Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, Disney Plus Day Premiere Review

Shang-Chi Legend of the Ten Rings Key Visual

*Warning, this review will have spoilers.*

Our newest review will be covering one of Marvel Studio’s newest films, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. Being part of Marvel Studio’s Phase Four, the story finds Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) having to confront the past he thought he left behind when a mysterious organization called The Ten Rings comes for him and his sister Xialing (Meng’er Zhang).

Here’s an interesting fact about this film, this wasn’t the first time that the Ten Rings were introduced in the Marvel films, in 2008’s Iron Man without the Mandarin but would later be introduced with the concept of who he was in 2013’s Iron Man 3 but it would eventually be revealed that the Mandarin didn’t exist but an elaborate hoax, an imposter named Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley). The Mandarin would remain a mystery, until this day, when Shang-Chi and Xialing’s Father Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung) would make his first appearance.

While it is Marvel Studios’ first film with an Asian lead, Asian Director, and a predominantly Asian cast. It also had a successful run in the Box Office, making it the seventh-highest grossing film in 2021.

This movie broke free of stereotypes by giving the cultural legacies a little more weight but also made it where it wasn’t your usual Superhero Origin Story, it had a great blend of drama, fighting sequences whether it was on the Bus or battling high above from a Skyscraper (one of the most breath defying moments in the movie, well-choreographed action and rehearsed quite well). It truly is a good blend of martial arts and drama, the film’s premise didn’t come off as corny and had a fearsome villain. Actors Simu Liu and Awkwafina were an absolute delight in the movie, both were perfectly cast for their roles and are the dynamic duo that made the film memorable. Awkwafina (who played Katy, Shaun/Shang-Chi’s best friend) did so well in her role, providing comedic relief but also letting the world know that there was more to her than meets the eye. Of course, I can’t forget Xialing, a badass who has great skills and owned an underground fight club in Macau.

Shang-Chi Entertainment Earth Promotion

At the beginning of the film, we were introduced to Xu Wenwu, a warrior with many names and lived for 1,000 years who created the society of the Ten Rings. It was a fascinating idea to begin the story by narrating it in Mandarin and addressing the customs of Chinese and Asian Culture, exploring Asian and Asian American themes as they did with the 2018 film The Black Panther, exploring African and African American Culture. Of all the things that Wenwu has accomplished, there was one thing he couldn’t prepare for, it was falling in love with Jiang-Li (Fala Chen). There, they would be starting a family, and finding peace, or so it seemed. It was his wife’s death that changed him, forcing him back into what he once was, a Warrior, but let grief and something monstrous take control which caused the family to drift apart.

This film had it all, well-choreographed action, a well-written script, special effects, and best of all the ambition of embracing fruitful ideas. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings lived up to the hype and shows Hollywood that people want fresh storytelling, not just familiar faces.

Final Grade:

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

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