Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings Review


By Thza Kanapathipillai

Marvel’s long-awaited debut of its first Asian-American superhero did not disappoint. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings are even set to remain in the No. 1 spot in the box office, bringing in an estimated gross from about $20-22 million. 

Shaun, played by Simu Liu, seems like an ordinary guy. He and his friend Katy (Awkwafina) are content with their valet jobs in San Francisco and live their lives with no responsibilities. But of course, Shaun has a secret about his past. That is, his family is the definition of dysfunctional family dynamics…but not in the way you might think.

His father, Wenwu (Tony Leung Chiu-wai), has lived for 1,000 years with his power granted by the Ten Rings, created a society called the Ten Rings: an organization involved in terrorist activities across the world. When Wenwu fell in love with Jiang Li (Fala Chen), he decided to change for her and live a life of peace with her. They got married and had a son and daughter一Shang-Chi and Xu Xialing (Meng’er Zhang). However, when Jiang Li died, the only way grief-ridden Wenwu could cope was to go back to his old ways. Shang-Chi eventually ran away from his father’s control, but is eventually forced to confront his past when attacked by his father’s magical army of henchmen, returning to China to protect his sister from their father. 

While the CGI did get some criticism, I thought the CGI was exceptional as it was intended to capture the magical Ta Lo Village. Critics have said that the overreliance on visual effects draws attention away from the storyline, but in my opinion, it was integral to the storyline. It needed to be depicted as a fantasy realm, or the village would have lost its “allure” and a sense of the mythological aspect of the story. 

The exceptional all-Asian casting of this movie also significantly contributed to its success, along with the movie’s mission to steer away from damaging Asian stereotypes. Inspired by Chinese folklore and martial-art action sequences, this story is a step in the right direction in Hollywood for more Asian representation. A good portion of the movie was even spoken in Mandarin (with English subtitles, of course)!

Actors Simu Liu and Tony Leung Chiu-wai did a remarkable job in conveying a troubled father-and-son relationship. Tony Leung Chiu-wai, in particular, captured the essence of a grieving husband and took it to another level, where we can see how much of a grasp loss has on his character even with the slightest facial expressions. One thing is made clear一love can make you do some crazy stuff! We also have the beloved sidekick played by none other than Awkwafina. Even though the word “sidekick” has its connotations, Awkwafina’s character Katy redefined the word itself in the movie and sent forth a statement of women empowerment when she was not valued as a soldier. Whether you are a fan of the fantasy or action genres,  or are just looking for a movie depicting cultural and female empowerment, this movie is for you!

If I were you, I would be buying tickets now! As Review-O-Duo Numero Uno, I rate it a solid 10/10 on the Marvel meter!


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