REVIEW: Beautiful, exciting ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ brings martial arts action to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Sep 2, 2021, 2:00 PM | Updated: Sep 11, 2021, 11:58 am
SALT LAKE CITY — Get ready for your first martial arts Marvel movie.
In “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Simu Liu stars as Shaun. He lives in San Francisco and works as a parking valet with his best friend since he emigrated from China to the United States as a kid. Neither Shaun nor Katy (Awkwafina) is a particularly career-oriented or motivated individual.
But one day while riding the bus Shaun is suddenly attacked by some ninja-types and a guy with a sword for a hand who want to steal a necklace his mother gave him.
When Katy sees Shaun’s previously-unknown-yet-obviously-massive talent for martial arts as he artfully thrashes them, she realizes there’s more to her friend than she knew.
Shaun is actually named Shang-Chi, and he’s the son of a legendary crime figure. The attack sets events in motion that will bring Shang-Chi face to face with his family, and the past he thought he had escaped.
As someone who has been a comic book reader since I was a kid, it was refreshing to see a story where everything was new to me.
As a martial arts movie fan, it was great to see the action done with artistry, ferocity and precision.
Shang-Chi is a kung-fu character originally introduced in Marvel Comics in the 1970s, then started popping up again in stories more frequently starting in the mid-2000s.
The movie does well to update the character for today’s age and remove some of the Asian stereotypes prevalent in the 1970’s comic.
Fortunately, you do NOT need to know any background story from the comics to be able to follow what happens in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
It is a beautiful, fun and exciting movie with some exquisitely choreographed and jaw-dropping martial arts fight scenes.
It is rated PG-13 and playing exclusively in theaters.