Shang-Chi Movie Review

Director Destin Daniel Cretton and the cast have made something so beautiful on a visual, emotional, and ethereal level, this movie is fire. It was everything we wanted it to be, plus so much more. What a delight. What a cinematic treat. 

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the story introduces audiences to the Ten Rings organization while also showing us how Shang-Chi becomes the “Master of Kung Fu,” his moral conflict between him and his father, the struggle between family and independence. 

The film stars Simu Liu as the ‘Shang-Chi’, Awkwafina as his best friend Katy, Fala Chen as Shang-Chi’s mother Jiang Li, Meng’er Zhang as his sister Xialing, and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung as Wenwu, Shang-Chi’s father. The film also stars Michelle Yeoh as Ying Nan, Benedict Wong as Wong, and Sir Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery. The excitement felt knowing most of these characters will work alongside other superhero favs gave a sense of renewed Marvel fandom energy. 

While watching Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the first few things established are themes of discipline, family, and respect. The storytelling reminds us of the important things in life before getting into the dreadful past and future chaos. 

Cretton establishes this early on as we get to know who Shang-Chi is. The arching themes of this film are family, friendship, and fighting for those you love no matter the cost. 

The movie’s conflict with the “villain” is more complicated. Wenwu wants to destroy anyone and anything that gets in the way of saving his wife, the love of his life, the mother of his children. 

The most magical scene was when the story of how his father met his mother, there was a fight sequence which I consider a very romantic dance of kung-Fu. Was it a tease? was it ego? was it flirting? whatever it was, it was absolutely beautiful! the choreography was done flawlessly.

Shang-Chi’s struggle between listening to his father and listening to his heart comes through. The moral dilemma in this film plays nicely combining the “Marvel formula.”

There was a great reference to the comic book, like the use of dragon scale outfits and supreme hand-to-hand combat. The family dynamics were woven throughout, letting the audience learn piece by piece to form their own opinion at the end of whose side they were on. 

I also loved the comfortable chemistry between Simu Liu and Awkwafina, though their relationship seemed more than friendship! there were some very funny moments to lighten the vibe.

Remember those really fun, classic 80s & 90s Kung Fu films that you would watch and be completely mesmerized by? This is on that level. The fight sequences are a major part of what makes this film truly great! Each character has a specific rhythm and flows in their choreography that works with their character, for the story, and the all-around action of the film.

Watching Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will create a deeper appreciation of Chinese culture, Asian history, and the evolution of the action film. The skill, the artistry, and attention to cultural aesthetics were amazing!

This film will do for the Asian community what Black Panther did for the Black community. The culture, the legends, the history, inclusivity is what we need in movies, and I’m glad to see Marvel incorporating this!

A must-watch for all you 80s/90s Karate fans out there! I’m obsessed with this movie! This is Marvel’s best movie this year!

Must watch this on the big screen, Catch this in cinemas now!!

PG Rating – 13


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