Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

One thing you can say about Marvel Studios … they looooooves their artifacts, especially if they come in a set, and if they can destroy the entire universe then so much the better.

In this surprising outing for one their lesser know players, the world’s greatest KungFu master is pitted against his own father who intends to use the ten rings he acquired hundreds of years before to bring back his dead wife (so at least his heart was in the right place).

There’s no point changing a winning formula, so the film is high-octane, pretty violent, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. I wasn’t convinced by the plot, but with great performances from Simu Liu (the hero) and Awkwfina (the non-romantic sidekick), Michelle Yeoh (who, let’s face it, is brilliant in everything) and Tony Leung, the plot didn’t actually matter so much.

No expense was spared on the special effects, the set design was brilliant, and the fight sequences? … Wow! I mean, yes, it’s a fight film, but some of the sequences were visual poetry; some bits were very much Crouching Tiger – which happens to be one of my favourite flicks.

If I had one complaint, I’d say that maybe the film was a little bit too long; a bit of editing could have shaved off a good twenty minutes in my non-professional-and-so-should-probably-be-ignored opinion. I dunno, is it possible for a finale to overdo it? If it can, then this might be the case study.

Still, a dream of a movie all the same. As I said, a strange choice for the opening of a new phase, but it worked. Oh, yes; it worked.

Film review: Nobody

Picked this up on Sky for the eye-watering sum of £13.99 (rental!) are my friends kept raving about it. Was it worth it? …
It’s the same fella who wrote John Wick, and it shows. We’ve got the same slow start, then about twenty minutes in, the movie finds its pace and its pretty much non-stop knives and bullets until the final showdown, when it really lets loose.

So, here’s the upshot: Hutch Mansell (brilliantly played by Bob Odenkirk) lives a somewhat mundane life as a book-keeper for his father-in-law’s manufacturing business. The aforementioned mundane life takes a turn for sadistic when Hutch’s house is burgled and he slowly unravels, bringing to bear the skills from his former profession: clean-up specialist for the CIA.

Needless to say, if you love John Wick then you’ll get along with Nobody, just fine. Thinking about, I think I preferred Nobody; it has a raw, visceral quality about, whereas John Wick was more stylised.

Definitely worth the £13.99 (rental!) sticker fee if you’re really into this sort of thing.

The Tomorrow War

If I’m honest, this is what I want to see in an action movie released during a pandemic: hideous man-eating extraterrestrials, gunfire, explosions, a plot with holes so big you can drive trucks through … and Chris Pratt.

The premise is somewhat familiar, though it does take it in a slightly unexpected direction: present-day humans are recruited and transported (in bigly numbers) to fight a war some thirty years into the future. Service is compulsory, but all they have to do is fight and survive for seven days, then they’re done and beamed back home.
For the folk who’d never seen combat before, seven days didn’t sound like the end of the world … until they saw what they were up against.
If you’re a fan of Independence Day then this’ll be right up your street: great adult-ish entertainment that doesn’t take itself too seriously.