SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS (2021) Reviews and overview

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a 2021 American action fantasy superhero film based on the titular Marvel Comics character. Shang-Chi must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy; I Am Not a Hipster) from a screenplay written by Dave Callaham, based on characters created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin. Produced by Kevin Feige, David J. Grant and Jonathan Schwartz.

The movie stars Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience), Tony Leung (Infernal Affairs), Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), Meng’er Zhang, Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek: Discovery), Ronny Chieng (Crazy Rich Asians), Fala Chen (The Undoing), Florian Munteanu (Creed II), Ben Kingsley as Tony Slattery and Dallas Liu as Ruihua.

On December 6th 2021, Marvel Studios announced that a sequel, Shang-Chi 2, is already in development and that Destin Daniel Cretton was on board to write and direct.


“Liu and Awkwafina have great chemistry as friends who’d rather find the fun in life than deal with the daily pressures of the rat race. The fake Mandarin, Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) also appears and provides a lot of the lighthearted humor. As director, Cretton keeps the action scenes tight and uncluttered with a dash of comedy and the timing is spot on.” Age of the Geek

“Bigness doesn’t have to be a thing here, but the MCU has one way of doing business, and they’re going to do it, making absolutely certain Shang-Chi gets the royal treatment to best preserve his chances of becoming a mighty force in the brand name’s future (and let’s hope that happens). It’s an uneven picture, but when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings concentrates on raw power and unusual obstacles, it’s the type of electrifying superhero introduction that every fringe character should enjoy.”

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a superb blend of East meets West. It’s a beautiful celebration of culture and triumph for the Asian community. The ensemble as a whole is a knockout that carries the film to greater heights. Though at times it falters with its ambitious storyline and lackluster visuals, it’s very hard to look away from all that does succeed. A somewhat rocky start perhaps, yet Shang-Chi’s screen presence and vast potential for more in this universe is undeniable.” Discussing Film

“Despite its obvious Marvel Studios leanings, director Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings feels more like a modern wuxia tale than the standard American actioner, using the action to communicate the internal in ways subtle and blatant and absolutely engaging.” Elements of Madness

“The ingredients are there, the time is now for representation, the stars are charismatic, and there is a great deal of fun to be had. Still, Marvel once again proves to be their own worst enemy regarding the difference between disposable entertainment and crafting something legitimately great.” Flickering Myth

“In all, Shang-Chi meets all the marks and requirements to make a good superhero film – action, story, a good villain – and a movie that like Black Panther aims to be inclusive and feature underrepresented communities in film and media by having just enough elements one can identify with and celebrate without alienating an entirely different audience.” Geek Culture

“Simi Liu’s portrayal of Shang-Chi is likable, relatable, and complex. Viewers will want more as the credits roll. No matter the scene partner, his natural skill and connection shine onscreen. The way the story is constructed, there’s a mystery to unfold that will provide much for the viewer to chew on. For an MCU origin story, that’s the kind of freshness and curiosity needed to keep breathing life and interest into this Cinematic Universe.” Nightmarish Conjurings

” …Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a great origin story in a franchise that has more origins than any other. Liu is destined for Marvel greatness, and the two post-credits scenes offer some hints about what lies ahead. MCU fans will find much to enjoy about this new offering, while casual viewers who prefer more personal stories might find themselves drawn to Shang-Chi’s struggles.” Screen Rant

“As per usual for the MCU, the final act devolves into loud and chaotic visual nonsense, with the Oedipal reckoning between Shang-Chi and Wenwu giving way to an incomprehensible conflagration of magical beasts and largescale warfare that only further emphasizes the lack of interest that the film has in its ostensibly probing human drama.” Slant

“Cretton bringing Pope, one of the best cinematographers around […], was an inspired choice, and they deliver great variety, visual creativity and effectiveness in much of the action. If I have one quibble, it’s not only that the climax feels as generic a climax as the MCU has given us, it’s that it visually looks like a completely different movie at a certain point. Otherwise, this was a feast of action and visual literacy.” Sonic Cinema

Main cast and characters:

Simu Liu … Shaun / Shang-Chi
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung … Xu Wenwu (as Tony Leung)
Awkwafina … Katy
Ben Kingsley … Trevor Slattery
Meng’er Zhang … Xialing
Fala Chen … Li
Michelle Yeoh … Ying Nan
Wah Yuen … Master Guang Bo (as Yuen Wah)
Florian Munteanu … Razor Fist
Andy Le … Death Dealer
Paul W. He … Chancellor Hui (as Paul He)
Jayden Zhang … Young Shang-Chi
Elodie Fong … Young Xialing
Arnold Sun … Teen Shang-Chi
Stephanie Hsu … Soo
Kunal Dudheker Kunal Dudheker … John
Tsai Chin … Waipo
Jodi Long … Mrs. Chen
Dallas Liu … Ruihua
Ronny Chieng … Jon Jon

Technical details:

2 hours 12 minutes
Audio: IMAX 6-Track Dolby Digital Dolby Atmos

Production companies:

Walt Disney Pictures
Marvel Studios
Fox Studios Australia

Box office worldwide (as at 5th Dec 2021):


Fun facts:

This is the twenty-fifth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Shang-Chi is the first superhero film with an Asian protagonist for Marvel Studios.

In the late 1980s, Stan Lee had considered a film or TV series based on Shang-Chi, and had Brandon Lee, son of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee, in mind for the role. However, the plans were never developed.




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