Beauty and brawn

‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ delivers stunning visuals and fights


Marvel Studios

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” opened on September 3 to audiences all over the U.S. The film follows Shang-Chi with his friends and family as they set out to stop the Ten Rings.

Addie Ellison, Staff Writer

After two long years, Marvel’s first all-in theatre movie has taken to the silver screen. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” opened on September 3 to theatres all over the U.S.

The story follows Xu Shang-Chi, played by Simu Liu, a valet parker moonlighting as a skilled martial artist on the run from his past and his father. Shang-Chi along with his best friend Katy, played by Awkwafina, are thrust back into a world of martial arts, magic, mystery, and family drama when he reaches back out to his estranged sister Xu Xialing, played by Meng’er Zhang

“Shang-Chi” shows the Ten Rings for everything they should be: a powerful army and a powerful leader worthy of the name.

— Staff Writer Addie Ellison

As the movie progresses, we learn more of Shang and his sister’s tragic pasts, their father’s sins while running the Ten Rings, and more of their family’s secrets. Set after the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” the movie gives us the first real look into what the world looks like after the blip for a normal person.

Overall, the movie is great. With characters you find yourself getting attached to, a story that is compelling and interesting to follow, and just the right amount of callbacks to the other films, “Shang-Chi” is amazing. The perfect amount of heart is added through Awkwafina’s character and cameos from a couple of familiar faces as well. This movie also did a great job in righting Marvel’s past wrongs regarding the Ten Rings in Iron Man 3.” “Shang-Chi” shows the Ten Rings for everything they should be: a powerful army and a powerful leader worthy of the name.

If you walked into the theatre knowing nothing, you would very quickly learn that Shang-Chi is a master at mixed martial arts. This is clearly shown through the fight choreography throughout the movie. The fights incorporate many styles of fighting including Tae Kwando, Muay Tai, Jiu-Jitsu, street fighting, Silat, Tai Chi, and even gymnastics elements. Each fight is fun to watch and shows the talent of Simu Liu. Since Shang does not wear a mask, most of the fight choreography and stunts are done by the actor himself. 

The movie itself is beautiful, there is no other way to describe it. Every color was vibrant and breathed life into the film. The CGI took audiences directly to the location aiding the scenery in shots. Even the simplest scenes used color pallets to enhance the cues to location and characters. 

Shots in San Francisco consist of dull reds and neutrals allowing the main characters to stand out. Shots in the mysterious Macau clubs have dark backgrounds and bright pops of color providing a shot where the eye has lots of things to focus on. The mystical and serene Ta Lo are filled with vibrant greens and reds in contrast with blues and blacks which provide visual cues for the audience. “Shang-Chi” is truly beautiful and gives the audience something visually pleasing to look at while enjoying the plot.

One of the only complaints about the movie has been the amount of lore dropped. Since “Shang-Chi” is the first movie to star a character without an existing tie to an older character since “Doctor Strange.” This means that as an audience we have to learn everything there is to know about this character and his past while the plot progresses. The movie combats the heavy exposition with fabulously timed comedic moments, familiar faces, and adorable animals that quite literally made the theatre say “aw.”

With “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” being Marvel’s second-ever film starring a person of color, and the first-ever to star an Asian-American person, many people everywhere were looking forward to seeing this film. The success of the movie is clearly shown at the box office. 

“Shang-Chi” brought in $8.8 million on the Thursday showings and is expected to make $67.8 million in its opening weekend. With extra Labor Day weekend showings, the movie is predicted to have the biggest opening weekend of all time with $75-$85 million dollars predicted

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” show that opening the MCU to new characters and doing it well is in fact possible. The movie highlights the troubles of family while maintaining the right amount of twists and turns you would expect from Marvel. Note: If you were thinking about skipping the end credits to pee, you’ll definitely want to hold it.