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SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS review – Great martial arts epic set in the MCU (spoilers inside)

Title: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Starring: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, Ben Kingsley, and Tony Leung
Movie length: 2 hour 12 minutes

What it is: The latest movie from Marvel Studios, this one focuses on Shang-Chi and the origin of the fabled Ten Rings (which are based on The Mandarin’s rings from the Marvel Comics.)

What Dan thought: Marvel Studios yet to let me down, they’ve done a spy thriller (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), heist movies (Ant-Man), and now they have a martial arts epic based in the MCU. The movie reminded me of modern martial arts epics like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Considering that Michelle Yeoh was in both, the comparison is even more apt).

The martial arts fight scenes were choreographed quite well thanks to veteran Andy Cheng being the one chosen to handle the fight coordinating for the movie. The standout scenes in that area for me were the bus fight scene involving Shaun/Shang-Chi and Razor Fist, as well as the classic martial arts fight scene between Ying Li (Fala Chen) and Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung).

The on-screen chemistry between Shaun and his best friend Katy was terrific, and I hope their brother/sister type chemistry continues when we see them again in the MCU, which we will based on the post movie scenes shown.

(L-R): Xialing (Meng’er Zhang), Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

While the director (Destin Daniel Cretton) may not have many Hollywood credits to his name yet, after the way he directed this movie I expect that to change quite soon. The movie was outstanding from the fight scenes, to the script, to the soundtrack (thanks to composer Joel P. West), and one of the best origin movies from the MCU right up there with the original Iron Man as well as the Black Panther movie. The movie sets up a sequel quite well with the post credit scene, and thanks to an appearance by Wong it ties in quite well into Phase 4 of the MCU.

Also Sir Ben Kingsley reprising his role of Trevor Slattery from Iron Man 3, and All Hail the King was outstanding and his friend/creature Morris voiced by the always great Dee Bradley Baker (who also provided the “voice” of Sebastian The Rat in the recent The Suicide Squad movie). The rest of the supporting cast was also terrific, but Kingsley stole the show in the scenes that he was in.

The special effects and creatures in the movie were very well done, and some of the ones at the end were very kaiju-ish, and fit in with the overall feel and genre of the movie.

Oh, and it doesn’t need to be said since it is a Marvel Studios movie, but there is a mid-credit scene as well as an end credit scene.

Dan’s Grade: A. As I said above the movie fits in well into the MCU, but as a martial arts epic it stand on its own quite well. I highly recommend seeing it in the theaters provided you are healthy enough to do so. This is one movie that needs to be seen that way.

Here’s our own Darren Shulman along with Tracey‘s audio review of the movie: https://anchor.fm/darren-shulman/episodes/Shang-Chi-Review-e16rfb3

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now playing only in theaters.

Do you plan to watch it? Have you already? Let us know in the comments!

If you’d like to write opinion pieces about pop culture topics or reviews, reach out to us using the contact us form.

Dan Berry
Dan Berry
Dan Berry is a man of mystery, an enigma that flits from convention to convention like a spectre, like a spirit. His interests range far and wide: he cannot be determined, he cannot be defined, he cannot be contained. He's like the wind. He also is a Sagittarius and enjoys a nice Italian.

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