Recently, I’ve preferred watching the Thursday showing of a movie before its official release on Friday. I just started graduate school, though, and one of my classes is directly at the time I used to watch movies. So I took a look at theaters near me to compare movie showtimes and settled on going to the 9:15 p.m. showing at the local AMC Theatre near me.
I arrived at the AMC a little early so I could find my seat and get settled. The people next to me made some jokes about upcoming movies that had me laughing, which made the previews feel less long. I will note that this movie was pretty packed. There were only a few empty seats. I expected as much, but I imagine it’ll be busy for the next few days, if that’s something you’d want to keep in mind.
What is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings about?
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (directed by Destin Daniel Cretton) is the latest superhero film added to Marvel’s lineup. The story follows the legend of the ten rings, which are weapons that grant the user power and immortality. Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung) wields the ten rings and with his army, also called the Ten Rings, wants to further expand his empire after the death of his wife. Meanwhile, Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) works as a valet in San Francisco with his best friend, Katy (Awkwafina). When the Ten Rings confront him to steal a pendant his mother gave him, he’s forced to confront a past he would rather leave behind. The film also stars Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, and Ben Kingsley.
My thoughts on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
I was really into Marvel movies in high school. Although some time in college, I got a few movies behind. And honestly, I tend to like the individual films better than the Avengers titles. I did really enjoy Marvel’s television shows recently, so I found myself very excited to watch Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. However, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Surprisingly, I was blown away.
I immediately took a liking to the characters. The first 2 characters we are introduced to are adults who aren’t exactly sure where their life is going to take them. There is societal and familial pressure to figure out what their future will be. Beyond that being a little too relatable, I also found them to be genuinely funny. The actors’ portrayals felt real. There weren’t any awkward moments that didn’t deliver what I wanted. Each character had a motivation that was logical and easy to follow.
The storyline was also great. It followed some aspects of the Marvel format, but I’d also say that it had some things that set it apart. A decent amount of it isn’t in English but has English subtitles, which added some authenticity and was also just really cool to see. The storytelling and flashback scenes are beautifully captivating. It tackles a variety of issues on top of the normal superhero landscape including the death of a parent and other family issues. Plus, there’s a lot of humor sprinkled in, which kept it fun amongst darker themes. I was consistently entertained by this movie.
The fight scenes were also stunning. I’m not generally the biggest fan of the action parts of these movies. I tend to find that they’re slow, redundant, or hard to follow. That was not the case with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The choreography in regards to the fighting had me enthralled. The movements were beautiful and fluid. They never overstayed their welcome and had me constantly wanting more.
Another pro that means a lot to me is that this film stands as a singular movie. While having a background on the Thanos situation could add some context, I do think you could take a friend who isn’t caught up with the Marvel universe to see this movie. I would definitely recommend it! And, as always in Marvel films, make sure to stay for the 2 end credit scenes.
What others thought about Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
I avoided social media before the movie because Marvel fans are always the best with memes and most excited about their movies. I didn’t want any spoilers. But after the film, I was a little too eager to look into what others thought about it.
In the New York Post’s review of the film, writer Johnny Oleksinki writes. “With Shang-Chi, they’ve crafted not only an excellent comic book movie, but a superb martial arts film.”
Alex Abad-Santos of Vox says:
“…Shang-Chi itself is solid if not spectacular. It answers questions about Shang-Chi’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and why he matters, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Laced into this hero’s world-saving mission against a universe-threatening, soul-sucking force of evil is a rich and nimble commentary about identity, masculinity, and assimilation, punctuated by beautiful martial arts sequences. It’s also an homage to the Chinese wuxia genre, and a movie that speaks to the Asian American experience in a compassionate way..”
Of course, Marvel movie fans had tons of thoughts too!
One fan recommended the film to non-Marvel fans.
Go see Shang-Chi this weekend. It’s really really good and even non m a r v e l fans would like it 🥺
— Aes Sedai (@DhHancey) September 3, 2021
Kathleen praised this Marvel phase of action choreography.
ok but the action choreo for mcu phase four has been something on another level pic.twitter.com/xLWCXaVpUo
— kathleen ᱬ saw shang-chi (@westviewhooker) September 3, 2021
Charlotte loved the movie!
— charlotte saw shang-chi (@parkerseternals) September 3, 2021
You can always count on Marvel fans to post funny memes and have A LOT of opinions. On Twitter, tons of fans were ranking their favorite Marvel movies. What would be your order?
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