SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS Review; "Simu Liu Was Born To Play The MCU’s Newest Avenger"

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS Review; "Simu Liu Was Born To Play The MCU’s Newest Avenger"

Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has finally arrived, but what does the first Phase 4 origin story bring to the MCU? Plenty of action, a lot of laughs, and an incredible new hero!

Review Opinion
By JoshWilding - Sep 03, 2021 07:09 AM EST
Filed Under: Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has finally arrived in theaters, but this movie was worth the wait. Like the rest of Marvel Studios’ Phase 4 slate, it slipped down the release calendar thanks to COVID, but saving it for the big screen was the right decision because this is an adventure best experienced in a theater. The visuals are out of this world, and the action scenes are unlike anything we’ve seen from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s a good description for the movie itself, though, as this is both a heart-wrenching family story and an action-packed fantasy epic that kicks open the door to a whole new side of this shared world. 

The fight choreography is nothing short of jaw-dropping, and an early opening battle between Wenwu and Ying Li proves to be a beautiful sight to behold. From there, the action only intensifies, and director Destin Daniel Cretton shoots these scenes in a way that means you won’t want to blink for fear of missing something. The bus battle is a pure edge of your seat adrenaline ride, as is the fight on the scaffolding we’ve seen in the trailers. However, it’s the movie’s final act that amps things up to a point that cements this as Marvel Studios’ best action movie yet. Of course, the best action scenes in the world are no good if there’s not a story to match it, but Shang-Chi is a triumph in that respect as well. 

An emotional, moving story about a father and son, Wenwu proves to be as compelling to follow as the title character, and is far from a typical "villain." That description simply doesn’t do him justice, and while his actions aren’t those of a good man, he’s a conflicted, complex character who is ultimately battling grief and making all the wrong decisions because of it (Vision’s line, "What is grief if not love persevering?", is apt for this movie). Cretton, Dave Callaham, and Andrew Lanham’s screenplay proves to be the perfect mix of action, comedy, and family drama, making Shang-Chi one of Marvel Studios’ best origin stories. Events do slow down a little too much at the movie’s midpoint, while the return of a character from the Iron Man franchise results in plenty of laughs, but feels otherwise unnecessary. The movie does a great job of moving on from the stereotypical groundwork laid in the Armoured Avenger’s movies, though, but this punchline from a "One-Shot" most casual fans probably haven’t seen...well, Shang-Chi would have been just fine without it. 

Wenwu is one of the MCU’s best antagonists, and much of the credit for that obviously deserves to go to Tony Leung. The actor is utterly phenomenal as the leader of the Ten Rings, and we can only hope this performance leads to us seeing a whole lot more of him on our screens moving forward. This isn’t a case of a bad guy overshadowing the hero, though, because Simu Liu proves himself the perfect fit to bring Shang-Chi to life in the MCU. Every bit as likeable as Chris Evans, but with the same charm as a Paul Rudd or Anthony Mackie, Liu makes Shang-Chi his own and does so in a way that ensures you’ll fall in love with this character and want to see much more of him. Meng'er Zhang delivers a breakout performance, Fala Chen is terrific, and Florian Munteanu establishes himself as a formidable baddie as Razor Fist. However, the highlight might just be Awkwafina as Katy; it would have been easy for her to become that same annoying "sidekick" we’ve seen in so many superhero movies before this one, but she’s both a riot (with many of Shang-Chi’s funniest lines) and an awesome character in her own right. 

Shang-Chi is an exciting, diverse new entry into this MCU saga and one that does for this character what Black Panther did for T’Challa. Embracing Chinese culture and mythology, there are no stereotypes to be found here, and each of the heroes and villains we meet are layered, well thought out additions to the ever-expanding MCU mythos. This feels like a very special movie, and that mixture of martial arts and big CGI set pieces mesh together nicely to create something that feels wholly original and fresh. By the time the credits roll, the stage is set for a whole new style of storytelling, and we can only hope this same creative team reunites (including cinematographer William Pope and composer Joel P. West, both of whom excel here) for a sequel as soon as possible.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is nothing short of action movie perfection; this is the MCU like you’ve never seen before, and it’s no exaggeration to say Simu Liu was born to play the MCU’s newest Avenger.

SHANG-CHI Star Simu Liu Says Sequel Is Definitely Happening With Director Destin Daniel Cretton

SHANG-CHI Star Simu Liu Says Sequel Is "Definitely Happening" With Director Destin Daniel Cretton

Is The SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS Sequel Still Happening? Star Simu Liu Shares Update
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RIPSTEPHEN - 9/3/2021, 7:59 AM
This movie was awesome. It's been a while since I walked out of a movie just feeling pumped.
DoubleD - 9/3/2021, 8:03 AM
Saw Shang-Chi give it 5 Stars / 5 Stars. Currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92% with a audience score of 99%.

Shang-Chi was truly AMAZING whole new area for Marvel Studios action packed with fantasy filled mythical creatures.

Vigor - 9/3/2021, 8:12 AM
I'm so glad ppl love it as much as I did. It was really well done. Who is the director? What a visual spectacle
Footguy6449 - 9/3/2021, 8:16 AM
When it comes to movie reviews there's only one person we can trust on this site and that is Ol' Pirate Boots himself @Dragon316

GhostDog - 9/3/2021, 8:16 AM
Underrated fight scene (it was more of an exercise): Shang versus Auntie Nan

That was some flying daggers shit. Beautifully choreographed.

connorblaze - 9/3/2021, 8:16 AM
I [frick]ing loved this movie. It was so beautifully shot, unique and had a great father son plot.

