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Marvel’s Shang-Chi is a Legendary Film

March 31, 2022


If you enjoy watching martial arts or are a fan of Marvel movies, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will suit your needs.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduce Marvel’s first Asian superhero lead, Shang-Chi (Canadian actor and former stuntman Simu Liu). Combining action, science fiction, and adventure, the movie has a couple of martial arts fighting scenes that kept me thoroughly entertained and engaged.

The film opens with a man named Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung Chiu-wai)–an immortal man who possesses the Ten Rings which convey magical powers to the wearer–as he charges an army by himself while his army stays behind. Wenwu eventually forms the Ten Rings organization which is capable of toppling governments and conquering kingdoms. Wenwu learns of a magical village, known as Tao Lao, which is hidden inside a giant bamboo maze. Wenwu discovers the entrance to the village which is guarded by a mysterious woman named Ying Li (Fala Chen). Ying also possesses magic and is the only person able to beat Wenwu.

Not surprisingly, the two fall in love, but eventually have to leave the village and Wenwu disbands the Ten Rings.

Fast forward to the present. Their son, Shang-Chi, who goes by Sean, is a valet driver in San Francisco who pals around with his best friend Katy (Awkwafina). Shang-Chi still practices his martial arts in his bedroom but does not use his skills anywhere else. After the two are attacked by the previously disbanded Ten Rings, Shang-chi and Katy head off to save the world from Wenwu and the Ten Rings.

One thing I like about the movie was the cinematography that went into creating Tao Lao. Tao Lao has numerous mythical creatures like Morris, a faceless-fluffy animal with wings, and the movie makes them seem very realistic and not CGI at all. The cinematography just brings the movie to life and it’s like waking up and finding out you have no school that day.

Another factor about the movie that I enjoyed was that it wasn’t a run-of-the-mill Marvel movie. Most Marvel movies made today usually have multiple references and connections to the next Marvel movie that’s to be released. Instead, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings goes back to the traditional-style format of a Marvel film. Early Marvel films worked as stand-alone without needing a sequel, and this film does the same. It gives the history of the character, introduces the character, and has a storyline that doesn’t rely on other films.

True, some fans were disappointed Shang-Chi didn’t have more of an effect on the Marvel Cinematic Universe than it does, but I believe that it is a necessary film to introduce the character and set Shang-Chi up for more potential appearances down the line. Although it wasn’t completely Marvel reference-free: It does feature Wong, sorcerer supreme from Doctor Strange, and Trevor Slattery, known from Iron Man 3 as the Mandarin.

One thing I didn’t like about the movie was the unnecessary comic relief provided by Katy. She often made remarks that should be considered funny, but overall, were not. She also managed to learn to shoot a bow and be an amazing shot within a day, which was very unrealistic. I didn’t necessarily hate her character, but I do believe her main purpose shouldn’t have been comedic relief.

Overall, I would recommend this film to anyone who loves a traditional-style Marvel movie or appreciates a good action film. I would give it 8 out of 10 stars just for the mentioned unnecessary comedic relief, but still, it’s easily in my top ten favorite Marvel movies.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Erika Schmack
Erika Schmack, Senior Editor

Erika is in 12th grade, this is her 3rd year in Journalism. She is the president of the FFA and enjoys reading. After college she hopes to be a marine...

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