Sunday, September 24, 2023

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: A Deep Dive

ReviewShang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: A Deep Dive

Shang-Chi, a character hailing from Marvel Comics, has gained increasing popularity due to his 2021 debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The character, known as the “Master of Kung Fu”, first appeared in December 1973 in Special Marvel Edition #15 and was the brainchild of writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin.

Origin Story

Shang-Chi’s origin story is a complex one, informed by a rich cultural and familial background. He was raised and trained by his father, originally known as Fu Manchu, a nefarious figure rooted in early 20th-century literature. As the son of this antagonist, Shang-Chi was conditioned to be a lethal assassin. However, he chose a different path when he discovered his father’s malevolent intentions, sparking a dramatic break and leading to a personal journey of redemption and self-discovery.

Due to copyright issues concerning the character of Fu Manchu, subsequent adaptations of Shang-Chi’s story have undergone changes. In recent iterations, his father’s identity has been updated to a new character named Wenwu.

Shang-Chi’s Abilities

As the “Master of Kung Fu,” Shang-Chi is celebrated for his formidable martial arts skills. He has mastered numerous forms of hand-to-hand combat and his rigorous training has honed his agility, strength and endurance to peak human capabilities. Additionally, Shang-Chi possesses an in-depth knowledge of pressure points, allowing him to incapacitate opponents with minimal force.


“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is a groundbreaking film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that marks the first major superhero movie led by an Asian protagonist. Released in 2021, the film not only expands the world of Marvel superheroes but also introduces audiences to a new cultural perspective within the MCU.

Directed byDestin Daniel Cretton
Screenplay byDave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton Andrew Lanham
Story byDave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton
Based onMarvel Comics
Produced byKevin Feige, Jonathan Schwartz
CinematographyWilliam Pope
Edited byNat Sanders, Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir, Harry Yoon
Music byJoel P. West
Production companyMarvel Studios
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release datesAugust 16, 2021 (Los Angeles), September 3, 2021 (United States)
Running time132 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$150–200 million
Box office$432.2 million


The film is centered around Shang-Chi, portrayed by Simu Liu, a young man living in San Francisco who is drawn back into the dangerous world he left behind when his estranged father Wenwu, played by Tony Leung, comes to find him. As Shang-Chi confronts his past and familial responsibilities, he must also grapple with his future as a superhero.

Cast and Crew

Simu LiuXu Shang-Chi / Shaun
Meng’er ZhangXu Xialing
Fala ChenYing LiWenwu’s wife, mother of Shang-Chi and Xialing and guardian of Ta Lo.
Florian MunteanuRazor FistA member of the Ten Rings who has a machete blade for his right hand.
Benedict WongWongA Master of the Mystic Arts participating in a cage fighting tournament with Emil Blonsky.
Yuen WahGuang BoOne of the leaders of Ta Lo.
Michelle YeohYing NanA guardian of Ta Lo who is Shang-Chi and Xialing’s aunt. Previously portrayed Aleta Ogord in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017).
Ben KingsleyTrevor Slattery
Tony LeungXu Wenwu

Action Sequences and Visual Effects

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is packed with action sequences that are both visually stunning and well-choreographed, paying homage to various forms of martial arts. The film masterfully balances its thrilling, high-octane fight scenes with sequences steeped in emotion, making for a well-rounded superhero narrative.

The visual effects in the movie contribute to its spectacle. From the depiction of the mythical village of Ta Lo to the magical, otherworldly abilities of the Ten Rings, the film’s visual storytelling enhances the narrative and captivates audiences.

Cultural Impact and Representation

The release of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” marked a milestone in cinematic representation, as it is the MCU’s first film with an Asian lead and predominantly Asian cast. The film expertly showcases aspects of Asian culture and mythology, making a significant stride in diversifying the stories told within the superhero genre.

Critical Reception

The film was warmly received by critics and audiences alike for its captivating storytelling, impressive action sequences, strong performances and significant cultural representation. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is widely regarded as a fresh and exciting addition to the MCU, providing a unique perspective within the superhero canon.

Reviews And Rating

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. The film was praised for its action sequences, performances and for bringing diversity to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

On Rotten Tomatoes, a popular review-aggregation website, the film held a very high approval rating, indicating a large percentage of professional critic reviews were positive. The audience score was also strong, reflecting favorable reviews from general viewers.

On IMDb, another well-known online database of film, TV and streaming content, the film had a solid rating out of 10, suggesting positive audience reception.

Critics praised the performances of Simu Liu as Shang-Chi and Tony Leung as Wenwu. The film’s action sequences, particularly those involving martial arts, were commended for their choreography and execution.


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings successfully carves out a new space within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, presenting a compelling character-driven narrative that seamlessly combines elements of action, fantasy and familial drama. The film stands as a notable milestone in representation and a thrilling addition to the MCU, leaving audiences eagerly anticipating the future adventures of Shang-Chi.

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