Movie Spotlight: “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”: A look at Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest film, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

After over a year of anticipation, Marvel finally released their second movie since the strike of the pandemic in the form of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is the 25th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the first to feature an Asian lead. The movie stars Simu Liu as “Shaun,” or “Shang-Chi,” as he and his sister (played by Meng’er Zhang) are forced to face their past with their father and prevent their father from causing destruction using the ten rings.

From the casting, to the soundtrack and the script, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has a little bit of something for everyone. 

The movie, while paving part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, also works as a standalone origin movie. It is safe to say that beyond the end-credit scenes, any non-Marvel fan could enjoy “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and not have to worry about being lost in the lore.

As a Marvel fan, I tend to hold Marvel movies to a higher standard amongst each other, and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” did not disappoint.

The choreography of the fight scenes is among the best that I have seen in any movie, Marvel and beyond. The elegance of the martial arts moves in fight scenes adds a new dynamic to the MCU. The movie also gave off strong “Avatar the Last Airbender” vibes, with the idea of using martial arts to control the elements around themselves. The movement of energy surrounding the characters when fighting was smooth and followed the flow of the actors’ movements extremely well. I could watch the fight scenes in this movie for hours, and I am generally not a huge fan of action scenes. 

The villain, who happens to be Shang-Chi’s father (played by Tony Leung), is not obnoxious in his antagonistic ways. Yes, he poses as a challenge to Shang-Chi, but he plays the villain and father roles remarkably well that makes for a great father-son duel.

The wardrobe department also deserves an ovation for their work in making not only Shang-Chi’s suit, but the rest of the clothing and styles throughout the movie. The visuals in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” were beautiful to look at, and the wardrobe department played a huge role in creating some beautiful scenes. 

Overall, the cinematography in this movie was great, the visuals in this movie were absolutely stunning, and the CGI was incorporated nicely with the rest of the film. The movement of the rings was a pleasure to watch and blended flawlessly.

 The mythical creatures of the forest surrounding Ta-Lo were surprisingly realistic and beautiful to admire. They blended in very well with their background, and for a moment while watching, I almost believed that they could be real. Among these creatures from the forest surrounding Ta-Lo was Morris, a faceless, six-legged creature who stole the hearts of many in the theater, including my own. 

The movie also did a good job of addressing a major elephant in the room that was leftover from “Iron Man 3” in a tongue-in-cheek manner. It featured a unique redemption arc for some characters, and provided closure on an otherwise unresolved plot error.

I had reservations about certain casting decisions going into this movie, but I could not imagine this movie with any other actors in their roles. The movie also featured exciting cameos from other Marvel Cinematic Universe characters that brought the movie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe nicely.

I could not run out of good things to say about this movie, as the entire time I spent watching it, I was thinking about when the next time I could go would be. If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend seeing “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

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