To answer the question whether or not Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Ring is good, you’ve got to look at a number of different criteria, ranging from the story and the acting to the action, comedy and special effects. Overall, it ticks the box pretty well on all counts, but to find out whether or not it’s worth a watch for you, you can read more below to get a breakdown for all of the most important elements of the film.
The film takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame as Shawn, AKA Shang-Chi, is forced away from his normal everyday life in San Francisco by his overpowered dad. This sets the scene for the story, which builds well on the comic book history of the character to spin in some new lore and scene setting.Advertisement This gives the film more grounding, while also adding more ethereal might to Shang-Chi’s background. At it’s heart, the film is a sort of love story, and this gives it a lot of emotional tug. It’s also an origin story that will go on to entwine much more richly with the Avengers as Marvel develops Phase 5 of its cinematic universe. From this standpoint alone The Legend of the Ten Rings is an important film to watch.
Are the fight scenes any good?
As the first out-and-out martial arts film on the books for the MCU, there’s a lot riding on the fight scenes, as well as the overall action in the film. The good news is that it really doesn’t disappoint when it comes to this. Not only is there a lot of butt-kicking to look forward to, but it’s also superbly choreographed for the most part, especially when either Tony Leung, Fala Chen, Simu Liu, Meng’er Zhang and Michelle Yeoh are involved.Advertisement The father, mother, son, sister and auntie quintet are formidable and they work very well together to create some remarkable fight scenes. When you add in the colossal mass of Florian Munteanu, who plays Razor Fist, and some super slick CGI and aerial special effects, what you get is an excellence that takes the MCU to a new level of fight scene skill. If that isn’t enough, there’s also Benedict Wong in action as Wong fighting Abomination in a cage match that featured in the trailer, which is definitely worth a watch.
Overall, the background stunt artists that make up the fight team do a good job to support the main cast of the characters. There are maybe two or three snippets of scenes that dip a little if you’re really paying attention, but on the whole there’s a lot of great action to look forward to.Advertisement The action doesn’t stop with the fighting though, as there are also a number of solid chase scenes, some crazy stunts and acrobatics to enjoy. When you throw in the amazing settings of San Francisco’s bustling streets, scaffolding on a tall building in Macaw and a moving forest, you’ve got the recipe for an edge-of-your-seat movie experience.
Is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings funny?
The short answer is that it’s way funnier than you might have expected from watching the trailer. Awkwafina takes a lot of the credit for some of the best comedy moments, playing Shang-Chi’s best friend Katy to perfection. This is at it’s best when paired with Simu Liu as she discovers more about his character throughout the film. She’s got a great deadpan delivery that keeps hitting the mark throughout The Legend of the Ten Rings, but she’s not alone in the comedy stakes.
The film also stars the hilarious Ronny Chieng as the right-hand-man of Xialing, Shang-Chi’s younger sister. If you haven’t seen any of his stand-up comedy, you should definitely check it out. It’s fair to say that he could have been included a little more in the film, he still has a few standout lines when he does take the screen.
There’s also a surprise comedy addition to the cast, which we’re not going to spoil for you, but it definitely cranks up the comic intensity a notch. It’s a character we’ve been a little down on in the past, but the addition of him here makes it all worth while. The best jokes sometimes require a little patience and that’s the case with this one, so we’re happy to say we forgive you Marvel Studios.
What about the acting?
The acting does exactly what it needs to do to deliver a fun and action-packed new entry to the MCU. You buy into all of the characters and they take you along on the journey pretty well. Not all of the threads are seamlessly stitched into place, but overall it’s a solid result.
Tony Leung and Fala Chen deserve the plaudits in terms of bringing the film together and crafting the fabric for it to take flight on. Simu Liu and Meng’er Zhang do a good job of running with this and Michelle Yeoh brings a nice amount of lift towards the end of the film.
Is the film good overall?
It’s a yes from us. It’s like a classic martial arts film with the big studio might of Avengers: Endgame. Add in a little Lord of the Rings magic and great comedy and you’ve got a strong new entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s going to be interesting to see what comes next for Shiang-Chi and how instrumental the ten rings will become in the future of the franchise.