In a long lineup of films and stories, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings could have easily gotten lost into the shuffle of Marvel properties as the franchise boots up its new phase after the events of Endgame. Instead, Shang-Chi makes a compelling case for itself, and himself, in possibly becoming a hallmark of this new decade in superheroes. It sets a high bar, for Marvel and for everybody else.
Shang–Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings follows the lead character, portrayed by Simu Liu, as he’s confronted with his past and must step up to stop the mistake his father, Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung Chiu-wai), is about to make. Accompanying him is Shang’s best friend Katy (Awkwafina), who finds herself in just as much danger as Shang seeks out his sister Xialing (Meng’er Zhang) in order to warn her of what is happening. The result is in adventure that treks across countries, and worlds, in order to save the universe from an unknown evil.
Shang-Chi exceeds all expectations in its storytelling and it is a compelling example of the power of films that are inclusive and representative of non-white actors. For Simu Liu, Meng’er Zhang, and Fala Chen, who plays Jiang Li, the mother of Shang, they are newcomers to the big screen – which is hard to believe as their performances come off as effortless. Because of them and the importance of the story as a whole, Shang-Chi has danced its way into become one of the top-tier Marvel productions and is making high earnings at the box office and setting its own records.
Simu Liu creates an energetic and endearing character that is sure to make a splash in the Marvel universe over the coming years. Liu’s charm and the story behind his character makes it so this film and future ones are accessible for all filmgoers and, when we see Shang-Chi again, the stakes will be even higher as the hero steps up and familiarizes himself with the universe he’s living in and is introduced to the Avengers in a post-Endgame world.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings deserves your attention and it is one that must be watched on a large screen with other people. It is so good, a second, third, or fourth viewing would not be all that unreasonable in finding a way to immerse yourself in something bigger and greater.