‘Shang-Chi’ review: New Marvel movie impresses at the box office

Elizabeth Letkiewicz, Staff Reporter

Just as a warning, there might be some spoilers ahead.

Marvel Studios have added yet another movie to the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise when “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” hit theaters on Friday, Sept. 3. During the 2021 Labor Day weekend, Shang-Chi crushed the box office and became the second-highest domestic Marvel Movie debut since the Covid-19 Pandemic hit, following only this summer’s release of “Black Widow.”

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” follows former assassin and martial artist Shang-Chi while he comes to terms with his past while trying to find who he really is. He balances all this while also attempting to stop the mysterious Ten Rings organization. We learn more about the Ten Rings, who were also responsible for kidnapping Tony Stark in “Iron Man” (2008).

The leader of the organization is actually Shang-Chi’s father Wenwu, who is also known as The Mandarin. It’s revealed that the Ten Rings are not only just an organization, but Wenwu’s signature weapons. These rings not only gave him enough power to conquer, but they also allow him to stop aging as well.

What’s interesting is that it’s also the antagonists who are facing past demons and finding themselves throughout the movie. We learn the complexities of Wenwu’s character and how he changes from a ruthless leader, to a loving father/husband, to a grieving widow throughout the film. We also witness how Shang-Chi’s family changes after the death of his mother. The character Xiangling was able to train herself to fight, even though she wasn’t allowed to. She defied her father’s orders and was able to compete with her brother, despite his training from their father.

The film successfully gives supporting characters complex background stories to make them seem more than just two-dimensional side characters.

What really sticks out about it are the fight scenes and camera work. I could talk about the cinematography alone with how beautiful some of the shots are, specifically in the multiverse Ta Lo, from the mythical creatures residing there to the village itself. The fights flowed so smoothly, and I wasn’t surprised to learn that most of the actors had done their own stunts to prepare for the movie. It made the movie feel more real.

“Shang-Chi” also featured a teaser for the new “Doctor Strange” movie that as of publication is slated to premiere in March 2022.

I came into this movie not really sure how it would fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It certainly identifies as more of an origin story, but it’ll be exciting to see more of Shang-Chi and how he fits in role after “Avengers: Endgame.”