‘Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings’ Review

Movie title card

One of the best Marvel Studio origin movies with breathtaking moments throughout!

This is the second time watching the movie; first time in a standard cinema screening and now with the recent release of Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings in IMAX Enhanced ratio for home viewing on Disney Plus, this is a brief review of the movie.

This is an action/fantasy movie, following the story of Shang-Chi played by a rising star to the MCU (Simu Liu). Shang-Chi has reached being a martial arts master and is now trying to lead a new life in America; after a heartbreaking event that made him choose to leave his family behind in China. Only to have his past catch up with him, by going up against more than he could have imagined.

Tony Leung as Wenwu (The Mandarin), right away steals the scenes, an incredible actor with a lasting impact throughout. The amount of emotion and ferocity being conveyed in every scene that Tony Leung is in, is truely powerful! Choreography during the fight scenes between Wenwu and Leiko Wu played by Fala Chen is presented like a beautiful stylized dance across the screen.

It’s brilliant that, the movie shows many scenes of Shang-Chi progressing from a young age about what he had to go through and this helps build crucial context and empathy for him and his family members in the process. The theme of the movie is heavily focused on family, heartbreak, loss and accepting one’s true self with fate in mind. Simu Liu is very convincing in the role of Shang-Chi, delivers the lines naturally and has many impressive choreographed fighting and stunt scenes.

One of the greatest things about seeing more and more Marvel movies focus on the ‘everyday life’ narrative for these characters is that, this makes superheroes more relatable to an audience, presented in a ‘real-world’ setting in the MCU, and can empower hope and courage in people watching. The movie also has a big impact on Asian communities being more represented in the MCU. Showing that everyone can be a hero of their own story.

The friendship between Shang-Chi and Awkwafina’s character Katy, have a decent amount of comedic moments bouncing off eachother, as they travel wrecklessly through a wild story. Although, Katy on her own, can slightly be annoying in some parts, when jokes don’t work during action scenes, such as singing before being attacked to try to distract them. The unexpected return of a character from a previous movie has a funny redemption arc and a heartwarming bond between a character called Morris, adding just the right amount of lighthearted moments in scenes.

There are characters that are under-used and some are over-used, for example: Katy’s storyline seemed forced in parts, especially in the final act; when taking on a big villain. Felt like a lazy comedic way of moving the plot along. Abomination and Wong were under-used, and Seemed pointless to re-introduce Abomination this way after so long since being in The Incredible Hulk (2008) movie.

The practical effects in scenes are incredible, as well as the CGI. The bus scene is a very memorable practical sequence: smashing through the streets, into cars, all while mixed in with close combat fighting. The CGI for the rings combined with those impactful bass sounds, really feel like they display that strength and power that the Ten Rings possess. Energetic and harmonious fighting scenes between many characters are so fun to watch!

Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings feels like a fresh take on origin movies. That is able to set itself apart from the rest of the MCU, all while still ushering in those surprise cameos to progress the next phase for Marvel. The final act will leave you on the edge of your seat, with breathtaking action and cinematography! The movie is very well paced and there needs to be more films like this from Marvel with this amount of context building, not seen since Captain America: The First Avenger. It’s a movie to be watched for sure, more than a few times.

For more Marvel Studio movies. Check out the Eternals reviews!

Steven Soper
Steven Soper

Owner/Editor-in-Chief/Writer/Social Media for the Chatter Box Film website. Follow @chatterboxfilm on Twitter.

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