‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Movie Review


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

This is a spoiler-free review of the new Marvel movie “Shang-Chi And the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which is in theaters now.

From the opening scene of “Shang-Chi,” my mind was ready for the cultural adventure I was about to experience. There’s a few reasons why I felt this way as I sat in the IMAX theater waiting for the advanced screening of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest offering to start.


First off, this was only my second time in a year watching a film in a theater. The crowd’s excitement in the room was palpable, and the anticipation that we were all about to the share the same experience on the big screen was evident. As soon as the screen lit up, people clapped with enthusiasm, and it was contagious. The enthusiasm lasted throughout the entire 2 hour and 12 minute reel.

The fact that this is Marvel’s first film with an all-Asian leading cast also influenced my disposition to watch “Shang-Chi.” Given what transpired during the COVID pandemic and how Asian people were targeted, this fact was not lost on me.

Movie Synopsis

Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The film also stars Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, as well as Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng.

Non-stop action is the hallmark of any MCU movie, so you can expect this to be the central part of “Shang-Chi” as well. Of course, the degree of violence in “Shang-Chi” is off the charts, but what I found to be different in this MCU installment is the physical effort mixed with grace. The spectacular display of martial arts in this film, from both men and women, is dazzling!

The lead actor in “Shang-Chi” is Simu Liu, a 6 foot Canadian stunt actor. As you sit and watch Liu in the exhausting scenes of hand-to-hand combat on screen, you might be reminded of Jackie Chan’s long (and single take) fight sequences. It’s actually down right grueling to watch Liu constantly kick, flip, and tumble during the movie but, in an odd way, it’s also satisfying to see him dominate the screen—and his enemies.

Besides the tough male characters you’d expect to see in an MCU movie the cast includes a list of female characters who are strong and able to defend themselves, and at times, it’s the women who save the damoiseau in distress. The cast includes Awkafina (Crazy Rich Asians, The Farewell) as Katy, Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians) as Jiang Nan, Meng’er Zhang as Xialing, Fala Chen as Leiko Wu, and few unexpected ones, too.

Between the beautiful scenery, striking special effects, and epic fight scenes, “Shiang-Chi” is up to the standards of an MCU action movie. But this film goes well beyond that. “Shang-Chi” offers audiences the opportunity to experience another culture in a mainstream movie. The loud claps and cheers from the audience at the end of the screening confirm to me that, just like with “Black Panther,” diversity in MCU’s movies is appreciated.

A final note. As any self-respecting MCU fan knows, stay in your seat until after the very last of the end credits roll up!

ShangChi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and produced by Kevin Feige and Jonathan Schwartz, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Charles Newirth serving as executive producers. David Callaham & Destin Daniel Cretton & Andrew Lanham wrote the screenplay for the film, which opens in theaters on September 3, 2021.”

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

Rated PG-13

Runtime 2 hours and 12 minutes

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