Destin Daniel Cretton
Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham
Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and language.
‘Shang-Chi & The Legend of the Ten Rings’ is the newest MCU film and centers around Shang-Chi, the master of unarmed weaponry-based Kung Fu, who just hasn’t really found his place in life. After being discovered by his father ‘The Mandarin’ henchmen he is forced to confront his past of his fractured family and the Ten Rings organization.
The Ten Rings have been indirectly and directly involved with the MCU since ‘Iron Man’, and now the shadowy organization is getting its comics accurate-ish debut. But with so many characters introduced at this point, will Shang-Chi stand out above the rest? With stunning visuals and a heartfelt story of a broken family trying to fix themselves, I can confidently say this is the best MCU film to come out during this Pandemic and the best MCU origin film since Black Panther.
First, Simu Liu does an amazing job as Shang-Chi. He has charisma for days, was able to pull off fighting in a small amount of training time and not really having previous fighting experience, & did it with the same grace and excitement we’ve seen come from the MCU alumni that started before him. It’s amazing his story with Shang-Chi started with tweeting to Marvel that he essentially called dibs on the role, and years later Marvel remembered, and here he is! Awkwafina of course brings the humor in the film, giving us her unique sense of humor and love for life attitude that’s infectious just watching.
Shang-Chi is the best fighter in the MCU hands down. I loved the styles of fighting in the film, and the inspirations coming from ‘Ip Man’, Kung Fu Hustle’, ‘Crouching Tiger’, and I’m sure many other iconic Kung-Fu films. Seeing the use of the ten rings and how their powers are shown was very cool, and I’m excited to see what other powers they can create in future installments.
In the end, this story is a personal family drama, and boy did they knock it out of the park by casting Tony Leung as The Mandarin. The relationship dynamics between him and Shang-Chi are incredibly fractured, but there is still love between them that you really believe. As toxic as a father that The Mandarin is you know he only wants what is best for his family, and might be one of the most relatable villains in the MCU. Overall, ‘Shang-Chi & The Legend of the Ten Rings’ is an action-packed thrill and the best fighting film in the MCU. Please go and check out other reviews from Asian-American film critics such as John Lui, Wendy Lee, Shirley Li, and any more you can find to see the impact films like this have when representation is done right.