Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is something entirely unique in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Introducing new characters and an entirely new corner of this world that has been created Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings manages to balance classic elements of the MCU with n story that feels new. Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings marries action, comedy, family drama, and huge world building into a compelling film that will have audiences excited for more.

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is Marvel’s first film with a primarily Asian cast and an Asian superhero as the lead. During the press conference director Destin Daniel Cretton and producer Kevin Feige talked about how important it was to feature Asian and Asian-American culture in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings which is clear in the film itself. One way that this is shown is through language. Throughout the film multiple characters seamlessly switch between English and Chinese during conversations. The importance of this representation cannot be overstated and this film succeeds in infusing the culture into the DNA of the film.

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One aspect of Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings that fans have been looking forward to since the film was announced are the fight scenes and they do not disappoint. Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings not only has some of the best fight choreography in the MCU, it manages to make the fight scenes story driven. The film features many different styles of martial arts, with inspiration from Jackie Chan, wuxia, and more, each style is tied to the characters, their backgrounds, and the story itself.

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS.

One of the most beautiful scenes in the film is a fight scene between two characters that is clearly a dance between opponents with emotions running high. And the bus fight scene balances impressive high stakes action and hilarious comedic beats in true MCU fashion. Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings has set a new standard for the fight choreography in the MCU and it will be interesting to see how the next few films stack up.

THE HEART OF SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGENDS OF THE TEN RINGS

Simu Liu was perfectly cast bringing a vulnerability to the character and his stunt work is truly mind blowing. His chemistry with his costars specifically Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, and Tony Leung is truly enthralling. Each dynamic is completely unique, but draws one in for various reasons. The relationships are at the heart of this film and the cast’s chemistry shines through in every scene.

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Awkwafina and Simu Liu manage to infuse the friendship between their characters with authenticity that makes it easy to believe the pair have been best friends for years. Both actors having comedic backgrounds that makes the comedy feel real and adds to the feeling that their friendship has organically been built. Awkwafina manages to not only bring her comedy, but heart to the role of Katy, making her believable as Shang-Chi’s ride or die and grounding him in this crazy world.

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(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.

While Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is an epic story, but at its core this is a story about a broken family. The dynamics between Shang-Chi, Xialing, and Wenwu is filled with complex emotions and a fraught past. The relationship between Xialing and Shang-Chi is complicated, but with a genuine sibling dynamic shining through especially when it comes to interactions with their father, Wenwu. Mang’er Zhang is truly impressive especially with this being her first film. Her performance is powerful and her chemistry with the rest of the cast is gripping.

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Wenwu is one of the most interesting Marvel villains to date with an unexpected level of sympathy infused in the character. Wenwu is the leader of the Ten Rings organization, but as more is revealed about his past and his family, he becomes more fascinating. His relationship with each of his children is fraught for different reasons and although he is clearly the villains it’s hard not to empathize with him to a degree. Tony Leung’s performance is truly impressive as he is able to transition from haunted, threatening, empathic, and cold masterfully.

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
(L-R): Wenwu (Tony Leung), Xialing (Meng’er Zhang), Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS.

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings not only introduces tons of new characters it also introduces a new corner of the MCU that has not been truly explored until now. This film brings a new kind of magic into the MCU with mythology and lore that will be fascinating to explore further. The magical elements within the film are truly mesmerizing visually and take center stage in the third act of the film in a way that one wouldn’t have expected at the start.

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Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings manages to balance telling a captivating origin story and infusing the larger MCU into the story without over powering it. The MCU’s past references to the Mandarin are touched upon in a way that is not only clever, but adds to Wenwu’s mythology. The cameos are not only fun, but surprisingly additive in truly incorporating the larger world into this story. And the two post credit scenes set up some interesting possibilities.

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
(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.

Destin Daniel Cretton has admitted he never intended to direct a Marvel film until he heard that they were looking for a director to helm Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. His passion for this story and character comes through onscreen and make it clear why he was the right person for the job. The film is layered and captivating with mesmerizing visuals and riveting fight scenes, but the heart of it is the characters and the relationships.

Shang-Chi Poster Simu Liu

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings will exclusively premiere in theaters September 3, 2021. Are you excited for the newest MCU movie? What are you most looking forward to? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media and check back with The Illuminerdi for more MCU andShang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings.

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