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‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ sets a new standard in the MCU

‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ sets a new standard in the MCU

‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ sets a new standard in the MCU
September 12
11:50 2021

When you have a film franchise with over twenty entries, it can become very easy to fall into a formulaic pit. A fair share of Marvel Cinematic Universe projects seem to merge together in bland and forgettable ways. Moving on from the past and starting fresh has been the MCU’s new approach to a new era, and there is no better way of cementing this tactic than with the release of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

The MCU has been around since 2008, and it has been easy for fans to latch onto certain characters. Everyone loves Iron Man and Captain America, but I have always struggled to pick a favorite. With every new entry into the MCU, I get excited at the thought of potentially discovering my favorite character. Simu Liu’s portrayal of Shang-Chi balances charisma and relatability so well, it’s impossible not to love both the actor and his character. I never had a favorite superhero in the Marvel world until now, and it’s all thanks to Liu’s addition to the roster.

Awkwafina plays Katy, Shang-Chi’s best friend, to absolute perfection. Watching her reaction to everything unfolding as the story progresses is golden. Katy is seeing this new world for the first time, just like the audience is, and it makes for some hilarious moments. Other supporting characters like Tony Chiu-Wai Leung and Meng’er Zhang are unlike anything we have seen from supporting characters in the MCU before. There is precision and purpose with each character, making the key themes of family and legacy mean so much more.

This movie works in every way imaginable. The action and fight choreography set a new standard in the MCU, leaving the other 24 films in the dust. You feel the impact of every strike, and there are some fight sequences throughout the film worth the price of admission alone. We have become comfortable with giant CGI fights involving lasers and explosions in the MCU, which makes this movie’s use of practical effects so rewarding. This film was made for the big screen, and the people cheering at the high points of the movie made the experience so much more cherishable.

As for my problems with the film, there are not many. There are some very minor pacing issues heading into the third act of the film, but not distracting enough to take me out. This is an origin story, and Marvel likes to follow a strict formula when it comes to introducing a new character. For the most part, this film avoids some of those formulaic beats, but in the end, there are still a couple of moments we are all too familiar with. These problems are extremely minor, and the high points of the film squash any critiques roaming around in my head. It is a blast full of heart and humor, and those are the only things needed in a superhero movie to make it stick in the mind of the viewer.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” delivered in terms of quality, but it also delivered in terms of representation. Shang-Chi is the MCU’s first Asian superhero, and the movie itself is the first Asian-led MCU film. It is easily one of my favorite MCU movies of all time, and I will be overflowing with joy to see anything Shang-Chi is involved with in the future. Please go see this movie, safely, on the biggest screen if possible. It’s a ride with intense action, but also a lot of heart. Shang-Chi is my favorite character in the MCU, and I hope everyone sees just how much of a gift Simu Liu is to Marvel fans everywhere.

Final rating: 4.75/5

Image source Marvel

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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