REVIEW: ‘Shang Chi’ is sufficient, but not sensational

In 2008, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie featured the Ten Rings as an antagonistic organization.

More than a decade later, we finally get a look at the group’s true leader, and his family.

Tony Leung stars as Xu Wenwu in “Shang-Chi,” a man who has lived for centuries thanks to his 10 magical rings he wields. For most of his life, Wenwu had been focused on conquest, leading an army known as the Ten Rings. However, this changes when he meets Ying Li, a woman from a mystical land.

Wenwu ends his warrior ways as he gets married to Ying Li and they have two children, one being Shang Chi (Simu Liu). However, following the loss of a family member, Wenwu once again takes his old mantle while also training Shang Chi to be a skilled warrior. But when the time comes for Shang Chi to go out on Ten Rings a mission, he opts instead to leave his family and the Ten Rings organization and start a new life in the United States.

At the movie’s start, though, Shang Chi’s old life comes calling.

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REVIEW: ‘Snake’ origin film is an eye sore

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” from 2013 threw out nearly 80% of the characters from 2009’s “G.I. Joe: Rise of Corbra.”

This movie, in turn, throws out  all of those films’ lore and a plethora of characters.

Get rid of what you think you know about Snake Eyes from the previous movies, because this is a completely different universe. In this movie, Henry Golding portrays Snake Eyes, a young man who witnessed his dad getting murdered when he was a kid. The film picks up with him fighting in an underground circuit, making just enough money to get by.

That chapter of his life comes to a close as he’s recruited to the Yakuza because of his fighting ability. That doesn’t last long, though, as he’s not cut out for the job and instead finds himself working alongside a man named Tommy (Andrew Koji).

It turns out Tommy is a member of a secret ninja clan known as the Arashikage and he wants Snake to be a new member. However, his loyalty to the clan becomes challenged when he’s offered information about the man who killed his father.

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REVIEW: Outside of the action, ‘Mortal Kombat’ falls flat

If there’s one thing this movie has in common with other “Mortal Kombat” films, it’s Raiden basically not fighting at all despite being a playable character in the games.

So this is another Hollywood shot at adapting the “Mortal Kombat” game franchise after an alright attempt in the 90s, which was followed by an abysmal sequel. In this latest attempt, the main character is Cole Young (Lewis Tan). Not actually featured in the game, Cole is an original character who gets by as a fighter who’s all about offense with very little defense.

One night after taking another loss, he’s attacked by a warrior well known as Sub Zero (Joe Taslim), who’s hunting him and other great fighters from Earth. Sub Zero is doing this under the orders of the evil Shang Tsung (Chin Han), who wants to eliminate Earth’s best warriors to carve an easy path to a 10th Mortal Kombat Tournament victory, which would allow his realm to conquer the world.

To fight back, Cole is brought into a group with other Earth fighters who are determined to stop Tsung.

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REVIEW: Despite spectacle, ‘Mulan’ mostly stumbles

Trying to do two things at once can sometimes be pulled off, but it can also lead to a mess. This “Mulan” film is definitely a situation of the latter.

The film stars Yifei Liu as Mulan, a young woman who doesn’t exactly fit in at her community in rural China. Around the time that she’s getting forced to meet with a matchmaker, another area of China is being invaded by Rouran warriors, led by their commander Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) and magical witch, Xianniang (Li Gong).

In response, the Emperor (Jet Li) orders one man from each Chinese family to join the army to defend the nation. Mulan’s father is enlisted, but he has a permanent leg injury and already fought in a previous war. Knowing he would be in danger, Mulan decides to join the war in his place, disguising herself as a man in the process.

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Here comes the Boom review

Director:
Frank Coraci
Cast:
Kevin James
Salma Hayek
Henry Winkler
Bas Rutten
Rated: PG

“Here Comes the Boom” follows the story of Scott (James), a teacher who was once really confident in education and school however has recently lost his drive. At the same time he finds out that the music department of the school, as well as other departments are going to be cut, which would mean Scott’s friend Marty (Winkler), would lose his job.

This sets Scott off on a quest to try to raise some money to rescue the music department. After watching a UFC fight with a man named Nikko (Rutten), who Scott teaches in a night class for American citizenship, he decides to go in and try to raise money by fighting since he had experience as a Division I wrestler in college.

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