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Movie Review: “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

Release Date: September 3rd, 2021

Runtime: 132 minutes

Directed by: Destin Daniel Cretton

Starring: Simu Liu


  Tony Chiu-Wai Leung

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The story follows Shang “Shaun” Chi, who has a dark past which consistently finds him, even after 10 years of living under a false name. Shaun’s father, Xu Wenwu, is a crime lord who has used the magic of the ten rings to keep him alive for thousands of years. Although he left crime after falling in love with Shaun’s mother, Ying Li, he has since turned back to crime. After Ying Li’s tragic death, he turned back to his dark path and is on Shang and his sister Xialing’s trail. Shaun and his best friend Katy travel to find his sister and try to help her. .

   Shang-Chi marks the 25th movie in the MCU, and the first with an Asian lead and leading cast. The film was well-casted, and the use of Mandarin Chinese throughout makes suspending your disbelief much easier. Despite being a part of the MCU this movie would be fairly easy to understand without seeing all previous films. The connection between Shang-Chi and the MCU is not lost on fans, with some previous characters making cameos and references to previous events sprinkled throughout. 

   As the start of what will hopefully be a trilogy, Shang-Chi also marks a new hero introduction. Though Shaun has no magical powers or super strength, he is a skilled fighter and able to hold his own in combat because of years of training. Shang-Chi also introduces us to a magical village called Ta Lo. Ta Lo is populated with mythical creatures and people with magical powers. The film also features bright scenery and colorful costuming. Tonally, Shang Chi felt different from its MCU predecessors. 

This film is action packed, with many fight sequences inspired by kung fu and martial arts. The one-on-one fights are my personal favorites, and the last act showcases a final battle of good versus evil. Although the film bounces around from flashbacks to current events, the flashbacks melded well into the story. 

The fictional worlds in Shang-Chi are immersive, and seeing them on the big screen is truly the best way to experience them. Not only that, but Shang-Chi is the first MCU film in over two years to only be available in theatres and not on Disney+. According to CNet Tech, it is expected to release on Disney+ in mid-October. Although COVID-19 has without a doubt affected theatre turnout, Shang-Chi had an opening weekend of $29.6 million dollars. 

It scored a 92% critic score and a 98% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. With box office success and the beginning of a new character’s journey, there is no doubt that we will see Shaun and his friends again.

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