“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” Adds a New Perspective on the MCU

Shang-Chi decimates the Labor Day weekend box office

Daniel Stell, Managing Editor

The MCU has made quite the comeback this year after not having any movies released in 2020 due to the COVID-19. Marvel Studios has put out multiple TV mini-series on the streaming service of Disney+, such as “WandaVision” and “Falcon and the Winter Soldier”. Their first movie in a year and a half, “Black Widow”, came out in early July to both theaters and Disney+ Premier Access. 

Now, they bring in a new story in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe with a martial-arts style movie. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” tells the story of the titular Shang-Chi, played by Simu Liu, as he tries to fight against his villainous & overbearing father the Mandarin, played by Tony Leung, who wishes to take Shang back into his dangerous life and turn him into a crime lord. Shang-Chi fights off villains such as Death Dealer, played by Andy Le, with the help of his friend Katy, played by the well-known Awkwafina, and his clever sister Xialing, played by Meng’er Zhang. 

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” provides a new look at the MCU post-Endgame with a fun cast of new characters and villains. Though there were a good amount of them that deserved less or more screen time than others, it did a fantastic job of exploring the complexity of Shang’s dysfunctional family and traumatic upbringing. This movie has some of the best fight scenes in any MCU title as well, with stunning backdrops for the superheroes and villains to battle in front of. The SFX is not the best we have seen in a Marvel movie but it is still impressive as ever with a focus on more fantastical imagery. Shang-Chi is also a much more humble and self-aware hero than any of the others who have to go through many challenges to discover who they really are. Shang-Chi does deal with figuring out his place in the world but he also notices his failures and mistakes, and then attones for them by providing his assistance with his friends. 

Another great thing about this movie is that it is a great stand-alone movie. So many of the shows and movies that have come out in recent years have come in to change the course of the MCU forever but “Shang-Chi” just tries to tell an entertaining story for its audience. Although both of its credits-scenes definitely pertain to possible future MCU titles, it tries to focus mostly on what is happening to the characters we are following in this movie. 

Each actor brings their A-game to the cast, with Tony Leung’s portrayal of the Mandarin being masterful. You fully understand the dynamics of Shang-Chi’s family, especially the dynamics of Shang-Chi and Xialing. 

“Shang-Chi” is already breaking records as it is now the highest grossing film during a Labor Day weekend, earning $94 million. It is also being praised for its representation of Asian culture and peoples, almost acting as a celebration of those who trace their lineage back to those regions. The audience will notice them talking about their customs and traditions, speaking in their peoples’ languages, and so on. Fortunately, Marvel Studios has announced multiple times that adding more diverse characters is a big goal for them with their next few phases of movies and shows. 

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is an incredibly enjoyable flick that adds a whole new perspective and side to the MCU never before seen. The film will be in theatres until mid-October and will come to Disney Plus on November 12th. It did not come to Disney Plus for Premier Access unfortunately, most likely due to the Scarlett Johansson controversy over “Black Widow’s” release to both theatres and Disney Plus.