Jonah’s Saturday Reviews: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

A star is born, Simu Liu leads a stellar cast, which includes the likes of Awkwafina and legendary Hong Kong Actor Tony Leung, in one of Marvel’s best movies in it’s storied franchise. Shang-Chi is a major step for Asian representation as it marks the first predominantly Asian superhero movie to hit theaters. As someone who can never get enough Marvel, Shang-Chi feels somehow fresh but familiar. With some of the best action sequences, some of the most stunning visual effects, and one of the most fleshed out well crafted villain’s in the Marvel cinematic universe, Shang-Chi made such a great impression on me that I would go as far as to say that Shang-Chi is a top 5 Marvel movie.

Simu Liu plays Shaun, a seemingly normal 32 old guy, who with his best friend Katy (Awkwafina) works as a valet driver in San Francisco by day and a master of Karaoke by night. Shaun’s world is turned upside down when he is attacked by a group of mercenaries looking for a pendant gifted to Shaun by his mother. Shaun is forced to defend his honor and reveal that he is the prodigal son, Shang-Chi, of thousand year old master of the Ten Rings Wenwu ( Tony Leung). This forces Shang-Chi to confront his past as he is drawn back into the Ten Rings Organization.

Master of Kung-Fu

We recently had an episode of Culture Popped With Hunter Bishop, our podcast where we discussed the best action movie franchises and part of what brings a great action movie to the next level is the fight choreography/ fight scenes. Movies like John Wick, Mission Impossible or James Bond have some of the best fight scenes in cinema history, the type of scenes that you remember and that are the standard for action excellence. Shang-Chi is on the level of these films and should be looked at as one of the new standards for action excellence. I would go as far to say that Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee would be proud. There are countless badass fighting scenes and if you’ve been on social media you might have seen or heard about the bus scene. Think about the bus scene from the movie Nobody, now crank that up to 11 and you have the bus scene from Shang-Chi. You truly have to see it to fully appreciate how great it really is. The thing is, the fights are exactly that, fights, they’re mostly hand to hand combat with very little reliance on superpowers or gimmicks (Not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Master of CGI

This is not in any way a shot at the movie’s special effects because Shang-Chi, in my opinion, has the best visual effects out of any Marvel movie that has been released to date. There are so many little things that add to the greatness of Shang-Chi, the big set pieces are so jaw droppingly beautiful, terrifying and so damn seamless in how they incorporates the visual effects. Now it’s not the special effects that make the fight scenes as terrific as they are, but when they are implemented into the fight choreography, it’s just so sick. There is no other way to put it than sick.

This is an origin story and the titular character Shang-Chi gets a fully fleshed out story that explores his past so you can understand what made him Shang-Chi, while also forging his story in the present. Part of what makes the character and movie even greater is Tony Leung’s Wenwu, who is the most fleshed out villain since Black Panther’s Killmonger. I would even say that Tony Leung brings so much charisma to Wenwu that he might be the best Marvel villain, at least best in a Marvel origin. The addition of Meng’er Zhang’s Xialing who is just a complete badass, and Awkwafina’s Katy who is genuinely hilarious, adds even more depth to Shang-Chi. The combination of newcomers and established stars make for an all star performance by the entire cast.


Go see this movie. If you’re a fan of Marvel, if you’re a fan of action, if you’re a fan of cinema you should go see this movie. A groundbreaking movie for Hollywood it does not disappoint and everyone involved deserves a round of applause for their work. I’m very excited to see where Shang-Chi fits into the MCU as well as to see Shang-Chi in future Marvel projects. Keep the Marvel movies coming if they’re of the quality of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Rating: The Paddington 2 of the MCU

We rate things on a scale based on how close something is in quality to Paddington 2. To learn more please read this post

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