Movie Review: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Photo Courtesy of IMDb

Photo Courtesy of IMDb

Walker Kmetz '25, Guest Writer

Marvel’s newest movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (hereby referred to as Shang-Chi) serves as an amazing change of pace from Marvel’s usual productions by keeping many of the studio’s classic elements intact, while also giving the movie its own unique experience. Shang-Chi follows the movie’s titular character (Simu Liu) as the past decade of his life is challenged by the life he lived before, when he served as an assassin for his father Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung).  Other notable members of the cast include Awkwafina, Xu Xialing, and Sir Ben Kingsley, who returns in his role as Trevor from Iron Man 3. The movie does an incredible job at not only creating an enjoyable experience for newer viewers, but also for those who have seen many of Marvel’s previous films. A few characters from previous Marvel films, including Benedict Wong’s character of Wong from Doctor Strange, make appearances in this film. The events that occur throughout this movie directly tie into Marvel’s future with the addition of mid-credit and post-credit scenes.  

One of the most widely lauded elements of Shang-Chi is its fight scenes, which is a field of choreography that absolutely deserves praise in this movie. Not only are many of the fight scenes visually appealing, like the first fight scene between Xu Wenwu and Ying Li, but their style of fighting is also very notable. This is because much of the influence comes from Asian martial arts, with characters such as Ying Li and Shang-Chi using a more flowing tai chi form of martial arts rather than the more aggressive styles seen in past Marvel movies. The clear influence of Asian cultures, especially Chinese, is also another highlight of the movie. 

Similar to how Black Panther helped expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe by incorporating a new culture within the movie, Shang-Chi incorporates Chinese culture throughout the film, creating a completely different experience and culture from previous Marvel movies. This includes the use of Mandarin Chinese at many points throughout the movie, along with influences from Chinese mythology with creatures like Morris in Ta Lo. Overall, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is not only an incredibly enjoyable experience with its fight scenes, likeable characters, and typical Marvel structure, but this film also shows great appreciation for Chinese and other Asian cultures, which served as an inspiration for this movie.