There are two ways to face the presence of Tony Leung Chiu-wai on a blockbuster hollywoodian from Marvel Studios like Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings. The first is with surprise and disbelief; as the main contributor to Wong Kar-Wai could end up inside the “roller coaster of emotions” that doesn’t convince even the Martin Scorsese? The second, correct, is with relief: it was time for this to happen. At a time when the grand narrative of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) crosses alternative realities, evolves its portraits of mysticism and increasingly demands the general public’s understanding of the rocambolesque plots that have inhabited comics for years, nothing more appropriate than including in its cast an actor who has always challenged time and space.
Leung is a leading man timeless, inhabitant of a dimension beyond any era. An anachronism is inherent to his figure that makes him seem his own and, at the same time, out of place in any setting in which his characters inhabit. Never an obstacle, this strangeness configures the Hong Kong star’s first big gimmick; the second being his absolute command of the emotions. Thus, Leung wears, as one who puts on old pajamas, any and all characters led in his direction, whether he is a passionate man, a warrior from a distant time, a criminal boss, or all of these at the same time, exactly as he does in Shang-Chi.
“Leonardo DiCaprio, Marlon Brando, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, all mixed in one actor”, set to QA the star of the new Marvel movie, Simu Liu, about Leung. A statement that may sound exaggerated for those who have Hollywood as the greatest north of world cinema, but it is not enough to synthesize the actor’s influence on the seventh world art, since the 1990s. In addition to the magnetism of Western stars mentioned by Liu , the interpreter of Xu Wenwu is endowed with the ability to inhabit and disappear within a character as the most skillful of character actors (free translation for character actors), but always without losing the tenderness. the opening scene of Shang-Chi is an excellent example of this: middle Kung Fu, half ballet, the clash between Leung’s character and that of Speak Chen is a sensual spectacle never seen before in Marvel cinema.