Meng’er Zhang) will be targeted next, Shang-Chi races to Macau with Katy in tow.

A brilliant opening half-hour ends with a Jackie Chan influenced sequence scene on a skyscraper covered in bamboo scaffolding.

As this is an Avengers movie, we suspect we’re heading towards CGI monsters and some sort of inter-dimensional portal.

Director Destin Daniel Cretton barely puts a foot wrong either, blending blistering action with epic family drama and well-honed physical comedy.

And as a non-annoying comedy side character, Awkwafina may become a vital cog in the Marvel machine.

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