Hysterical and Exhilarating: A Shang-Chi Film Review

One of the most entertaining Marvel Cinematic Universe films is Shang-Chi. Read on for a full film review of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings!

Shang-Chi film poster

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Shang-Chi is simply exhilarating.  It’s fast-paced, funny, and just a really good time at the theater.  Sure, the action is ridiculous after all, it’s an MCU movie! That said, there are other themes explored like abandonment, platonic relationships, and what it means to embrace where one’s true talents lay.  I did like the banter between Simu Liu and Awkwafina but the scenes between Semi Lu and Meng’er Zhang were much stronger.  Maybe it was the tension between brother and sister, but their interactions just felt more authentic and emotional.

Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings uses bold colors, Chinese lore, and some really entertaining performances to bring the story alive. Ultimately, I thought that Simu Liu as Shang was a really charismatic yet vulnerable character. He’s someone who has been avoiding his past for all of his adult life and the trauma that he suffered in the past make the avoidance understandable. 

The Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings sets are lush, the costumes are gorgeous and some familiar faces pop up. The story works as a standalone film and yet, it also fits seamlessly into the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially with both post-credit scenes.

I do have a few critiques and they surround the fight scenes.  Yes, they are Sonny Chiba-inspired and really done well but several action scenes were very blurry. The screen seemed washed out, especially during some of the more fantastical scenes towards the end of the film.  The last huge battle scene is really hard to follow just because of all the glimpses of action flashing by on the screen.

Is Shang-Chi appropriate for Kids?

The movie includes violent martial art fights but I didn’t notice any gore.  There is some strong language throughout the film and a character’s death is shown offscreen. If your kids enjoy Marvel movies and you watch them together, chances are they will enjoy this one too. 

Do I need to watch other Marvel Movies to understand this one?

In order to avoid spoilers, I will say that there is a character that pops up that has been in another MCU movie but in general you don’t have to know anything to enjoy this film.  There is one mention of half the planet disappearing due to Thanos but that’s about it.  

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Graphic Novel Review: Shang-Chi and the Quest for Immortality

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