Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” Movie Review

Story posted September 7, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Sam Roberts.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has finally premiered and is already smashing the box office with $8.8 million racked up on the Thursday premier, per Variety.

Being back in the cinema to watch a new Marvel hero on the big screen is an emotion that almost felt brand new, as audiences haven’t experienced that since “Captain Marvel” in 2019.

Shang-Chi was a film that felt original and was exciting to watch, but it comes with its flaws also.

One thing the film did beautifully was the fight choreography. All the hand-to-hand combat was smooth, quick and awesome to watch. Not to mention, the combination of kung fu and magic was executed very well on screen. The camera work during the combat was also amazing and put the audience into the fight, which also allowed us to see the actors performing the fight sequences.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is also one of the few Marvel movies that gives an origin and strong motive to the villain. Tony Chiu-Wai Leung plays Shang-Chi’s father and portrays a strong range of emotions from start to end. He was also written as a villain where his motives are understandable and, as a viewer, it was easy to relate to his cause.

The use of flashbacks throughout the film was also well done. Shang-Chi’s backstory was continuously explored throughout the film and the flashbacks showed his relationship with his family. His father was also heavily developed through the flashbacks and allowed us to see the dynamic character that he is.

One may think that “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is one of the better Marvel movies from reading this, but here comes the bad. After this film and “Black Widow,” amongst other Marvel movies, the third act was borderline atrocious. For about 7 minutes it looked identical to “Black Panther,” then it turned into a big CGI monster battle and lost its kung fu roots. The ending of the movie literally looked silly.

Awkwafina is no doubt a talented and funny individual, but she played a large role in the film’s averageness. She was written as a comedic relief, and after her first funny line it's clear she only knows how to be sarcastic and that’s about it. Nothing else she said was funny.

Not only was her performance weak, but she was also the worst character that Marvel has written so far. How many times do Marvel fans have to watch the same exact character that is the comedic relief who feels useless but ends up helping?

Katy, the character played by Awkwafina, started off the film as someone with no skill other than being a good driver and by the end of the film she was shooting a bow and arrow like Hawkeye. It was the worst character development that Marvel has ever written.

The titular character, played by Simu Liu, was also very static. He started the film hating his dad, and the film ended with disliking him rather than hating him. Simu Liu did a good job and he’s a talented actor with a bright future, but the writers really messed up with the character. Katy and Shang-Chi’s father, Xu Wenwu, had more character development than Shang-Chi himself.

Overall, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings'' was a mid-tier Marvel movie with some good and some bad. No doubt it's entertaining with really good action sets, but it does fall incredibly short in character development, which is one of the things that makes the MCU so incredible.

Rating: 3/5

Sam Roberts is a fourth-year studying telecommunications. To contact him, email