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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Release Date: September 3rd, 2021 Movie Release Year: 2021

Marvel's Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings - Theatrical Review

Overview -

Oh MCU fans, don't you dare be sour. Clap for your brand new superhero Marvel Cinematic Universe champs, and feel the power. Shang-Chi Rocks. That's right, there are some new kids on the block that bring a new element to the MCU in Destin Daniel Cretton's (Short Term 12, Just Mercy) Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. Through a fantastic journey that mixes some great superhero-action, martial arts, emotional family drama, and excellent comedy, led by Simu Liu and Awkwafina, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is exactly what the MCU needs to jump-start a new chapter in their upcoming franchise of films while making these fresh characters a permanent favorite amongst the already iconic Avengers. Despite a couple of small pacing issues, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is a wild and phenomenal ride of epic proportions. MUST-SEE!


Only In Theaters Friday September 3rd, Order Your Tickets On Fandango 

Shang-Chi, the master of unarmed weaponry based Kung Fu, is forced to confront his past after being drawn into the Ten Rings organization.

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Theatrical Release Only
Release Date:
September 3rd, 2021

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


It's extremely difficult to compete with the 22 films that have already been released in the MCU that brought the Avengers together over the course of a decade. After the events of Avengers: Endgame, some would find it hard to find a fun narrative to continue on without certain characters coming back, but with Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, all concerns can be laid to rest as Shang-Chi has entered the game full of leadership, wit, and strength. And with Cretton's work on the screenplay and his artistic eye to tell a wonderful and emotional character-driven drama about an estranged family, along with some fantastic fight sequences that pay homage to freat martial arts films, this new MCU addition is just what the world needs right now. 

Taking place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings tells an origin story at the beginning about these ten rings that act like bracelets on whoever wears them. They basically are like the Infinity Gauntlet with the gemstones that allow whoever possesses them to conjure up super-strength, the ability to jump far distances, kill enemies, and much more. Fast forward to the present day where everyone gets to meet the two best valet drivers in town -  Shang-Chi or as he goes by Sean (Simu Liu from Kim's Convenience) and Katy (Awkwafina), who are best friends living in San Francisco.

One day out of the blue, Shang-Chi is attacked by some nasty henchmen, one of which has a metal weapon for an arm, and much to the surprise of everyone, especially his best friend Katy, Sean is extremely skilled in martial arts and can single-handedly take on multiple bad guys at once. This all leads to Sean telling Katy the truth about his real life and childhood - that his father Wenwu (Tony Leung) is the owner of the Ten Rings and has been ruling with an iron fist for an unnaturally long time. Wenwu's ploy was to get his son Shang-Chi and his daughter Xialing back together that would forge a path to a secret and dangerous gate that he suggests is keeping his dead wife at bay. Little does he know that unlocking this gate would bring about the destruction of the world. 

What really holds this film together is the unsettled family dynamics between Shang-Chi and Xialing as they struggle with their abandonment and upbringing. But when they are forced to reunite after so many years, it's not easy for them to show affection immediately as a great battle between brother and sister ensues in an underground fight club. Additionally, the siblings must now deal with their sinister father who still knee-deep in his grief over the death of his wife is always taking the wrong path in life and causing more destruction, but in his mind, it's for a good and sentimental cause - bring back his only true love so that he and his family can be happy and whole again. But as the film reveals in its many flashback sequences, which happens to be its big flaw, Wenwu trained his kids to be killers and assassins to take over the world, but his kids wanted no part of that and went into hiding like a certain pair of sibling Jedi Knights in another Disney-owned franchise. 

These flashbacks come often and feel a bit bloated at times taking away from the main storyline of the film in the present day. But on the other hand of this element is that the film is ripe with character development and history, which is for sure going to show up in future films. Though in this first outing with Shang-Chi, felt overly long at times and could have been condensed down by a few minutes or so. That being said, there are many new characters that were introduced such as Shang-Chi and Xialing's magical aunt Jiang Nan (Michelle Yeoh), who lives in a mystical forest with giant lion hybrids, dragons, and other fantastic creatures - one of which is named Morris. Long live Morris!

The action sequences are top-notch on every level. Cretton is not about that quick-cut Michael Bay life in the editing room. He loves to show his fight scenes take long breaths and allow his actors to showcase their fighting and stunt skills by hardly ever cutting the footage. He pays homage to Jackie Chan's Rumble in the Bronx, Bay's The Rock, and even a fantastic, iconic sequence from Oldboy. It was such a pleasure to watch Simu Liu just own every action moment here, while Awkwafina provided the comedy bits and ultimately her transformation into an amazing warrior by the end. They are just perfect together on screen and it's easy to see why those two actors are some of the best in the business. Their chemistry and delivery are just infectious by their charm and wit, especially when they sing karaoke. 

Video Review


Audio Review


Special Features


Final Thoughts

There are some excellent cameos from the past MCU movies throughout the film, some of which will be showing up in future films for the long haul. And there are two end credit stingers at the end, so be sure to stick around for those. The performances, script, action, and CGI work are all remarkable and add a new chapter into this ever-expanding comic universe. The music by Joel P. West evokes a perfect blend of modern music with Asian influences and the song drops are just fantastic. Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is the perfect way to start the next chapter in the MCU. MUST-SEE!

Only In Theaters Friday September 3rd, Order Your Tickets On Fandango