Our Spoiler-Free Review for ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’. Marvel Studios has formally returned to theaters with the premiere of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and they did not disappoint. Though we will remain spoiler-free storywise, there may be glimpses at the cast and characters in this post that hint at elements of the story, so please keep that in mind as you continue to read on.
There is no denying Shang-Chi is action-packed, but what I didn’t expect was for this film to have so much heart to it. Everyone in the cast was excellently placed in their roles and came together to give us a wonderful origin story that is reminiscent of the Phase 1 films in the MCU in all the best ways. The film also features a jump-start that throws us immediately into action.
Our primary heroes come from the same background/beginning, yet take very different paths until they converge once again. Though Awkwafina isn’t everyone’s cup of tea as a comedian, she did a fantastic job as Katy, Shang-Chi’s fiercely loyal friend. Though her journey and presence adds levity to the severity of the main storyline she conveys the same feelings as many of the audience members in the theater, drawing us into the story with her.
Meng’er Zhang was fantastic as Xialing and quickly became a favored character. She is strong, confident, and takes no s*** from anyone, including the people she loves. I. Loved. It. She takes initiative, is a decisive leader, and is a strong supporter while unapologetically being herself. I am looking forward to see Xialing’s return and would absolutely love to see her join forces with Yelena Belova at some point. (cough, cough Marvel Studios)
As for Simu Liu, his casting was perfect as Shang-Chi. His ability to be playful while also displaying the incredible talent needed to pull off this role was seamless on screen. Shang-Chi is immediately a character you want to root for and the events surrounding his deep-seated origins are not what we expect from a standard hero. He has had to overcome the unimaginable far before we ever meet him, and this moment is a nexus event for his future. I can’t wait to see where he, and everyone else goes from here.
I would be amiss to not include that the movie is rated PG-13 for a reason. There is a rather large amount of violence and strong language used throughout the film. There was a surprising amount of young children (under 10 y/o) in the theater we attended and there were parents and guardians that clearly did not expect the more adult content resulting in several kids crying and families having to leave the theater early.
Parents/Guardians take note when attending PG-13 films: Please, please, PLEASE make sure you go and see the movie and/or read up on the reasons behind the ratings before bringing your young kids. The MCU is starting to explore more adult storylines in terms of psychology, physical violence, and language as we dive into darker stories. They are not simply “superhero movies” anymore. I will not pretend to know your family or situation, but please do your due diligence to protect your kids and don’t ruin the experience for other moviegoers.
Overall, I would give Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings a solid 7.5 out of 10 when comparing the film to every other MCU movie or show. Shang-Chi was genuinely one of my favorite origin stories to date and leaves me on the edge of my seat for the future of the newest Avenger, Katy, Xialing, and the Ten Rings.
Check out the trailer and poster for Marvel Studios’ ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ below:
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Featured Photo Credit: Marvel Studios