This reciew is typical Josh hyperbole though, it IS an exaggeration to say Simu was born to play this role. I feel bad being negative because I really did love the movie but Simu was the weakest part for me, he made no impression whatsoever and his character had a great arc but very little in the way of a personality, anything interesting to say, and any real defining traits other than his backstory and arc. The side characters around him had so much life, Akwafina, Wenwu and Trevor being fantastic, that you don’t really notice at first that Shang Chi is kind of blank slatey…

I know a lot of people said he was really likeable but I found him likeable in a really dull way. His character made no impression. Almost anyone could have played him. That said! The movie and world building around him were incredible, as were the rest of the cast.
Zoldyck93 - 9/3/2021, 8:56 AM
@connorblaze - Yeah, that was because Shang was dealing with this internal problems throughout the movie but when he was "normal" Simu was amazing (at the beginning and end of the movie)
santoanderson - 9/3/2021, 8:22 AM
I saw it last night, and while I mostly enjoyed it, it had some big issues. I wasn’t crazy about the plot’s overuse of McGuffins and expository dialogue. And I wasn’t expecting Ben Kingsley’s role to be so prominent. I thought they’d give him a quick cameo in a prison cell. Trevor stuck around for the rest of the movie, wise-cracking with Morris, and it felt… unnecessary.

Again, I enjoyed the movie, but apparently not as much as everyone else.
BestAtWhatIDo - 9/3/2021, 8:28 AM
I'm glad that they appear to have made good use of Tony Leung. Looking forward to seeing this one on the big screen soon.
OmegaDaGrodd - 9/3/2021, 8:29 AM
8 more hours....

Ha1frican - 9/3/2021, 8:35 AM
This movie was absolutely awesome. Perfect mix of Jackie Chan, Jet-li style action set pieces combined with wire-fu and epic fantasy elements in a genuinely funny and emotionally resonant story. The Bus Fight, the scaffold fight, and the finale were all awesome and I’m excited to see where we see Shang-chi next. My girlfriend (who is Asian) was having a blast and said she felt represented for the first time since the original Mulan as a kid. For me it was a 9/10
Ha1frican - 9/3/2021, 8:44 AM
@Ha1frican - Also my only nitpick (and this is mostly a joke) is that they SPOILERS
The fact that that EV made it all to way to, and through the forest one a single charge lol as someone who is into EV’s my first thought was “where’s they find chargers on the way there?”
Ha1frican - 9/3/2021, 9:14 AM
@TyrantBossMedia - No, she didn’t. She’s the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants and the majority of movies with Asian leads are either foreign films or featuring male Asian leads who aren’t immigrants. Crazy Rich Asians she liked but neither her nor any of our Asian friends felt represented by that movie any more than I would about a movie about a white or black guy falling for a super rich woman. Parasite was a good movie but again, foreign film that really has nothing to do with the Asian immigrant experience or Asian culture at all.

The fact that this is a big budget Hollywood production, that touches on the intricacies of not only Asian family trauma and values, but things as simple and common as being made fun of while going to school for an accent in something as wide reaching and popular as a Marvel allowed her to connect to the movie in a way that she hasn’t before. It’s extremely ignorant to think that just because Asian people have been in movies before it’s the same. Plenty of black people have been leads in movies before, hell I saw Blade when I was 6 that doesn’t mean Black Panther and FATWS werent examples of landmark representation for me and millions of others

Now I dont say any of this to actually explain it to you because… well you’re YOU but it’s still worth saying.
GeneralZod - 9/3/2021, 9:22 AM
@TyrantBossMedia - There were no Latinos in Big Trouble in Little China, and I still felt represented.

Ha1frican - 9/3/2021, 9:30 AM
@TyrantBossMedia - Thats because she was she was 4 and it was the first time she’d seen an Asian main character let alone a female one in anything in something like a Disney movie. To her at that time just having a movie featuring Asian protagonists that wasn’t Jackie Chan was as good as it got
Ha1frican - 9/3/2021, 9:32 AM
@TyrantBossMedia - Also Mulan had a $90 million budget on $200 Million.
NateBest - 9/3/2021, 11:18 AM
@TyrantBossMedia - That's actually a great idea! I hadn't thought of making it a timed ability... Let me look into it :)
Ha1frican - 9/3/2021, 11:44 AM
@TyrantBossMedia - First of all you’re arguing feelings that aren’t my own so stop saying “you”, secondly it’s extremely unsurprising that you don’t understand anything about representation. Just seeing a movie of someone of the same race as you isn’t the same as having your culture, values, and experiences represented especially for minorities. Just seeing an Asian person on a screen isn’t nothing it’s important but it’s not the same as having the Asian American experience talked about in an honest and meaningful way. Crazy Rich Asians had an Asian American lead but it’s about super wealthy people in Singapore and nothing about the story itself spoke to anything regarding the Asian American experience. Shang-chi does, and as someone who’s been a part of an Asian American immigrant family for years now I can see how.

You’re bothered by it because you’re entitled and you don’t understand any perspective other than your own. Go make some friends of people different than yourself instead of getting butthurt or insecure about people felling good about a thing. It’s weak.
Toonstrack - 9/3/2021, 12:07 PM
@Ha1frican - Enjoyed reading that. People like Tyrant will never understand.
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