REVIEW: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

I’ve always been a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With each new film, there’s a sense of familiarity whether it’s the on point wittiness of the script, the Easter eggs through out, or the end credit scenes that everyone knows to wait for by now. You know what you’re getting with a Marvel movie: a decent plot, a decent laugh, and characters that you’ve grown up reading about making it to life on screen. Are the films the most life changing, thought provoking movies of all time? Of course not, but as long as a film makes you feel something, lets you escape into another universe for the better part of two hours, I think that’s worth something.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is definitely worth something.

For a start, the fight sequences are beyond extraordinary. I was particularly interested in how the MCU would choreograph those scenes as Shang-Chi is known to be a master of multiple martial arts.  A worry of mine was that in an effort to showcase Shang-Chi’s talents, the fight sequences would turn into drawn out blurs of pointless action that, despite showing an extensive range of the characters talents, would be overly useless to the plot. However, that wasn’t the case at all. Out of all the Marvel movies I’ve seen, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has the most beautifully poetic fight sequences ever choreographed. It was simply amazing to watch the characters move with such power, fluidity, and grace.  And though the fight sequences were well timed and made complete sense to the plot I would’ve honestly been more than happy  to watch two hours of just those fight sequences.

Another thing I was interested in was the soundtrack of the film. As I’m sure you’re well aware, Marvel has quite the ear for music; choosing soundtracks that bring another  layer of depth to their films. A well known example would be the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks. Those classic tracks are blended throughout both films causing feet to bounce and smiles to appear. Shang-Chi also boasts a spectacular soundtrack that fits seamlessly into the film, imbued with the emotion of the characters. Produced by 88rising, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: The Album is a must listen.

The only element of the film that I was slightly disappointed by was the quality of visual effects for a certain aspect of the film pertaining to the fantastical creatures found in Ta Lo, which is the birth place of Shang-Chi’s mother. These creatures seemed to lack a certain realness that I’ve come to expect from the MCU. I assume that it was a design choice as all other aspects of visual effects throughout the film were on par with what Marvel has shown us so far, but I am curious as to how that came about.

Overall, I would highly recommend watching this film. Even if you aren’t a fan of Marvel, there’s still a lot to appreciate.


Ruth is studying architecture at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She enjoys reading, drawing, and singing when no one's around to hear her.

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