When the polls went out for the Golden Cages 2021, there was only one actor on my mind in the Best Supporting Actor category: Tony Leung. A magnificent force in the Hong Kong film industry for decades now, his turn in 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings helped elevate what was otherwise a standard superhero origin story into something greater. He could arguably be called the main character of the film but seeing as how he’s billed as a supporting actor, that’s just how the cookie crumbles.
It should come as no surprise to readers of Flixist that I would end up enjoying his performance here. While there was a possibility that Marvel could have screwed up his presence, I’ve been singing the praises of Tony Leung for a while now. Towards the end of 2020, I took a look at numerous Wong Kar-Wai films and Tony Leung came up often. Last year, I gushed over Hero and Tony Leung was there again.
I know him more for his homeland productions, but I was thrilled to see that his first primarily English-speaking role wound up being great. He’s honestly the best villain in the entire MCU and that’s in no small part to the man’s versatile range as an actor. He even gets to use his trademark eyes in some scenes to completely sell the devastation that his character is going through.
The Golden Cages 2021 is going to be an exceptionally bizarre year thanks to how few films each of us saw. With many Hollywood productions pushed into 2022 and beyond and smaller films not getting runs at local theaters (or anywhere), there wasn’t much I felt comfortable tackling. Without a doubt, though, Tony Leung’s role in Shang-Chi is worthy of all the praise it can get. He was without a doubt the best supporting actor I saw all year.